Customers will no longer be able to "Expect More, Pay Less" now that Payless ShoeSource Canada Inc. has officially announced that the company intends to close all of its 2,500 North American stores, including 245 Canadian retail outlets. The announcement follows news of the shoe retailer's plan to file for creditor protection in Canada.
Payless ShoeSource's chief restructuring officer Stephen Marotta mentioned in a release to the public that the closures are occurring because a prior organization left the company in an "ill-equipped" condition to survive today's retail environment. The Kansas-based company is currently struggling with excessive debt and too large a store footprint.
According to official company documentation, Payless ShoeSource employs approximately 2,400 workers in Canada and has failed to pay February's rent for 220 of its 248 stores in Canada. An operating loss of over US$12 million was reported last year.
According to documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court, the company possessed an overstock of inventory this winter and was pressured to sell off merchandise at steep discounts.
Payless has also filed for bankruptcy in the US and expects to begin closing stores at the end of March.
There's also some good news, though. Some stores will continue to remain open until the end of May, and we can look forward to some extravagant liquidation sales. I mean, you really can't have too many pairs of shoes, right?
But shoe-lovers across the continent are aching at the loss and demise of another great, American discount brand. Company loyalists have been quick to declare their grief and despair on social media today, as a result.
Some customers have even urged the public to take advantage of the impending sales as an opportunity to purchase some cheap shoes to donate to the homeless.
If Payless closes where the hell is everyone who only goes to church on Easter suppose to get their shoes— Nik (@Lenardthagod) February 15, 2019
Payless closing is not a good sign for our economy. Payless is one of the few accessible retailers selling affordable, comfortable, stable restaurant-approved footwear for folks who have to be on their feet all day in kitchen and service roles.— adrienne lives in Nashville (@adriennefriend) February 15, 2019
I actually think Payless could have competed with stronger designs and a better web presence. Bishes love cheap shoes 🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/VW8WZNMnhw— Antoinette “Asst (To The) Regional Manager” Childs (@TheFancyFriend) February 16, 2019
My kids won’t ever know what Payless is wow— Miajah Simone 👽 (@MISIDET) February 16, 2019