Payless ShoeSource Inc. has announced it will lay off employees in Topeka, Kansas. These Payless layoffs in Kansas will affect around 48 employees.
Last year, the retailer was struggling and had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Payless’ Chapter 11 protection was followed by the announcement of about 800 store closures, which helped the company to reduce its debt from $850.0 million to just over $400.0 million.
In January, Payless ShoeSource said that it was planning to realign and modernize its retail organizational structure in North America. This effort would help the company to provide the best service to customers in what is a continuously changing retail environment. The idea was to raise the number of associates working closer to the store level and reduce the gap between its corporate headquarters and retail stores. How many jobs would be affected was not revealed at that time.
Payless’ Earlier Layoffs in Kansas
Payless had layoffs at its headquarters in Kansas last year as well, with employees notified in November. Officials didn’t release any details about these Payless job cuts in Kansas, but some of the employees were spotted leaving the company’s offices with blue folders and hugging each other. Payless layoffs in 2017 affected around 150 employees over the course of the year.
“We continue to evaluate Payless’ structure as part of the ordinary course of business and in furtherance of the Company’s go-forward strategy,” said a Payless spokesperson. “Although Payless emerged from Chapter 11 with a strong foundation, given the changing retail environment there are additional steps that must be taken to position our business model to create sustainable growth, ensuring the customer is at the forefront of everything we do and enabling us to take full advantage of our competitive strengths in North America, online, and around the world.”
In recent years, the footwear retailer has struggled to maintain market share. It introduced self-service to reduce prices, which, while initially a hit with customers, is no longer new or exclusive. Payless layoffs in Kansas could also possibly be attributed to this self-service initiative.
“WARN Information,” KansasWorks, last accessed February 27, 2018.
“Payless cutting corporate jobs to ‘realign’ around stores,” Retail Dive, January 30, 2018.
“More layoffs reported at Payless ShoeSource in Topeka, company silent,” KSNT, November 16, 2017.
“More layoffs begin at Payless,” WIBW, November 16, 2017.