City leaders say Topeka job market may help former Payless employees

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Some employees at the headquarters of Payless, in Topeka, say they and others are being laid-off. KSNT News called and emailed Payless several times to confirm the layoffs. Payless haven’t returned any of the messages.

City Councilwoman Karen Hiller said the Topeka community is willing to help employees who may be laid-off.

“I’m heartened to see how the community has stepped forward right away, saying look we’ve got a lot of things happening in this community, don’t even look around,” she said. “Let’s talk about what other opportunities might be here for you. We want to take care of you, we want to keep you we need you.”

Amy McCarter of the Greater Topeka Partnership says there are a lot of businesses expanding and hiring.

“We’re hopeful that if the changes mean something different for our community members career or job-wise, they’re able to still stay in Topeka and find something else that they’d like to do while they’re here.”

On Monday a Payless Shoesource spokeswoman sent the following statement to KSNT News:

“We continue to evaluate Payless’ structure as part of the ordinary course of business and in furtherance of the Company’s go-forward strategy. Although Payless emerged from Chapter 11 with a strong foundation, given the changing retail environment there are additional steps that must be taken to position our business model to create sustainable growth, ensuring the customer is at the forefront of everything we do and enabling us to take full advantage of our competitive strengths in North America, online, and around the world.”

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