Payless shoppers in Memphis say stores’ closure will hit communities

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The clock is ticking on the closing of Payless ShoeSource, which is filing for bankruptcy and forcing 2,300 stores to close their doors in the U.S.

Payless said in a statement that the company will begin liquidation sales at its stores on Feb. 17 and is winding down its e-commerce operations. They expect all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May.

The company has 13 store locations in Memphis, and some shoppers say they depend on the discount shoe store.

"We need Payless, that's where we go to do most of our shopping," said Albert Tucker, who has six children and looks to Payless ShoeSource to keep him from breaking the bank.

He says, having four girls, he knows all too well the importance of keeping them trendy on a budget.

"It's going to be bad that we won't have anywhere to shop for nice value shoes," he said.

The discount retailer will close more than 2,000 stores when it files for bankruptcy later in February.

"I could only assume it's got a lot to do with online sales and stuff like that," shopper Emily Neel said. "You see that taking down a lot of businesses."

Neel has her theory on why they are going out of business but she still can't wrap her head around the reality.

"I don't know guess I just hate to hear it, especially considering the strides the store seemed to be making when it came to offering deals," she said. "Once they started their Buy One Get One, I don't know that they ever stopped it once it took off."

Both Neel and Tucker say Payless has become kind of become a staple in communities across the country.

"All my life, since I was a little boy. I am 51 now. Payless been around a long time."

Six decades to be exact.

The shoppers we talked with tell us if the Summer Avenue store must close they hope the space won't become an eyesore.

This is the second time the chain has  gone down the road to bankruptcy. Of course, before now they were able to figure something out. If that doesn't happen this go around, going out of business sales will happen next.

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