Discount footwear chain Payless ShoeSource sought bankruptcy court protection Tuesday, announcing it will close 400 stores after facing bruising competition from online retailers and other setbacks.

Jacksonville area stores escaped those closures.

Payless, like other traditional store-based retailers, has had its share of tough online competitors in like Amazon and shoe supplier, which cut costs by having fewer employees and lower real estate costs. Payless CEO Paul Jones said competition is sure to get rougher.

"This is a difficult, but necessary, decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify," said Jones in a statement.

The closest stores to our area closing will be stores in Atlanta and Orlando.