Payless (formerly known as Payless ShoeSource Inc.) is an international discount footwear chain. Established in 1956 by cousins Louis and Shaol Pozez, Payless was a privately held company owned by Blum Capital, and Golden Gate Capital. In 1961, it became a public company as the Volume Shoe Corporation which merged with The May Department Stores Company in 1979. In the 1980s, Payless was widely known in the U.S. for its Pro Wings line of discount sneakers, which often had Velcro straps instead of laces. In 1996, Payless became an independent publicly held company. In 2004, Payless announced it would exit the Parade chain and would close 100 Payless Shoe outlets. On August 17, 2007, the company acquired the Stride Rite Corporation and changed its name to Collective Brands, Inc. The company had a total revenue for 2011 of US$ 3.4 billion. The company also has a stunt premium banner, Palessi Shoes. Payless is currently owned by a group of investors led by Alden Global Capital and Axar Capital Management.
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