PAYLESS SHOES TO CLOSE NEARLY 400 STORES NATIONWIDE

Payless ShoeSource said today it petitioned for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to immediately close nearly 400 locations.

Payless said it plans to use to filing to strengthen and restructure the company’s debt load, invest in areas for sustainable growth, and immediately close nearly 400 under-performing stores around the U.S. and Puerto Rico. No specific stores have been listed for closure as of yesterday afternoon. There are two Payless ShoeSource locations in Knoxville and one in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

According to a release, it filed a voluntary petition for reorganization pursuant to Chapter 11 of the U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Code to facilitate the financial and operational restructuring. The Company’s North American entities, as well as two foreign Hong Kong-based entities involved in logistics (CBL) and supply chain (DAL), are included in the restructuring.

This is a difficult, but necessary decision that was driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify,” said Paul Jones, Payless Chief Executive Officer. “We will build a stronger Payless for our customers, vendors and suppliers, associates, business partners and other stakeholders through this process. While we have had to make many tough choices, we appreciate the substantial support we have received from our lenders, who share our belief that we have a unique opportunity to enable Payless the iconic American footwear retailer with one of the best-recognized global brands to remain the go-to shoe store for customers in America and around the globe.”

Consumers will have full access to the Payless corporate website www.paylesscorporate.com to information about the location of stores at which they can shop if their current store is being closed, as well as information about going-out-of-business sales.

The Company has also established a call center for questions: 844-648-5574 if calling from within the U.S. or Canada, or 1-347-505-5254 if calling from outside the U.S. or Canada.

Payless ShoeSource is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere. Payless has approximately 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries and was founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kan. where its global headquarters remains today.

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