The Ocean County locations escaped the axe that time, but they may not be so lucky this time according to reports.
Payless ShoeSource plans to close its entire fleet of USA stores and file for bankruptcy, Reuters reported. The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations.
Payless has more than 3,600 locations in 40 countries and more than 18,000 employees, according to its website.
The chain has 20 stores in New Jersey. A spokeperson said its global franchises and Latin American stores will not be affected.
Payless reportedly plans to close thousands of stores in what could be the largest retail liquidation. It is unknown how many of those are in the United States and Puerto Rico. After decades of growth, the company - like many mall-dependent retailers - struggled to compete with online retailers.
Shoppers are increasingly shifting their buying online or heading to discount stores such as T.J. Maxx to grab deals on name-brand shoes.
Payless ShoeSource to close all stores.
After no such deal could be clinched, the Topeka, Kansas-based company has chose to initiate preparations to liquidate, the sources said.