Payless Beckons Bargain Hunters With Going-Out-of-Business Sales at 389 Stores

Calling all bargain-seekers: Two financial services firms assisting bankrupt retailer Payless ShoeSource in its closing of nearly 400 stores released a joint statement today touting “significant discounts” at the shuttering locations.

Great American Group and Tiger Capital Group said that they’re helping debt-saddled Payless in the closing of 389 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico as the company begins the process of reorganizing and restructuring via Chapter 11. (In conjunction with its bankruptcy filing last week, Payless had said that it planned to close the underperforming stores in an effort to rightsize its fleet and prop up its balance sheet.)

For bargain-conscious shoppers across the United States, the store closing sales represent a pragmatic opportunity to save a significant amount of money on a universal need,”  Scott Carpenter, president of GA Retail Solutions, a division of Great American Group, said in a release.

During the store-closing sales, the companies said shoppers will find substantial markdowns on brands such as American Eagle by Payless, Christian Siriano for Payless, Airwalk, Dexter and Dexflex Comfort, as well as Brash. Kids’ brands include SmartFit as well as character shoes. (The stores are listed on Payless’ site.)

Everybody needs footwear, whether you’re a runner, office worker, parent or maybe all three,” said Michael McGrail, COO of Tiger Group, in a release. “These store-closing sales epitomize the retailer’s familiar slogan — Go To, Get More, Pay Less.'”

After months of speculation, Payless filed for Chapter 11 protection on April 4, 2017.

The company’s North American entities, as well as two Hong Kong-based entities involved in logistics (CBL) and supply chain (DAL), are included in the company’s restructuring plan, which was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis. Payless said it has also filed for recognition of its U.S. Chapter 11 proceedings in courts in Ontario, Canada.

The company said it inked a Plan Support Agreement with two-thirds of its first- and second-lien holders to reduce its debt load by nearly 50 percent, lower its interest costs and access “significant” additional capital to expedite its emergence from Chapter 11.

This is a difficult but necessary decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify,” Payless CEO Paul Jones said in a statement last week. “We will build a stronger Payless for our customers, vendors and suppliers, associates, business partners and other stakeholders through this process.

Payless said it will continue to operate its business in the ordinary course in terms of its customers, vendors, partners and employees as it seeks immediate relief from the court, including authority to pay pre-filing wages, salaries, benefits, honor customer programs, and pay vendors/suppliers for all goods and services provided on or after the filing date.

Factories in Taiwan, Hong Kong and parts of China make up the majority of the list of Payless creditors with the largest unsecured claims while, U.S.-based Fila USA Inc. has the 11th largest unsecured debt at $5.2 million.

Payless, founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kan., had operated approximately 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries.

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