All 132 stores in the Payless Shoes network will close by February 2017, after administrators for the retail chain were unable to find a buyer for the business as a whole.
Administrators from Ferrier Hodgson said on Wednesday afternoon approximately 730 employees will be affected by the closures, although some employee contracts may be transferred to interested parties throughout the closure process. The administrators said they will now work with “interested parties and landlords” to transfer or close the Payless Shoes stores.
“While we received a number of expressions of interest from various parties, there were no acceptable offers for the business a whole,” said administrator Jim Sarantinos in a statement.
Ferrier Hodgson said all employee entitlements will be ranked as priority unsecured claims and are expected to be paid in full as a result of the administration process.
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Payless Shoes was placed in voluntary administration in November, with Ferrier Hodgson administrators Jim Sarantinos, James Stewart and Peter Gothard appointed to manage the business. At the time, the business was turning over approximately $75 million annually and employing 870 employees.
The discount retail chain was established in 1980 and survived a previous voluntary administration three years ago, before being sold to US company Payless ShoeSource. Prior to entering administration in late 2012 the company was operating 220 stores, however, this number was reduced to 150 as part of the restructure.