And, on Tuesday, the company did indeed file under Chapter 11, announcing the closing of 400 of its worst-performing stores.
"The company is likely to close more stores, as Payless said it planned to" work to aggressively manage the remaining stores" through additional closings beyond the 400 or modified lease terms.
The Kansas-based chain, founded in 1956, now operates 4,400 stores in 30 countries, including 3,600 in North America. The New Jersey Payless locations closing are: Loews Shopping Center, East Rutherford Marlton Crossing, Marlton... It is closing about 400 stores, including 378 in the United States. Two other Waterbury locations, and one in Torrington, will remain open. In Connecticut five stores are expected to close. "It is going to depend store by store", she said.
ABC's Aaron Katersky says Payless has been around since the 1950s, but bankruptcy will be hard in a challenging retail environment. Payless joins a growing list of national and regional retailers and restaurants hit by changing consumer interests and online competition.
Under the company's plan to cut debt and reestablish its reputation, creditors will be getting paid less.