SCOTTSBLUFF – The Scottsbluff Payless ShoeSource store is among the 2,300 affected as corporate headquarters announced the closure of all its stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
The Payless closure is part of a bankruptcy proceeding that will be filed later this month. It’s the second filing for Payless, which first filed for bankruptcy in April 2017, closing more than 500 “underperforming” locations in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
According to bankruptcy court records, Payless exited bankruptcy 18 months ago when a group of creditors took over ownership. It left Payless with about $400 million in loans, after slashing its debt from more than $800 million.
According to a Payless spokesperson on Friday, the company will begin liquidation sales at its U.S. and Puerto Rico locations on Sunday, Feb. 17, as it winds down its e-commerce operations.
“We expect all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May,” the release continued. “This process does not affect the company’s franchise operations or Latin America stores, which remain open for business as usual.”
The news agency Reuters called Payless another “high-profile” victim in a string of recent bankruptcies among brick-and-mortar stores as more people continue to shop online.
Other major closures have included Sears-K Mart and Bon Ton Stores, which operated the Herberger’s store at the Monument Mall in Scottsbluff.
Payless was founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kansas. The corporation had about 18,000 employees globally when it declared bankruptcy.
Locally, the Scottsbluff Payless store has a notice in the window announcing “We’re Hiring.”