Earlier this week, Kansas-based Payless Shoesource Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it would be closing 400 underperforming locations, including seven in Arizona.
Payless is among the slew of legacy retailers — the discount shoe retailer has been around since 1956 — that have had to adjust to the changing retail environment through closures and bankruptcy filings.
“The current bankruptcy plan is to close 400 stores and reorganize, (but) the store closures may eventually double or triple as the bankruptcy progresses,” said Craig Solomon Ganz, a partner at Ballard Spahr who focuses on bankruptcy and commercial litigation.
Ganz pointed out that most will point the finger at e-commerce, and the kings of that realm, Amazon, for the demise of long-standing retailers, and they’re not wrong: In the fourth quarter of 2016, U.S. retail sales grew by 4.1 percent year over year while e-commerce retail grew by 14 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
But that’s not the whole story.
“While that’s certainly significant, there are other factors as well,” said Ganz.
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