TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Payless ShoeSource has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The footwear retailer says they will continue to operate its business for customers, vendors, partners, and employees.
Payless says they plan to immediately closing nearly 400 under-performing locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. A page on the company’s website said it will be updated with a list of store closures
The company plans to reduce its debt by almost 50 percent, lower how much it pays in interest and line up funds. The company says some of its lenders have agreed make available up to $385 million to keep the stores running.
Payless Chief Executive Officer W. Paul Jones released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
This is a difficult, but necessary, decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify. We will build a stronger Payless for our customers, vendors and suppliers, associates, business partners and other stakeholders through this process. While we have had to make many tough choices, we appreciate the substantial support we have received from our lenders, who share our belief that we have a unique opportunity to enable Payless — the iconic American footwear retailer with one of the best-recognized global brands — to remain the go-to shoe store for customers in America and around the globe.”
Payless ShoeSource is an international company founded in Topeka in 1956. It continues to be headquartered in Topeka and employees more than 22,000 people worldwide.
The 61-year-old company has more than 4,400 stores in over 30 countries according to the corporate website.