Scott Brady

Turning competitors into a revenue sources

Payless Cashways

Hyper-market to market history

I write more about Payless than any other:

  • I was recognized by customers, management, and executives repeatedly.
  • The factors that contributed both to the company’s rise and fall are very similar to the factors that made Home Depot the largest in the industry, and make it vulnerable to a similar fate on a larger scale.

I had a lot of fun with  Hugh M. Woods (division of the now defunct Payless Cashways). This was before I exited retail for a time to run a remodeling business on Governor Roy Romer’s Ranch. Watching what happened after I left was a difficult prediction to be proud of. What is interesting about the fall Payless was that it wasn’t the economy but the employees that put that ultimately put the company under.

CEO announces new President

She was a VP from accounting with no customer service or sales experience. It’s important to note that in addition to benefits and wages the company had a cash incentive program that was paid quarterly based on sales increases over 5%.

Due to a hail storm the year before incentive paid were high on a low margin product – roofing shingles. Making the sales goal at the beginning of that year difficult but attainable, barely.

Soon after the new leadership raised the incentive threshold to 10% making incentive threshold unobtainable under the circumstances. To me this wasn’t an issue, I had another source of income that double my full time wages working nights ten hours a week. My supervisor had a similar work ethic driving heavy equipment on his days off.

Woods had an inter-store merchandise transfer system which required contact with other stores. During those contacts I began to detect an attitude change of employees. There was some dissent in our store, but much more in others.  My part-time work took me into other stores on several occasions, and could see the writing on the wall. Customer satisfaction dropped along with traffic and revenues. The rest was history for them, and history can be repeated.

Coming soon?
  • Understanding the numbers
  • The corporate spy?




This entry was posted on September 17, 2011 by in Payless.


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