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BANKRUPTCY: Payless Shoesource to close 400 stores

Payless ShoeSource has filed for bankruptcy and will close some brick-and-mortar locations.

Payless’ North American entities, and two of its Hong Kong-based entities, filed voluntary Chapter 11 petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

The Kansas-based retailer could close nearly 400 underperforming locations in the U.S., but did not confirm locations of impacted stores.

“This is a difficult, but necessary, decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify,” said Paul Jones, Payless chief executive officer. “We will build a stronger Payless for our customers, vendors and suppliers, associates, business partners and other stakeholders through this process.”

» RETAIL APOCALYPSE: 3,500 stores or more to close this year

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“We intend to use the Chapter 11 process to implement a comprehensive path forward to meaningfully enhance our growth profile and profitability, positioning us to continue to thrive as a sustainable business in the face of the retail industry’s radical, unprecedented transformation,” the company said in a statement.

Payless also negotiated agreements with certain of its existing lenders to provide the company access of up to $385 million of Debtor-in-Possession financing.

The company has at least eight locations in the Miami Valley.

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