Payless ShoeSource

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Payless ShoeSource
Industry Retail
Founded 1956
Headquarters Topeka, Kansas
Number of locations
14,523 (2010)[1]
Key people
Paul Jones, CEO
Products Shoes, Sandals, Flip Flops, Water Shoes, Socks, Accessories
Revenue Increase Sales $3.32 Billion USD (FY 2010)
$97.30 million (FY 2010)
Number of employees
Parent Golden Gate Capital, Blum Capital
Slogan Everybody Loves to Payless.
Website Payless ShoeSource

Payless ShoeSource is an American discount footwear retailer headquartered in Topeka, Kansas in 1956 by cousins Louis and Shaol Pozez that is owned by Collective Brands, Inc. In 1961, it became a public company as the Volume Shoe Corporation which merged with the May Department Stores Company in 1979. In the 1980s, Payless was widely known in the U.S. for its Pro Wings line of discount sneakers, which often had Velcro straps instead of laces. In 1996, Payless ShoeSource became an independent publicly held company. In 2004, Payless ShoeSource announced it would exit the Parade chain and would close 100 Payless Shoe outlets. On August 17, 2007, the company acquired the Stride Rite Corporation and changed its name to Collective Brands, Inc.[2] The company had a total revenue for 2011 of US$3.4 billion.[3] It was announced on May 1, 2012 that the company would be purchased by Wolverine World Wide, Blum Capital, and Golden Gate Capital for US$1.32 billion.[3][4]


Former Payless ShoeSource logo used until 2006. It is still seen in many locations.


Circa 1962-63, Volume Shoe company purchased the original Hill Brothers Shoe Company based in Kansas City, Missouri and converted approximately all 25 of their stores to the "Payless" name. In 1971, Volume Shoe obtained the second Hill Brothers Shoe Store chain that was started in St. Louis, Mo in 1956 by Al Melnick and Sol Nathanson with the assistance and aid of the original Hill Brothers in Kansas City. The St. Louis version of "'Hill Brothers Self Service Shoe Store'" went from 3 to 103 stores in the Midwest and South between 1956 and 1971. Volume Shoe originally operated the 103 stores under the "Hill Brothers Self Service" name.

Payless ShoeSource store, Briarwood Mall, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Starting in 1972, Volume Shoe began to consolidate stores in proximity and convert others to the "Payless" brand. The St. Louis operation of "'Hill Brothers Self Service'" stores were known for their bare bones minimalism and the slogan "two for five - man alive!", that is, women and children's shoes were two pair for five dollars.[5]

Payless bought Picway Shoes from the Kobacker department store chain in 1994.[6]


On June 27, 2006, Payless announced that it was launching a new logo created to represent a more stylish and contemporary company. This is the first rollout of stores in 2012 and beyond.

St. Lucia[edit]

In 2014, Payless opened its first store in St. Lucia at the Baywalk Mall in Gros-Islet. This is the only Payless store located on the island of St. Lucia.


In 2012 Payless expanded into the Barbados market by opening the first ten-employee store at Haggatt Hall, St. Michael. The group's CEO announced four more are also planned to open, and this will increase its local operations to 50 employees.


Payless Shoesource opened in Jamaica in January 2011 and today has a total of 12 stores on the island.


In July 2010 Payless opened 9 stores in the Philippines.

Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia[edit]

In April 2011, Payless launched its first store in Jakarta, Indonesia followed by one store in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore within the same year and under the same management. Payless Shoesource operates 3 stores in Singapore, 8 stores in Malaysia, and 19 stores throughout Indonesia. Since Payless ShoeSource shut down Suntec City and Tampines 1 stores, leftovers is in JCube, Changi City Point, Centrepoint and Excelsior Hotel.


Central Marketing Group (CMG), a business unit of the Central Group, has signed a franchise agreement with Kansas-based Payless ShoeSource that will see outlets next year in Bangkok - Chonburi, making Thailand its 15th franchise country. It will also adopt Payless's new Hot Zone format and purchase products directly from the seasonal assortments, with slight adjustments for local needs.[7]


  1. ^ Collective Brands 2010 Annual Report
  2. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  3. ^ a b Hawley, Brenna (May 1, 2012), "Payless ShoeSource owner agrees to $2B sale", Kansas City Business Journal,, retrieved May 27, 2012 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Oltrogge, Sarah C. Images of America: East Village. Arcadia Publishing SC: February 2010. Page 43.
  6. ^
  7. ^ CMG walks off with Payless franchise Published: 3/12/2011

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