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Payless ShoeSource

National retailer of shoes.

3231 SE 6th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66607
Employees: 14,000
CEO: W. Paul Jones
Privately held

Website: http://www.payless.com

Career Site

Payless ShoeSource is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the nation. It is now part of Collective Brands.

Collective Brands is the operating company for Payless ShoeSource and Collective Licensing International.

Payless ShoeSource has over 4,000 stores in its retail chain. Brands for Payless include Airwalk, American Eagle, Champion, Dexter, Disney, Shaquille O’Neal-endorsed Dunkman, ABT for Spotlights, and designer collections: Abaeté for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless and alice + olivia for Payless.

The Stride Rite Corporation: centering on premium lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children’s footwear sold primarily through wholesaling arrangements and more than 300 Stride Rite store locations. Brands for Stride Rite include Stride Rite, Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Tommy Hilfiger footwear, Saucony, Hind, and Robeez, among others.

Collective Licensing International: specializing on brand management and global licensing of its expanding portfolio of youth, lifestyle and high-quality fashion athletic brands. Brands for Collective Licensing include: Airwalk, Vision Street Wear, Lamar, Sims, LTD, genetic, Dukes, Rage.

Collective Brands was acquired by private equity firms Golden Gate Capital and Blum Capital.


Payless ShoeSource was founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kansas, by two cousins who perfected a revolutionary idea: selling shoes in a self-service environment. Their self-service format allowed consumers to browse and try on shoes without waiting for sales help. More than four decades later, that idea continues to provide millions of shoppers a convenient, friendly experience.

In 1961, Payless became a public company, as Volume Shoe Corporation. In 1979, Volume Shoe merged with The May Department Stores Company.

In 1996, Payless ShoeSource, Inc. was spun off to shareowners and became an independent, publicly held company. Payless shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the trading symbol PSS.


- Medical, Dental and Vision Plans - Plans available for both full- and part-time workers. Coverage begins after two months of employment
- Life and Disability Insurance
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Retirement 401(k) - Company will match contributions depending upon annual profits with a minimum of $.20 cents per $1.00 for first 5% contributed.
- Employee Stock Ownership Plan - 5% discount
- Time Off

- Vacation - Associates begin accumulating vacation time after six months with the company. Eligible associates receive two weeks vacation each year for the first five years. After five years, associates receive three weeks vacation and four weeks after 10 years.
- Personal Days - Additional days are provided for associates to handle personal matters.  Associates are also encouraged to use this paid time for philanthropy and community service activities.
- Holidays - Payless observes the following national holidays: New Years Day, Easter (Stores), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, day after Thanksgiving (Non-Stores) and Christmas Day.
- Sick Days - Associates begin to accrue sick days after two months of employment. Full-time associates accrue 4 hours of sick leave each month. Part-time corporate associates accrue 2 hours of sick leave each month. The maximum sick leave accrual is 36 days for full-time and 18 days for part-time.    

- Product Discounts - 30% discount for full-time associates and 20% for part-time associates. The discount does not apply to gift cards or purchases on www.payless.com.
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Adoption Assistance
- Employee Assistance Program
- National Partner Discounts

Updated April 7, 2014