Online shopping has not been kind to brick and mortar stores, no matter what they sell. But it’s been especially hard on stores that were all about getting a bargain long before Amazon was around. Like the sad case of Payless, which will be closing nearly 400 stores in the coming weeks after filing for bankruptcy earlier this month.
While the closures are obviously bad news for Payless employees, bargain-hunters will be thrilled to know that the stores are liquidating their assets — which means major deals (click here for a list of soon-to-close locations). The company said that it will be offering a lot of its collaboration collections, like American Eagle by Payless, Christian Siriano for Payless, Airwalk, Dexter and Dexflex Comfort, and Brash, at a steep discount.
“This is a difficult but necessary decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify,” Payless CEO Paul Jones said in a statement last week. He added, though, that it’s not quite the end for the brand yet. “We will build a stronger Payless for our customers, vendors and suppliers, associates, business partners, and other stakeholders through this process.”
As noted in the company’s bankruptcy plan, three out of four children under age 10 live in within five miles of a Payless store, so there will certainly be loyal customers waiting for the retailer to regroup.
The brand’s bankruptcy filing comes after it announced its decision to close more than 1,000 stores in February, revealing that it is $655 million in debt. There’s no set date yet for when the stores will shutter their doors for good, but things are moving pretty quickly.
Payless isn’t the only store shuttering its brick-and-mortar locations. Retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch, Bebe, The Limited, Wet Seal, Macy’s, and Sears have also decided to close retail locations as a money-saving move, since online shopping has significantly reduced foot traffic in malls.
It’s sad to see Payless go, even if every time our moms made us go in there we threw a tantrum.