payless shoesource Wikimedia: Bentley Mall
Wikimedia: Bentley Mall,_Bentley_Mall.jpg

Another American shopping chain is looking to be just a memory. Payless Incorporated is preparing for its second round of bankruptcy, and with it, selling all 2,300 US stores according to Reuters. In 2017 the company closed over 500 “underperforming” stores and filed its first round of bankruptcy, however, it seems like retailer Payless ShoeSource wasn’t able to salvage its debt.

The American discount shoe retailer was founded in 1956 by cousins Louis and Shaol Pozez in Topeka, Kansas as a budget shoe retailer. Over the years the footwear retailer went public and opened over 3,600 locations internationally as well as opened their own online shop.

As a kid, I remember going to a Payless store whenever I needed a new pair of shoes. We had one in this small little strip mall located next to our local Mervyn’s (do you remember those? The store also went under after it filed for bankruptcy in 2008, 69 years after they opened). The smell was euphoric and I always loved putting on the little disposable socks and measuring my feet with the cool metal shoe measurement contraption.

Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource is the latest retailer struggling with bankruptcy as more brick-and-mortar stores are replaced by online competitors. In the last two years heavy-debt have claimed numerous companies including Toys-R-Us and Sears. Retailers Shopko, FullBeauty Brands, Charlotte Russe, Things Remembered and Gymboree are currently seeking bankruptcy protection for the second time and most stores are liquidating their wares.


Reuters reports that there is still a small chance a buyer may step forward to buy the properties, but the company is still surging forward in prepping its stores for going-out-of-business sales at all of its locations.

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Lyndsay Burginger is a food and lifestyle writer as well as the Managing Editor of Wide Open Eats. Lyndsay has worked for companies such as America's Test Kitchen and Disney, and holds degrees in Creative Writing and Culinary Arts. When she's not writing or cooking you can find Lyndsay traveling ...Read more
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