After more than six decades in the shoe business, Payless ShoeSource announced it will shutter all of its stores in North America, which includes 18 locations across San Diego County.
San Diego-area stores span from north to south, east to west, including stores in Vista, Escondido, La Mesa, Santee, El Cajon, National City, Chula Vista, and San Ysidro. Many local stores are inside malls including one at Westfield Mission Valley, one at Westfield Plaza Bonita, one at Grossmont Center and one at Parkway Plaza, to name a few.
The company’s website displayed this message Wednesday morning: “After 62 years, all Payless stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are closing. Liquidation sales now in all locations: 20% to 40% off lowest ticketed prices!”
In a letter addressed to customers, the company said today’s “rapidly changing retail environment” forced the difficult choice to shut down the company’s operations in North America.
The company said it is in the process of working out details for the wind-down of its North American operations, including about 2,500 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. Gift cards and store credit will be honored until March 11.
The company said the stores will remain open until at least the end of March, with the majority remaining open until May.
Payless, based in Topeka, Kansas, was founded in 1956. It grew to include hundreds of stores internationally, including 420 stores in Latin America, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Saipan, and 370 international franchise stores across the Middle East, India, Indonesia, Indochina, Philippines and Africa.
In April 2017, the chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the first time. At that point, the company began reorganizing and closed nearly 400 stores across the U.S., including three locations in San Diego County.
Earlier this month, the company announced it was preparing to file its second bankruptcy.