Discount shoe retailer Payless opened a fake luxury store in Los Angeles, called “Palessi,” where it sold shoes typically valued at $19.99-39.99 for prices as high as $640.
The retailer says the event was part of a stunt to inform the public that their shoes are of high quality, regardless of discounted prices.
“Payless has gone to great lengths to create a portfolio of fashionable and high-quality shoes, but perceptions of the brand lag far behind this,” Sara Couch, chief marketing officer of Payless, said in a news release. “The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion.”
After about $3,000 worth of products were sold to fashionistas, the retailer revealed the stunt then returned the money to the buyers and let them keep the shoes, Adweek reported.
According to the magazine, the event was held at a former Armani store that was converted for the event by advertising agency DCX Growth Accelerator.
“Payless customers share a pragmatist point of view, and we thought it would be provocative to use this ideology to challenge today’s image-conscious fashion-influencer culture. The “gotcha” genre works particularly well for Payless because there is such a discrepancy between how the influencers see the shoes and how they see the Payless brand,” said Doug Cameron, chief creative officer of DCX Growth Accelerator.