It looks like another one of your teen shopping hotspots may be going the way of the dodo. After news that mall stalwarts The Limited and Wet Seal would be shuttering stores across the United States, Payless might soon be following in their footsteps. Business Insider reports that as part of a debt restructuring deal, Payless plans on closing 1,000 stores.
Blame Zappos, blame the fact that malls are in trouble, or blame the company for growing too fast. With over 4,400 stores in 30 countries, it might just be too much for the brand to handle. Maybe the stores were too dependent on their famous BOGO sales or the collaborations with fashion-forward designers such as Christian Siriano, Isabel Toledo, Alice + Olivia, and Lela Rose didn’t resonate with shoppers (the only one that remains is Siriano’s capsule collection). The brand also dropped customer favorite services like custom-dyed bridesmaid shoes in the aughts and hoped that bringing in brands such as Airwalk and Champion would boost its caché in the athleisure and athletic shoe markets.
Late last year, Payless told Footwear News that it planned on closing between 350 and 500 stores. Rumors of financial trouble continued in January, when it laid off 165 employees at its corporate offices in Topeka, Kansas. At the time, Reuters reported that the company was $655 million in debt.
But closing stores may not be enough. Bloomberg adds that if the restructuring isn’t approved, the chain could file for bankruptcy. More news is expected sometime this month.