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Payless Kicks Off the Back-to-School Season With Select Shoes Under $10 a Pair and New Program to Make Gearing Up for School Easier on Parents

Program Includes the Latest Trends and Brands, Foot Measuring Service, Cross

   Promotion with OfficeMax(R) and Industry-First -- Extended Sizing on Key
                              Children's Styles




TOPEKA, Kan., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's leading specialty family footwear retailer, Payless ShoeSource , kicked off the all-important shoe-shopping season -- Back-to-School -- with a layered program including, as always, the latest seasonal trends; stronger-than-ever Payless value pricing on key children's styles priced under $10; its well-known kids' foot measuring service offered by Payless store associates; a cross promotion with new partner OfficeMax; and an industry-first -- extended children's sizing from the traditionally largest youth size of 4.5 up to size 6 youth in select styles across Payless children's brands including Smartfit(TM), Airwalk(TM), Champion(TM), American Eagle by Payless, Disney(TM) and Dunkman(TM).

The extended sizing program is the direct result of Payless listening and responding to its customers who conveyed feedback that they buy for children whose feet are adult-sized, but the fashion, styling and pricing of adult shoes makes it challenging to find the right styles for these kids. Payless is offering 20 boys, girls and athletic styles in sizing up to size 6 youth (equivalent to size 8 in women's and size 6 in men's) to address the feedback.

"Customers are telling us that kids are growing faster every day and we all know the importance of the right shoe size to healthy feet and development," said LuAnn Via, CEO and president of Payless. "Payless has always offered our kids' foot measuring service, and we are among a select few retailers to do so. We are thrilled to combine our always-available measuring service with our new extended-sizing program to help parents keep children in kid-appropriate styles and the right size this Back-to-School season."

In addition to size and style fit, Payless is always looking to fit parents' pocket books, too. Updating student wardrobes and school uniforms can put a strain on family budgets, so starting today Payless will be offering about 15 kids' styles -- including a classic boy's oxford and girl's mary jane, unisex court shoe, and slip-on canvas sneakers, among others -- at the reduced price of under $10 (starting at $8.99) a pair in all stores nationwide and Payless.com. The company has bolstered its inventory to support this special Back-to-School pricing available now through Aug. 10, while supplies last, on the select styles.

"We are always dedicated to offering great value, but we have worked harder than ever to offer special Back-to-School pricing to extend the Payless value promise to a whole new level," said Via.

Pricing at Payless in general averages under $20 an item for shoes and accessories from the Payless branded collection. That means parents in today's tight budgetary times don't have to spend a lot to send their kids back to school outfitted in the latest brands and trends. As with every season, the Payless Back-to-School collection continues to offer the latest must-have shoe and accessory trends such as slouchy ankle boots, ruffled flats, beaded moccasins, graphic sneakers, plaid messenger-style bags and printed scarves, among many others.

Great Fit, Style, Price -- and Brands Too!

Payless is well known as a "House of Brands" retailer with an expanded portfolio of well-recognized brands offered at stores including Airwalk , American Eagle by Payless, Dexter , Champion and Dunkman(TM) and designer labels alice + olivia for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless and Abaete for Payless. The newest brands to hit Payless stores now include STPL x Airwalk(TM), a street-meets-skate collection designed by street style icon jeffstaple, Payless' Zoe & Zac(TM), the first-ever affordable green shoes that offer "Fresh Green Fashion" for the eco-fashionista, and the much-anticipated designer line Christian Siriano for Payless, due in stores Sept. 8.

Payless & OfficeMax Cross-Promotion -- More Savings on School Supplies & Shoes

Beginning July 26 through Sept. 12, Payless and OfficeMax have teamed up to deliver additional savings on the all-important gear needed to start school -- school supplies and shoes. OfficeMax shoppers have an opportunity to spend just $.01 on special weekly product offers as part of OfficeMax's "Back-to-School for Pennies" promotional program and receive a register receipt coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more at any Payless store (excluding those in Shopko Stores) in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and Payless.com(R). Payless shoppers at nearly 2,900 stores can look forward to receiving a register receipt coupon valued at $10 off a purchase of $30 or more at all OfficeMax nationwide stores (offer not available at OfficeMax.com). Please see register receipt for terms and conditions.

About Payless & Collective Brands, Inc.

Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories and inspiring fun, fashion possibilities for the family at a great value. As of the end of first quarter 2009, the company operated more than 4,500 stores. In addition, customers can buy shoes over the Internet through Payless.com at www.payless.com.

Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its more than 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands American Eagle(TM), Airwalk , Dexter , Champion and designer collections Abaete for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless, alice + olivia for Payless and Christian Siriano for Payless, among others; Stride Rite, focused on lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite , Keds , Sperry Top-Sider , Robeez , and Saucony , among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk , Vision Street Wear , Sims , Lamar and LTD . Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.

    AMERICAN EAGLE BY PAYLESS IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS





SOURCE  Payless ShoeSource, Inc.

    -0-                           07/28/2009
    /NOTE TO EDITORS: product samples and production-quality images are
available upon request./
    /CONTACT:  Mardi Larson, +1-612-928-0202, mardi@mardilarson.com, for
Payless ShoeSource, Inc./
    /Web Site:  http://www.payless.com /
    (PSS)

CO:  Payless ShoeSource, Inc.; OfficeMax
ST:  Kansas
IN:  REA
SU:  PDT CHI

PR
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5192 07/28/2009 09:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com