Monday, December 11, 2023

Payless to shutter Williamsburg store amid bankruptcy

The Payless on Monticello Avenue. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

Fans of Payless in the Historic Triangle should stock up on their favorite discounted wedges, sandals and flats.

Payless is closing its Williamsburg store, 4640 Monticello Ave., the company said in a recent release.

The announcement comes roughly two months after the Topeka, Kansas-based shoe retailer filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a federal bankruptcy court in Missouri.

“As part of Payless’ Chapter 11 restructuring, we are taking steps to further rationalize our store fleet in the U.S. and Puerto Rico,” Meghan Spreer, a Payless spokesperson, said in an email. “We do not anticipate store closures in other markets as a result of this action, including Latin America and Canada. We are seeking U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to close 112 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and we are also seeking the authority to close up to an additional 296 stores in those regions.”

There is no date yet for when the Williamsburg Payless ShoeSource will close, according to Spreer, since the shutdown and liquidation procedure varies by location.

“We have hired a third party to oversee the liquidation process for the closing locations, and that oversight will include specific discounting and promotional plans,” Spreer wrote in an email.

The Williamsburg Payless is one of nine Virginia stores targeted for closing since April, including two Virginia Beach locations, according to Payless announced six Virginia store closings on April 5.

The Williamsburg location appeared on a second list of store closings released on May 24. That roster identified three additional Virginia stores, including a second Virginia Beach location: Hilltop North Shopping Center. The other Virginia Beach location to be closed is at Haygood Shopping Center.

Separately on May 24, Payless identified six Virginia locations that may close, depending on negotiations. One of those stores is in Newport News.

The Williamsburg Payless closing comes as traditional retailers struggle to compete amid the rise of e-commerce.

“We intend to use the Chapter 11 process to implement a comprehensive path forward to meaningfully enhance our growth profile and profitability, positioning us to continue to thrive as a sustainable business in the face of the retail industry’s radical, unprecedented transformation,” Payless says in an online statement.

More information about Payless store closings is available online.

Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

Related Articles