Payless ShoeSource affirmed Friday that it will close its 2,100 stores in the U.S. what’s more, Puerto Rico and begin liquidation deals Sunday. The company is likewise covering its e-commerce operations.

The closings mark the greatest by a single chain this year and nearly doubles the number of retail stores set to close in 2019.

“We expect all stores to remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. “This process does not affect the company’s franchise operations or its Latin American stores, which remain open for business as usual.”

The Topeka, Kansas-based rebate shoe retailer had recently declared financial insolvency insurance in 2017 and shut 673 stores.

In a September news release, Payless said it was “the largest specialty footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere” with more than 3,500 stores in 40 countries worldwide and nearly 18,000 employees.

Days before Payless confirmed stores would be shuttered, Coresight Research on Wednesday released an outlook of 2019 store closures that said there was “no light at the end of the tunnel.”

Preceding the Payless declaration, 2,187 store closings had been reported in the initial a month and a half of the year, as indicated by the worldwide statistical surveying association’s report. This spoke to a 23 percent expansion over a similar timeframe a year ago.

Those closings incorporate 749 Gymboree stores, 251 Shopko stores and 94 Charlotte Russe locations.

For 2018, Coresight Research followed 5,524 closings, which incorporated all Toys R Us stores, and several Mattress Firm stores, Kmart and Sears areas, and Brookstone’s residual shopping center stores.

The record year for closings was 2017, with 8,139 covered stores, Coresight detailed. This incorporated the 2017 Payless closings, the whole HHGregg gadgets and machine chain and many Sears and Kmart stores.

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