Payless to close 5 Connecticut stores

A Payless store front is seen in Philadelphia, in this Aug. 23, 2006 file photo. Payless ShoeSource Inc. is expected to release quarterly earnings on Wednesday, May 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

(WTNH) — Earlier this week Payless Shoesource announced they are filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and will close 400 stores nationwide. Here in Connecticut, five stores are on the chopping block, joining thousands of others from other companies that will shut their doors.

“About 3,500 stores are anticipating closing in the first half of 2017 and it’s clearly tied to the fact that the retail industry in America is in deep, deep trouble,” said David Cadden, a retired professor with Quinnipiac University‘s Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy.

Cadden points out that all over the country retail spaces sit empty, as sign that the outlook for brick and mortar retailers does not look bright.

“To a great extent it’s the e-marketing of amazon and others that really have eaten into retail operations in America,” said Cadden.

Payless’s announcement comes on the heels of other major retailers announcing similar closures, including Sears, Macy’s, JCPenney and Kmart.

Payless locations in Connecticut that are closing include Waterbury, Newtown, Norwalk, Old Saybrook and Wethersfield. Outside of the Waterbury location on Wednesday shoppers agreed online shopping is convenient.

“A lot more people are shopping online these days because it’s a lot more faster and a lot less hassle than I would guess dealing with other people and the long lines,” said Angela McCLean, a shopper.

“We need to do more supporting of our stores by going in, we’re showing more patronage I guess,” said Alicia Sales of Waterbury.

Cadden says not only will shoppers be affected by all these closures, the job market will take a hit as well.

“It’s gonna have a huge impact on the number of people who work in retail. I don’t think they’ll get as many jobs in an amazon distribution center as they will in the 150 Sears and K-Mart stores that’ll be closing this year,” said Cadden.

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