Payless Shoes closing hundreds of stores

Payless Shoes owner considering selling company

NEW YORK - The parent company of Payless and Stride Rite shoe stores says it plans to close hundreds of retail outlets and has engaged a firm to help it explore its options after posting a big second-quarter loss.

Topeka, Kansas-based Collective Brands says it is conducting "a review of strategic and financial alternatives," typical language for companies looking to put themselves up for sale.

In the meantime, it will close about 475 underperforming stores, including 75 Stride Rite locations.

More than 300 will be shuttered by the end of the year.

Collective Brands says it lost $35 million, or 58 cents per share, for the three months ended July 30.

That included a series of impairment and severance charges that cut income by $83.6 million.

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