History of Payless
Payless Shoes, Inc. is the largest footwear retailer in the United States and operates about 4,700 stores in all fifty states as well as Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Ecuador, Guam, Japan, Puerto Rico, Saipan and the United States Virgin Islands. Its goal is to become the most successful shoe retailer in the world.
The company was founded as Pay-Less National in Topeka, Kansas by two cousins. In 1956, Louis and Shaol Pozez had a vision of creating a self-serve shoe store that offered a large selection with affordable prices. They focused primarily on women and children’s shoes and three stores were opened in Topeka within a year of their first opening.
The first stores were located in former grocery markets where the cousins stripped out the original fixtures, replacing them with simple, unpainted wooden shelving. They limited the stores’ staff to a manager and one or two employees. Bundled with keeping a tight rein on cost structure and insisting on efficient sourcing and inventory controls, the cousins realized their dreams. The original Payless stores offered a pair of shoes for fewer than three dollars.
Payless has gone through several changes over the years. The name changes to Volume Distributors and then is renamed Volume Shoe Corporation. It changes again in 1978 to the Payless Shoe Source and May’s Department Stores Company acquired it in 1979. In 1996, May’s spins Payless back out to the shareholders and it once again becomes a publicly traded, independent entity.
Today’s target market is a woman between the ages of 18-44 and she has an annual income of less than $75,000. She will buy at least one pair of shoes a year at Payless. The chain is trying to position Payless as a marketing authority for value pricing in footwear and accessories. They are increasing the selection of leather goods, new product offerings, and updating the store’s image to one with a more contemporary look and feel.
Furthermore, they are enlisting the aid of the fashion media and using celebrity spokespeople to communicate this goal to the public.
Find Promotional Discounts and Coupons for Payless
On October 29, 2009, Oprah’s guest on the show was former Project Runway contestant and winner Christian Siriano. Siriano is now a designer for Payless Shoes. Oprah announced that she had posted a coupon for Payless on her website. The coupon was for an incredible 50% off at any Payless shoe store in the country. Viewers could also text the Oprah show and get the coupon sent straight to their phones. The offer was good for only two days, October 29 & 30, 2009. The Oprah effect was in full swing and people flocked into Payless as soon as her show ended. The purchases piled up and shoppers left more than half-empty shelves in the stores by the end of the sale. The Oprah effect caused what a Payless spokesperson called “a busy in-store environment”.
Now, the best bet is to visit the Payless website. Register and receive coupons, special offers and promotions right in the mailbox. Coupons can be printed out and taken to a local store or use the coupon code on the company’s internet shopping site.