Payless ShoeSource is shutting these 30 stores in Southern California

Payless ShoeSource said it will immediately close nearly 400 of its 4,400 stores.
(Matt Rourke / AP)

Payless ShoeSource Inc. is closing about 400 of its stores, nearly 50 of them in California, as the shoe chain reorganizes its business after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In Southern California alone, the Topeka, Kan., chain will shut 30 stores.

Payless said it will immediately start liquidation sales at nearly 400 stores nationwide as part of the reorganization. The company, founded in 1956, has more than 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries.


A Payless spokeswoman said Wednesday that store closure dates will vary by location.

Payless plans to reduce its debt by almost 50%, lower how much it pays in interest and line up funds. The company said some of its lenders have agreed to make available up to $385 million to keep the stores running.

“This is a difficult, but necessary, decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify,” Payless Chief Executive Paul Jones said in a statement.

Shoppers are increasingly shifting their buying online or going to discount stores such as T.J. Maxx to grab deals on designer brands. That shift has hurt traditional retailers, even low-price outlets like Payless.

Moody’s Investors Service said in February that the number of “distressed” retailers — those with cash problems and lots of debt that are facing strong competition — has jumped, reaching the highest rate since 2009. It named Payless as one of the retailers.

Several retailers have closed stores or gone out of business in 2017. The Limited closed all 250 of its remaining stores early this year. It had operated nearly 400 stores at the end of 2000. Teen retailer Wet Seal said in January that it would close its 171 stores.

In Southern California, Payless will close stores in:

  • Azusa
  • Bell Gardens
  • Brea
  • Calexico
  • Corona
  • El Cajon
  • El Monte
  • Encinitas
  • Fullerton
  • Garden Grove
  • Hemet
  • Huntington Beach
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles (2)
  • Orange
  • Palmdale (2)
  • Riverside
  • Rosemead
  • San Bernardino
  • San Clemente
  • San Ysidro
  • Santa Ana (2)
  • Torrance
  • Upland
  • Valencia
  • Wilmington
  • Woodland Hills

Those stores’ addresses, along with addresses of nearby stores that are slated to stay open, can be seen on the complete list of closures.

Times staff writer Samantha Masunaga contributed to this report.


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April 5, 2:40 p.m.: This article was updated to include information about California store closures.

This article was originally published on April 4 at 3:25 p.m.