Payless plots emergence from bankruptcy again

The potential site for a $175 million GM plant is just south of the old Payless distribution center in Brookville. STAFF/EMILY KRONENBERGER
The potential site for a $175 million GM plant is just south of the old Payless distribution center in Brookville. STAFF/EMILY KRONENBERGER

Payless ShoeSource, which closed a Brookville distribution center and area retail stores last year, has emerged from bankruptcy for the second time, this time with a focus on international markets, reports say.

The Topeka, Kansas-based company said Thursday it wants to reinvigorate its largest business unit, Latin America, the Associated Press said.

The company plans to relaunch a U.S. e-commerce site and open some stores in the U.S., but it did not offer specific details, the AP said.

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In February last year, Payless confirmed plans to close its distribution center in Brookville, with plans then also to close all of its approximately 2,500 U.S. stores.

The move killed jobs for 550 distribution center workers in Brookville.

Payless’ retail operations outside of North America, including its company-owned stores in Latin America, are separate legal entities and were not included in the Chapter 11 filings.

So the latest bankruptcy filing didn’t affect its 710 franchises or stores in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, the AP noted.

The chain filed for Chapter 11 for the first time in April 2017.