Business concerns in Emporia

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) — Since the start of 2017, Emporia businesses have announced two stores are closing. Payless Shoe Source and Rue21. What’s the reason behind it?

A lot of people are shopping more online than they are in stores, but that’s not just in Emporia — it’s all over. Payless is struggling with its competition from online shoe sites like Amazon. The same story for the teen clothing store, Rue21 — less foot traffic in the stores and more shoppers online. Jeanie McKenna, President of Emporia’s Area Chamber of Commerce said stores closing is more of a corporate plan versus a lack of customers.

“You can look at that and be sad,” McKenna said. “And we’re sad for the employees who are losing their jobs, but right now we’re seeing a lot of growth in Emporia within our retail business and unique niches.”

Several stores like Wet Seal, Macy’s and Sears have announced they’re either closing stores, filing for bankruptcy or laying off employees just to keep up with how the retail world is changing.

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