Payless ShoeSource is looking for buyers of its real estate as part of an expected bankruptcy filing, the second in two years, according to CNBC, including a large block of stores in certain areas of the country.
CNBC said Payless may need to shut down a majority if not all of its North American locations if it can’t find any buyers, with Chapter 11 waiting in the wings should a white knight fail to materialize.
Payless filed for bankruptcy protection and set up a restructuring plan in April 2017, including the closing of 400 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Payless CEO Paul Jones said in a statement at the time: “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.”
The retail landscape has been littered with bankruptcies in recent years, the latest candidates including Charlotte Russe, Sears and Gymboree. Many companies have struggled to pivot quickly enough in what had been an overbuilt industry shifting to omnichannel.