Cheap shoes matter. At least that’s what one discount shoe retailer wants you to think.
Notorious cheap shoe store, Payless, recently went out of their way to prove a point by hoodwinking and bamboozling people into paying hundreds of dollars for their inexpensive shoes.
Beauty influencers were stoked when they were invited out a private luxury shoe sale in California, but little did they know they were being ‘catfished’.
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Discount shoe retailer Payless wanted to prove a point, so it opened a luxury shoe store called Palessi and filled it with the brand’s inexpensive footwear.
Payless recently went to the ritzy Santa Monica area to take over a former Armani store and stocking it with $19.99 pumps and $39.99 boots. For the grand opening of ‘Palessi’, the chain invited groups of influencers and asked their opinions on the “designer” wares.
Those invited to the store “Grand Opening” had no idea they were, in reality, attending a discount shoe elegantly displayed. The party-goers took the bait, hook, line, and sinker as they swooned over the “artistic, exquisite, eloquent and quality” shoes.
When shopping the store, some paid upwards of $600 for shoes they THOUGHT were pricey designers, but they actually were Payless shoes that typically cost $20 to $40.
Many of the influencers commented on the quality of the shoes, and were shocked when they found out they’d been duped!
The shoes were marked up 1,800 percent for good measure and within three hours Paylessi had sold over $3,000.00 in product.
**This Payless sneaker, which normally retails for $34.99, reportedly sold for $645 at Palessi.
Payless CMO Sarah Couch says the chain aimed to tackle the brand’s perception issues head-on at a time when retailers are feeling more heat than ever from giant e-commerce sites.
For the record, Payless calls the prank “a provocative social experiment designed to challenge today’s image conscious culture”.
Fortunately, the catfished buyers got their money back AND some free cheap shoes for their trouble.