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May 19, 2019

Payless tricked ‘influencers’ into paying $600 for $20 shoes at fake ‘Palessi’ store

November 29, 2018

A fancy price tag means everything.

A fancy price tag means everything.

Payless proved just that when it took over a former Armani store and invited a group of “influencers” to the opening for a high-end designer called Palessi. Except, it was still Payless.

The pop-up shop sold all of Payless’ regular merchandise: boots, heels, sneakers, flats and more. Except instead of the normal $20-40 price range, shoppers were forking over $200 to $600.

Within the first few hours of the grand opening, “Palessi” made about $3,000. One overexcited shopper dropped $640 on a pair of boots at an 1,800% markup.

Influencers were invited to the grand opening of “Palessi” to shop for overpriced Payless shoes. (Payless)

“The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion,” Payless CMO Sarah Couch told AdWeek.

Payless said that the 80 influencers who showed up got full refunds for their purchases, but were allowed to keep the shoes anyway. They were also paid to attend.

The discount shoe store filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and closed almost 700 locations before coming back that August. Payless currently has about 2,750 stores in North America and 3,500 worldwide.

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