BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday March 23, 2017 – Payless shoe store, which operates several branches in at least four Caribbean countries, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as next week Bloomberg News has reported.
Sources told the news outlet that the company is initially planning to close 400 to 500 stores as it reorganizes operations.
Payless’ bankruptcy comes at the height of a troubling year in retail for the company. Back In January, Reuters reported that Payless was trying to restructure about approximately US$665 million in debt. A month later, credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its debt rating, saying the decision reflected “weaker than anticipated operating performance”.
Payless was bought by private equity firms Golden Gate Capital and Blum Capital Partners in 2012, as part of the breakup of publicly traded Collective Brands Inc.
The company, founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kansas, employs almost 22,000 people, according to its website. It has more than 4,000 stores in 30 countries.
Payless operates stores in Barbados, St Lucia, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.