Footwear retail giant Payless Shoe Source Inc announced on Friday it will axe an "undetermined" number of jobs and close 104 under-performing stores in a move that will result in a fourth quarter charge of $43 million.

The shoe retailer recently cut 200 jobs as part of a restructuring exercise but said in a statement on Friday it now plans to shut 67 stores operating under the Parade trade name, as will as 37 Payless Shoe Source stores.

However, executives said they plann to open up to 80 new stores during 2002 and continue to back 2001 earnings estimates.

They added they expect to benefit by $25-$30m from the restructuring and still forecast "mid single-digit" negative same-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2001.

With 4,974 stores, Payless is North America's largest shoe retailer. It has made almost 200 employees redundant in three phases since November.

The cuts come amid a 4.6 per cent dip in same-store sales in December. The company also reported earlier this month that same-store sales were down 2.4 per cent for the first 11 months of fiscal 2001.