Kona Payless ShoeSource store to close

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KAILUA-KONA — The Payless ShoeSource branch at Kona Coast Shopping Center will soon shutter its doors for good.

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KAILUA-KONA — The Payless ShoeSource branch at Kona Coast Shopping Center will soon shutter its doors for good.

Payless announced Tuesday plans to close 400 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico as part of a “restructuring” in the wake of filing for bankruptcy.

Meghan Spreer, senior analyst, corporate communications with the company, said a specific timeline for the closure of the Kona store has not been established but will depend on how quickly remaining inventory is sold.

“I don’t have effective store-close dates, but the liquidation is going to start immediately,” said Spreer, adding a third party was hired to handle the process and will oversee discounts and promotional plans to accompany the liquidation.

Based on information from an employee at the Kona location, the store does not have an on-site manager and employs two people.

“I did not know it was closing. That’s a bummer,” said Nicole Keanaaina, who was shopping Wednesday at the store. “Kona is so limited in what they do have. It’s bad to see stores closing down.”

The Sports Authority, which was located at Kona Commons, shut its doors last year.

Payless also has a location at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo, which is not among the 400 stores scheduled for immediate closure. As to the Hilo branch’s future, Spreer could not provide specifics.

“The only thing I can say is that as we move through the process we’ll continue to evaluate our real estate lease portfolio hoping to modify terms, which could ultimately (lead to) evaluating foreclosures in additional locations,” she said. “But right now, the 400 that we announced are it. For now.”

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Payless currently has 4,400 locations worldwide and employs more than 20,000 people.

Email Max Dible at mdible@westhawaiitoday.com.

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