Payless Shoes bankruptcy seeps into Richmond

Payless is closing nearly 400 stores nationwide, including two in Richmond. (Raysonho via Wikimedia Commons)

Payless is closing nearly 400 stores nationwide, including two in Richmond. (Raysonho via Wikimedia Commons)

Another national retailer is trimming its store count in the Richmond market.

Payless ShoeSource announced Tuesday it will close two of its eight area locations, as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization that will shutter 378 stores nationwide.

The two local stores on the closure list are at Virginia Center Commons and Chippenham Forest Square.

The company said its bankruptcy is intended to reduce debt and improve online sales.

Payless announced the “immediate closure” of 378 underperforming stores. The location at Chippenham Forest Square will be closing within the month. No closing date has been set for the store at Virginia Center Commons, a Henrico mall that was sold in January for $9 million.

Payless’ six remaining local outposts are at Chesterfield Towne Center, Regency Square, Hanover Square, Chesterfield Crossing Shopping Center, Breckenridge Shopping Center and The Shops at White Oak Village.

Morgan Trible, a broker with Commonwealth Commercial Partners who handles leasing at Chippenham Forest Square, said he learned of the closure this week and had no immediate replacement tenant.

A spokesperson at the management office of Virginia Center Commons said the mall had just heard of the pending closure.

Payless is the latest national retailer to depart Richmond this spring.

Women’s clothing retailer Bebe is closing its only area location at Stony Point Fashion Park to go exclusively online, while RadioShack is closing all of its remaining Richmond locations following bankruptcy struggles of its own.

POSTED IN News, Retail, Top News

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William Sweeney

America has 6 times the retail space per capita than Europe, mostly selling clothing and shoes.

Online competition coupled with the increased costs of entitlements, regulatory issues, leases, and taxes combined with the high cost of commercial debt will continue to stress these overextended retailers. The shakeout has just started.

Next we will see the retrenchment of overextended retail space REIT’s.