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Payless is a family footwear retail store that offers a comprehensive and trendy range of shoes for everyday activities and special occasions. Items are offered at affordable prices and are available for all members of the family. Payless’ primary objective is to become the most successful shoe store in the world. 

This is by expanding its accessory and footwear businesses while maintaining a balance in its balance sheet as it strives to achieve more profitability. This will go a long way in positioning Payless as the number one value-price accessory and footwear store. Below are some of the things you should know about Payless. 

History of the Brand

Payless was founded by Louis and Shaol Pozez in Topeka, Kansas in 1956. The two cousins started with their first three stores the first year and offered quality shoes at affordable pieces. By the end of the decade, they had 12 more stores and had expanded to Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. From the very beginning, the goal was to offer low prices and keep overheads low. 

Louis and Shaol located the stores in former supermarket buildings and only changed their appearance a bit using unpainted wooden shelves. They also adopted a self-service format that allowed them to reduce the number of staff needed. Each store had only one manager and a maximum of two clerks. Today, the company continues to adopt a self-select model that includes great customer service. 

Payless employs more than 25,000 associates globally and is currently a privately held company owned and operated by Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital. 

Business Directions 

Payless is one of the largest footwear stores in the United States. It operates about 4,700 locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Saipan, Guam, Canada, the Caribbean, Japan, Ecuador, Central America, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It also sells shoes online through the website Much of the company’s success has been built on offering a wide selection of footwear at affordable prices. Most shoes sell for as little as $15 and below. 

Payless is able to maintain profitability by maintaining a tight cost structure and using efficient inventory and sourcing controls. Its main customers are women aged between 18 and 44 with a household income of not more than $75,000. The company estimates that at least 40% of the women targeted by a pair of shoes at a Payless store. It currently distributes 

Key Facts

Payless filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017 and was forced to close 673 stores in the United States. It filed for bankruptcy again in 2019 and closed all its remaining stores in Canada and the United States. It was able to emerge from this and relaunched an e-commerce store in the U.S.

Currently, Payless distributes footwear through Footwear Specialty Retailers, Inc., in the Philippines. It opened a store in July 2010 in the region and has been able to expand this to 65 new stores around the country. 


Are there any Payless still open? 

Payless emerged from bankruptcy a second time in January 2020. It launched its new website where people can shop for shoes. 

Is Payless closing in Jamaica? 

Payless closed stores in the U.S. but promised to stay open in Jamaica. 

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 11:00 - 20:00
Tu 11:00 - 20:00
We 11:00 - 20:00
Th 11:00 - 20:00
Fr 11:00 - 20:00
Sa 11:00 - 16:00
Su 11:00 - 17:00

Locations: 170 locations in 41 states and 155 cities.


  • Shoe Stores
  • Women's Fashion Accessories

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