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The Ask: 

Redesign a dated retail space for one of America's most well known and struggling shoe brands.


Over the years, Payless has been the shoe store known for BoGos, kids shoes, and destroying the Airwalk brand (according to our interviews). While many savvy shoppers take pride in deal hunting and often brag about their TJ Maxx hauls, the Payless brand somehow missed the mark when it came to serving up steals with a great experience. The culprit? Their retail space. 

THE Approach: 

The first thing we wanted to do was to pull Payless from the dark depths of their horrific logo redesign of 2002 and bring back Cooper Black. With a fresh, fun new visual identity we were able to reposition Payless as not just a shop for cheap shoes, but as an invitation to try out new fashion possibilities.

THE Executions: 

1. Payless' old stores were claustrophobic and trashy (literally and figuratively). To help customers think of Payless as a place for exploration, we opened up the floorpan and gave customers a place to try on looks, not grab shoes from a wall.

2. Introducing Payless as a partner for exploration gave us space to play with packaging and print. Our new employee guidelines, shoe boxes, and shopping bags all look to empower and inspire both customers and new daring looks.  

3. Because Payless sells both adult and children's shoes and (let's face it) kids can at times detract from the average shopper's experience, we designed our stores to have designated (and sectioned-off) kid's corners so that parents can shop for their kids and themselves without worrying that their child is terrorizing other visitors.

Why is this a good idea? 

Finding steals and getting thrifty is (and hopefully will remain) hot. But, when the store looks like it was robbed before you start shopping, the environment itself cheapens an already cheap product. With this modern take on their Pay-Less (sorry I had to) model, you get a new experience that will stand the test of time.

What Did Lou Do? 

1. Consumer research (ask me about my surveys)

2. Strategy and positioning development

3. Company research and competitive analysis

4. Retail location research, placement recommendations

5. Presentation design

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