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Payless ShoeSource may close up to 11 more LI stores

This Payless ShoeSource on Main Street in Patchogue

This Payless ShoeSource on Main Street in Patchogue was already slated to be shut. The company said Tuesday, May 30, 2017, it will close up to 11 more stores on Long Island. Credit: Ed Betz

Shoe chain Payless ShoeSource is seeking authority to close up to 408 more stores in a second round of closures, including 11 on Long Island.

The Topeka, Kansas-based retailer is requesting bankruptcy court approval to close 112 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and could potentially close another 296 stores if ongoing negotiations with store landlords are not successful, according to court documents filed last week.

“As part of our efforts towards managing our real estate portfolio, we have been working diligently to negotiate rent concessions on the remaining leases,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday.

In formulating the second store closure list, Payless considered profitability, recent sales, the geographic market and potential rent reductions, according to court documents.

A hearing on the store closures is scheduled for June 8 before Judge Kathy Surratt-States in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis. If the request is approved, the additional closings would bring the total closed Payless stores to nearly 800. Last month, Payless said it would close an initial 389 stores.

The spokeswoman said the company hoped “that many of the 296 will remain open.”

The company, which has 4,000 stores around the world, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 4.

Payless plans to close two stores on Long Island, at 62 E. Main St. in Smithtown and 71 Forest Ave. in Glen Cove.

Nine other stores that could be closed pending negotiations with landlords are 144 Fulton Ave. in Hempstead, 60 N. Research Place in Central Islip, 1430 Union Tpke. in New Hyde Park, 1445 Hempstead Tpke. in Elmont, 4250 Jerusalem Ave. in Massapequa, 710 Franklin Ave. in Franklin Square, 2410 Merrick Rd. in Bellmore, 2024 Montauk Hwy. in Bridgehampton and 846 Sunrise Hwy. in Bay Shore.

The initial Payless stores on Long Island that were already slated to close were at 45 E. Main St. in Patchogue, Century 21 Plaza at 1079 Old Country Rd. in Westbury and one in Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City.

Last week, Payless said it was investigating whether its leveraged buyout by private equity firms and the dividend payments they received led to its bankruptcy, according to court papers.

With Reuters

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