Payless Tricks Influencers Into Spending Thousands of Dollars at 'Fake' Store

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The shoe is on the other foot.

The shoe is on the other foot.

Payless, the discount shoe brand, pulled a fast one when they tricked social media influencers into shelling out big bucks for their footwear.

They pulled off the feat by throwing a luxury event, taking over an old Armani store in California last week. Changing their name to "Palessi," the retailer marked up shoes that were worth $20-$60 to 10 times their value — pricing them at $200-$600 for the event. 

In just a few hours, "Palessi" sold $3,000 worth of shoes. Once the purchases were complete, staffers revealed that the shoes were, indeed, Payless. 

The ploy seems to have worked for the company. Influencers posted videos to social media, praising the quality of the shoes. Payless took those videos and turned them into commercials. 

"The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion," said Payless CMO Sarah Couch. 

In August 2017, the footwear brand pulled itself out of chapter 11 bankruptcy, after closing 670 stores. Currently they have 2,700 stores in America and 3,500 worldwide, in addition to their website.