Payless closing list doesn’t leave Indiana unscathed

The Indianapolis area has escaped a round of closures by troubled footwear retailer Payless Inc.

The struggling discount chain, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 4, has released a list of nearly 400 Payless Shoe Source stores that it plans to close immediately. Only one store in Indiana, at Plaza North in Terre Haute, is on the list.

Payless has about 15 stores in the Indianapolis area, with nine in Indianapolis and others in Carmel, Plainfield, Greenwood, Avon, Noblesville and Greenfield. It has more than 50 locations statewide.

The retailer said additional closings could be coming. It originally planned to close 1,000 locations.

Payless’s bankruptcy would add to a tumultuous year in retail, with several bankruptcies and hundreds of store closings—even at companies that aren’t distressed. The industry is racing to try to adapt to more online purchasing and a shift away from mall shopping.

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 4,400 stores in 30 countries.

Texas is losing the most Payless stores, with 66 closures on the list. California is losing 49 stores, New York 22 stores and Florida 17.

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