Bankrupt shoe chain Payless closing 2 local stores

RAYNHAM, Mass. (WPRI) – The shoe-store chain Payless has announced it will close two of its Southeastern Massachusetts locations, one day after the company filed for bankruptcy.

A list released by Payless showed the retailer plans to close its stores at the Market Basket plaza in Raynham and the Wareham Crossing plaza in Wareham. They are among nearly 400 “underperforming locations” that will shut their doors immediately, with more closings possible going forward, according to Payless.

Other Payless stores in the region that will remain open for now include locations in Taunton, New Bedford and Mansfield. The retailer’s website also shows a significant number of stores in other Southern New England communities, including Providence and Warwick.

Kansas-based Payless, founded in 1956, says it currently has roughly 4,400 stores and nearly 22,000 employees.

“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.

Payless is one of a number of retail chains that have been struggling as more Americans do their shopping online. The electronics retailer RadioShack also filed for bankruptcy recently and is in the process of closing multiple local stores.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram