Online shopping

Payless will shutter all 2,100 U.S. stores

Payless ShoeSource
Photo: Roberto Machado Noa via Getty Images

Between March and May, discount shoe store Payless plans to close its entire American footprint, encompassing 2,100 locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as its e-commerce operation, CNN reports.

Details: Payless, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2017 and could do so for a second time this month, had more than 3,600 locations in 40 countries and over 18,000 employees before the current round of closures. The retailer's international franchises and Latin American storefronts will not be affected.

Go deeper: Read Axios' special report on the future of retail

Two Americas, divided by how we shop

Illustration of a flashing neon sign showing a shopping cart and dollar signs
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The phrase "future of retail" conjures images of cashier-less groceries, super-fast drone delivery and interactive shopping. But it's instead set to look very different depending on where you live — some Americans will have an array of choice and convenience while others will live in zones barren of retail.

Why it matters: The future of retail will worsen inequality. The affluent will stroll through beautifully designed brick-and-mortar shops injected with state-of-the-art tech. Meanwhile, consumers in lower-income areas and in smaller towns face a future of big-box retailers and basic dollar stores as their local malls decay.

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