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February 19, 2019

Bankrupt Payless to close all its stores in Maine

Payless ShoeSource Inc., a discount footwear retailer based in Topeka, Kansas, filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, announcing that it will liquidate more than 2,100 stories in the United States, including its remaining locations in Maine.

Slated to close in Maine are Payless stores in South Portland at the Maine Mall, in Windham, Auburn, Westbrook, Bangor, Augusta and Waterville, according to the company's website.

Payless spokeswoman Lauren Jeffords told the Bangor Daily News that liquidation sales at its U.S. and Puerto Rico stores began on Feb. 17 and it is winding down e-commerce operations.

"We expect all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May," she told the BDN.

It's the second bankruptcy for the company, which closed more than 400 underperforming stores stores in the United States and Puerto Rico as part of its 2017 Chapter 11 cost-cutting plan. Payless stores in Maine that closed as part of that filing were The Shops At Biddeford Crossing in Biddeford; Aroostook Centre in Presque Isle; Broadway Shopping Center in Bangor; and Maine Coast Mall in Ellsworth.

In its filing Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Payless listed both its assets and liabilities as being in the range of $500 million to $1 billion.

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