Retailing at the end of the world: how large chains liquidate

by MR Magazine Staff

When Payless Shoesource exited Chapter 11 in August 2017, it had shed $435 million in debt and hundreds of stores. With a rightsized footprint and balance sheet, executives told Retail Dive at the time the footwear retailer was working to build out omnichannel capabilities such as ship-to-home and pickup-in-store to bring it in line with peers. The optimism didn’t last long. That holiday season, as a restructuring officer would later explain in court papers, a key supplier got behind on shipments, disrupting inventory flows. The next year, a computer breakdown created another crisis during the back-to-school season. Overstock led to discounts on millions of pairs of shoes during this past holiday season. In 2018, Payless’s U.S. brick-and-mortar business ran up a loss of $66 million. As of February 2019, Payless had only rolled out those omnichannel improvements — key to surviving in modern retail — to just 200 stores. Read more at Retail Dive.