‘Payless’ opens fake luxury store with $600 shoes for fashion experiment

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- In an elaborate fashion experiment, a shoe retailer known for low prices convinced prominent fashionistas to buy their kicks for hundreds of dollars.

Payless Shoes took over a former Armani store, and set up a fake luxury shoe outlet called "Palessi." The outlet was loaded with the retailer's discount footwear priced ridiculously high.

They then invited fashion influencers to Palessi, who later raved and spoke highly about the shoes.

The influencers paid $200, $400, even $600 for shoes normally priced between $20 and $40.

Over $3,000 worth of shoes were sold within the first few hours of the store opening.

Eventually, Payless let them in on the joke, refunded their money and even let them keep the shoes.

The point of the experiment was to remind customers that Payless is a place to shop for affordable fashion.

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

The company plans on using the footage for a series of upcoming ads.

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