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Payless offers no details on store closings after report they will all close

(WIBW)
Published: Feb. 14, 2019 at 8:41 PM CST
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UPDATE: Payless ShoeSource

all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have closed down in the last year.

The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations. All of the stores will remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May.

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Payless ShoeSource plans to close all of its stores as part of a new bankruptcy filing later this month, according to Reuters.

Sources

on Thursday that the Topeka-based company plans its second bankruptcy in two years, even as it continues trying to find a buyer.

On Friday morning, Payless told 13 NEWS's Melissa Brunner that their stores and website "are doing business as usual." However, the company added that it could not provide any information about possible store closures.

Payless emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2017. Under those proceedings, it closed around 700 stores, and laid off workers. It also reduced the company's debt from $850 million to just over $400 million. At the time, the company had approximately 800 employees at its Topeka world headquarters, but had laid off about 150 people in the eight months prior.

Reuters reports people familiar with the matter told them that the new filing would bring an end to the company's remaining 2,300 stores.

Two Topeka stores - on NW Topeka Blvd. and on Wanamaker Rd. - completed closeout sales and closed their doors in recent months. Sources tell Reuters that Payless is preparing going-out-of-business sales at remaining shops in the next week.

Payless was founded in Topeka in 1956 by cousins Louis and Shaol Pozez. In late 2017, current management announced the company's intent to relocates its much of its world headquarters operations, and by May 2018 confirmed the new location would be Dallas.

In recent months, Payless has held a pair of online auctions, trying to sell the headquarters building at 3231 S.E. 6th Ave. So far, the company has not confirmed a buyer. A spokesperson for the firm handling the auction told 13 NEWS this week they did not yet have any information to share.

Reuters reports its sources asked to not be identified, and Payless declined their request for comment.