Last week, Payless ShoeSource announced all of its stores in the United States and Puerto Rico will be closing – the latest retail chain falling victim to online shopping.
The company plans to file for bankruptcy for the second time in two years.
“To hear they’re actually closing is bittersweet,” said Ana Lebron, a former employee. “It was like home for a lot of people who couldn’t afford to go to the really expensive stores.”
The discount shoe store joins a long list of iconic brands like Toys R US and Sears closing down from drowning in the red.
While shoppers prefer to buy in-store, more people are shifting to shopping online as big boxes have a tough time competing with lower prices on places like Amazon.
According to Coresight Research, a company tracking retail, in the two months of 2019 U.S. retailers have announced 2,187 store closures- including Gymboree, J.C. Penney, Charlotte Russe and Ann Taylor.
On the flip side, the firm says this year there have been about 1,400 store openings, offsetting the closures by about 65 percent.