CANADA: 'Ill-equipped' Payless to close 248 stores across the country

CANADA: 'Ill-equipped' Payless to close 248 stores across the country

"Payless intends to use these proceedings to facilitate a wind-down of its approximately 2,500 store locations in North America and its e-commerce operations", the company said in a statement.

"Despite our best efforts to address the rapidly changing retail environment, we - like many other retailers - have been forced to face very hard choices", the company said, in a statement.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April of 2017.

"The challenges facing retailers today are well documented, and unfortunately, Payless emerged from its prior reorganization ill-equipped to survive in today's retail environment", said Stephen Marotta, the company's chief restructuring officer. The shoe company will be entering the bankruptcy and creditor protection process, according to CBC News.

The company, which has also filed for bankruptcy in the USA, says it will begin closing stores at the end of March, though some will be open until the end of May while it conducts liquidation sales.

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It's estimated the company employs just over 2,400 people in Canada.

The company is seeking authorizations from courts to be able to continue honouring gift cards and store credit until March 11, 2019 and to allow returns and exchanges of purchases made prior to February 17, 2019. In a letter to customers posted to its web site on Tuesday, Payless said it is unable to operate its North American business on a sustainable basis.

Payless was founded in 1956 by two cousins, Louis and Shaol Lee Pozez, to offer self-service stores selling affordable footwear.

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