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Payless ShoeSource Aims to Improve Workplace Safety With New Safe T Step(R) Slip Resistant Footwear Line and Incentive Program

New Program Helps Safeguards Employees, Offering Discount Incentives to Wear

Slip Resistant Shoes, Available in Stores Nationwide Beginning at Under $20

CHICAGO, May 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Payless ShoeSource, the nation's leading footwear retailer, today announced the launch of its new Safe T Step(R) line and incentive program, designed to reduce the risk of accidents and injury in the workplace by making slip resistant footwear more accessible to America's workers.

Payless brings workplace safety a step further with the launch of its Safe T Step program, offered free to businesses where slippery floors are prevalent. The program is designed to incent workers to stay safe and wear slip resistant footwear by providing employees of participating companies 10 percent off their entire regularly priced Payless purchase when they buy a pair of Safe T Step shoes for work. Safe T Step shoes are available at prices beginning at under $20 at all Payless stores nationwide and online at payless.com(R).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 1.5 million people in the United States were injured on the job last year alone. Slips, trips and falls were a primary cause of these injuries, also accounting for some 15 percent of accidental workplace deaths.

"Wearing slip resistant footwear on the job could help prevent many of these accidents and tragedies," said John Haugh, Payless chief marketing officer and senior vice president of business development. "In the past, however, this technology was cost-prohibitive for many wage earners. Payless is dedicated to making slip resistant technology readily accessible to every worker with the launch of Safe T Step footwear, which starts at just under $20 a pair."

Payless' Safe T Step line offers high-end sole and patented comfort technology found in shoes costing significantly more. Now featuring 9 styles, the line consists of leather and man-made versions in casual and athletic styles, including a steel-toe work boot. Payless plans to continually update the line to ensure it meets the uniform and dress code requirements of a wide range of industries, as well as consumer preferences.

"Slips, trips and falls are of particular issue in work environments where water, oils and other liquids reside on floors, such as in restaurants, hotels, casinos, healthcare and nursing home and other facilities," said Haugh. "The raised up tread pattern and flexible sole of slip resistant shoes allow for better floor contact, giving oils and liquids less room to get under foot and cause slipping."

"Workers can take advantage of the Safe T Step coupon and get discounts on as many regular price shoes and accessories as they wish, so long as they also purchase Safe T Step shoes for work," said Haugh.

Payless has already signed nearly 30 participating companies in the Safe T Step program, including Dairy Queen and Nath Companies, which operates Burger King restaurants throughout the midwest and southeast. Payless is working with Blackwatch, LLC, Minneapolis, to market, promote and sign up companies under the program.

"The Safe T Step product line and incentive program benefit both the participating companies and their employees," said Greg Heinemann, president of Blackwatch. "The employees get a comfortable, stylish and affordable shoe that keeps them safer on the job, and with the discount they can outfit their entire family in the latest footwear and accessory styles from Payless for even less. Participating companies appreciate the program because it gives them a free benefit to pass onto their valued employees, while incenting them to wear proper footgear on the job. It keeps employees safe and drives workers' compensation and absenteeism costs down."

According to Heinemann, the Payless Safe T Step program is unique because it is retail-based, rather than e-commerce or catalogue-based.

"The Payless Safe T Step program is unique because of the value price point and Payless' large national retail store chain which has lots of convenient locations where employees can try on their on-the-job footwear and purchase -- at a discount -- a wide range of other products to meet their whole family's needs."

For more information on Payless' Safe T Step line and program, please contact Blackwatch, LLC at 612.377.4458, Payless ShoeSource at 1.800.231.9415, or visit www.safetstep.com .

Payless ShoeSource, Inc. (NYSE: PSS), the world's footwear authority, is the smart shopper's source for high-fashion, high-value footwear and accessories for the entire family. With 5,000 retail stores throughout North, Central and South America and its e-store Payless.com(R), Payless puts more feet in the latest footwear fashions than any other retailer.

Media Contact: Mardi Larson, 612.928.0202 or mardilarson@aol.com

SOURCE Payless ShoeSource

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Interviews, photography and product samples available/
/CONTACT: Media, Mardi Larson for Payless ShoeSource, +1-612-928-0202, or
mardilarson@aol.com /
/Web site: http://www.payless.com /
(PSS)