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Payless Will Liquidate All 2,500 North American Stores

Payless ShoeSource will close all 2,500 North American stores by May 31 under a bankruptcy filing late Monday. The Topeka, KS-based retailer has also wound down its e-commerce operations.

The filing, and a separate one covering Canadian operations, marks the second bankruptcy for the discount shoe chain. “The challenges facing retailers today are well documented, and unfortunately Payless emerged from its prior reorganization ill-equipped to survive in today’s retail environment,” said Stephen Marotta, who was appointed as chief restructuring officer last month.

The prior proceedings, he continued, left Payless with “too much remaining debt, too large a store footprint and a yet-to-be realized systems and corporate overhead structure consolidation. As a consequence, despite our substantial efforts, we were ultimately unable to operate the North American retail and e-commerce operations on a sustainable basis.”

Payless’ retail operations outside of North America are not included in either the U.S. or Canadian filings.


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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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