The steady trickle of store closures could continue in the near future. And though Payless is announcing most of its closures, it has kept mysteriously quiet about a couple closures in the central San Joaquin Valley.
The discount shoe retailer has closed eight stores from Merced to Hanford and Visalia so far. The company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Some customers have said the store didn’t keep up with the trends. The chain is also facing the same challenges as many specialty stores, including shoppers going online amid a glut of brick-and-mortar stores.
Despite all that, the retailer that once had 3,500 stores worldwide is hoping to emerge from bankruptcy a leaner, more profitable company.
To do that, it’s eyeing closures of around 800 stores. Here are the Valley stores that have closed so far.
▪ Manchester Center, Fresno
▪ Fulton Mall, Fresno
▪ 3235 First St., near Shields Avenue, Fresno
▪ 3172 Tulare St., near First St., Fresno
▪ 1822 Olive Ave., Merced
▪ 180 N. 12th St., Hanford
▪ 4147 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia
The Payless store at Herndon and Willow avenues is also on the chopping block, though employees are telling customers it will remain open.
Payless has a list of stores that it is renegotiating leases with in hopes of getting a better deal. The company is threatening to close the stores if negotiations fail.
The Visalia Mall store was also on the list but is staying open, said mall general manager Rick Feder.
Payless has been reporting closures as part of its ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. Two stores, however, have closed in the Valley that never were announced. The 12th Avenue store in Hanford and the Mooney Boulevard store in the Packwood Creek center.
When asked why, a Payless spokeswoman said in an email: “As stores closed, we removed them from the master lists. As we move through emergence, a new press release will be issued and posted on our site.”