NEW YORK (AP) – Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest retailer to succumb to increasing competition from online rivals like Amazon.
The Topeka, Kansas-based retailer said Tuesday that it will be closing nearly 400 stores as part of the reorganization. It has over 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries and was founded in 1956.
Payless plans to reduce its debt by almost 50 percent, lower how much it pays in interest and line up funds. The company says some of its lenders have agreed make available up to $385 million to keep the stores running.
In a statement, Payless CEO W. Paul Jones called the move a “difficult, but necessary decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment.”
The company plans to shut down roughly 400 stores immediately.
Payless has not yet released the list of stores to close. According to a post on the company website, more information about specific store closures will be available after 11am Wednesday.