Five local Payless stores will be closing, as the shoe chain is the latest to chafe financially because of the continuing consumer shift from in-store shopping to online retailing.
Payless ShoeSource has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the company says that means the immediate closing of nearly 400 stores, including five in Erie and Niagara Counties.
They include the Eastern Hills Mall store in Clarence, Eastgate Plaza store on Transit Road in Amherst, the Aurora Village Shopping Center in East Aurora, 5999 South Park Avenue in Hamburg and Mid-City Plaza in North Tonawanda.
The chain, which was founded in 1956, has more than 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries.
More and more, shoppers are shifting their buying online, or going to discount stores to score deals on designer brands. That has hurt traditional retailers, even those like Payless that feature lower prices for their wares.