The company was founded by H.J. Contos in 1947 in Anderson, Indiana. In 1960, a second store was opened in Lafayette, Indiana. Contos died in 1961, and the company was taken over by his son, Lawrence D. Contos. The company was acquired by The Kroger Company in the 1990s. Kroger today continues to operate the Pay Less banner under its Central division, which includes Owen's Market, and Scott's Food & Pharmacy.