Footwear retailer Payless ShoeSource is closing more than 400 stores across the US as part of its financial and operational restructuring plan.
To take place in the upcoming weeks, the move comes after the company filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the US Federal Bankruptcy Code last month.
With the reorganisation strategy, the company aims to optimise its footprint, reduce its debt, improve its balance sheet, and invest in growth areas such as omnichannel expansion, product and inventory initiatives, as well as international expansion.
According to al.com, Payless filed a motion with the authority requesting closure of 112 stores, and is also seeking to close additional stores of up to 296 in the US and Puerto Rico.
The retailer is currently carrying out negotiations in relation to some of its stores to continue its operations in the US.
Payless spokeswoman Cristi Allen was quoted by al.com as saying: "We remain hopeful that between now and the hearing on this motion currently scheduled for 8 June 2017, negotiations will result in consensual modifications and rent concessions with respect to these additional stores and that many of the 296 will remain open."
The latest closures include three each in Chicago and San Antonio, as well as two each in Brooklyn and Oklahoma City.
During the bankruptcy filing last month, Payless ShoeSource CEO Paul Jones said: "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.”
Image: Payless ShoeSource at Fairview. Photo: courtesy of [email protected] Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Wikipedia.