(Image / Wikimedia Commons)

After more than 60 years of operation, Payless Shoes has just announced that it will be closing all of its Canadian retail spaces by the end of the year, a move that has already been made by the company for all of its American locations.

The footwear retailer said that the difficult decision to close down their physical stores and e-commerce sites was due to a rapidly changing retail environment, large store footprints, yet-to-be implemented systems, and remaining debt.

“While we have worked diligently with our suppliers and other partners to best position Payless for the future, we have been unable to operate our North American businesses on a sustainable basis,” said Payless in their announcement.

While the company’s website has shut down, physical stores remain open across North America. In Canada, locations are expected to start closing in March of 2019 with all 248 stores closing by May, 2019.

“We would like to express our deep gratitude for your loyalty and for your business over the years,” said Payless to its customers.

Four Payless ShoeSource locations can be found in Victoria, one at the Hillside Shopping Centre, one at the Mayfair Shopping Centre, one at The Bay Centre, and one at the Tillicum Shopping Centre.

Closing sales

As stores begin to close across the country, liquidation sales will also be held at every location.

For customers with gift cards or store credit, Payless says that it has sought authorization from Canadian courts to continue to honour the credit until March 11, 2019. The business will also allow returns on applicable sales made before February 17, 2019 – until March 1.

Meanwhile, the company has discontinued its ‘Rewards’ program and has stopped accepting coupons in both Canada and America, “effective immediately.”

While Payless is closing down all of its North American stores, the retailer’s locations in Latin America and beyond will remain open. In fact, the business believes it will continue to see profitable growth in these markets for years to come.

“We would like to extend our appreciation to our hard-working, dedicated associates who have worked tirelessly to deliver an exceptional service to our customers,” added Payless.

“Again, our sincere gratitude goes out to our customers for their loyalty and support over the years.”

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