Payless files for bankruptcy, will close 400 stores

Payless ShoeSource (Getty Images)
Payless ShoeSource (Getty Images)

Payless ShoeSource filed for Chapter 11 protection with plans to close 400 under-performing stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including nine locations in Los Angeles County.

Stores are expected to close immediately in cities such as Long Beach, Los Angeles, Woodland Hills and Rosemead.

The Topeka, Kansas-based footwear chain has faced declining sales and said its bankruptcy filing on Wednesday was designed to restructure its debt load to position it for long-term success, Women’s Wear Daily reported.

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Payless said it is working to aggressively manage its real estate portfolio by modifying lease terms and evaluating closures of additional locations.

Payless, which was founded in 1956, operates about 4,400 stores worldwide in more than 30 countries.

The company joins a wave of bankrupt retailers including Nasty Gal, the Limited and Wet Seal Inc.

Big name retailers such as Macy’s Inc., Sears Holdings Corp., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Bebe Stores Inc. have announced store closures totaling 1,500 since the beginning of this year, according to WWD. [WWD]Subrina Hudson