Another retailer will be leaving Great Bend, shoppers learned Wednesday. The Payless Shoesource at 3511 10th St. is on the list of nearly 400 Payless shoe stores that will close as part of a company-wide reorganization.
Last month, JC Penney company announced its store in Great Bend will close this spring, along with more than 100 other Penney’s store nationwide.
Payless ShoeSource announced Tuesday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest retailer to succumb to increasing competition from online rivals like Amazon. The Topeka-based retailer has over 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries and was founded in 1956.
Other Kansas Payless stores that will be closing are located in Liberal, Emporia and at the Hutchinson Mall. The JC Penney store at the Hutchinson Mall is also closing.
Like JC Penney, the company has had a presence in Great Bend for decades. Prior to the opening of Great Bend Plaza, a strip of storefronts adjacent to the Walmart Supercenter in the 3500 block of 10th Street, there was a “Pay-Less” store at 2526 10th St.
Shoppers are increasingly shifting their buying online or going to discount stores like T.J. Maxx to grab deals on designer brands. That shift has hurt traditional retailers, even low-price outlets like Payless.
In fact, Moody’s Investor Service said earlier this year that the number of “distressed” retailers — those with cash problems and lots of debt that are facing strong competition — is at 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 in January said it would close its 171 stores.
Consumers will have full access through 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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.