View from Parking Lot
Payless ShoeSource is a national retailer with over 1,000 stores, and is adding between 100 and 150 stores per year in the northeast US region. Store size is in the 3,500 to 4,500 SF range. The northeast region, which includes Philadelphia, has its headquarters in Baltimore, MD. Corporate headquarters are in Topeka, Kansas. The Payless Shoe program therefore involves communicating and coordinating services and projects between Topeka, Baltimore, Philadelphia, material and equipment vendors virtually all over the country, and the sites on which the stores are built. The projects include surveys, application of Payless design criteria in the development of preliminary plans, lighting and HVAC design, and complete architectural documentation.
Payless Shoe has a highly refined process for putting stores in place. Stores are designed parametrically, i.e. according to a set of formulas which are dependent on the demographics of the area in which the stores are built. Income levels within a radius of influence determine the kind and size of store, and, with projections of construction cost, combine to yield a target sales volume for the store. Then, armed only with a target sales volume, by applying the appropriate criteria and formulas, a store can be completely designed. A simple telephone call from the Payless real estate department translates in a very short time to a store design.
This project reflects a long-term relationship between Payless and Manos extending over almost ten years. Payless home office staff, with whom CAD files are exchanged regularly, uses AutoCAD (relatively current version), as do engineering subconsultants working with Manos. Accomplishment of the Payless program requires extensive use of up-to-date information and electronic data transfer technology, all of which is fully supported in-house.