Discount shoe chain Payless Inc. will be one of the casualties of the disrupted retail market environment. The discount shoe chain is gearing up for bankruptcy filing after its master plan to boost sales by launching more stores failed.
Up to 500 Payless stores will have to be shuttered in connection with the discount shoe chain's plan to restructure and reorganize its operations, according to a Bloomberg News report. Although the figure is fewer than the initial plan to close down 1,000 stores, it would still affect thousands of employees who may lose their jobs in connection with the process.
Customers' increasing preference of online shopping had hit the retail sector hard. Several retail companies had already filed bankruptcies and closed stores just to cope with the changing market environment.
USA Today reported that Payless, which has been around since 1956, has more than 4,000 stores in 30 countries. The discount shoe chain's workforce hits nearly 22,000, and it has not been disclosed how many of that total count would be affected by the bankruptcy.
Payless is working on adapting to the customers' preference of online shopping by investing more in e-commerce solutions. Payless CEO Paul Jones said that the discount shoe chain is hoping to offer omnichannel capabilities to its consumers as soon as possible.
Payless reportedly has to deal with $665 million in debt. On top of that, the discount shoe chain also failed to deliver a strong operating performance, pushing rating agency Moody's to downgrade its debt rating.
Payless is not the only retail company that is suffering from the change in consumers' choice of shopping mode. Sears and KMart stores owner Sears Holdings recently disclosed that it needed more cash in order to stay afloat.