Payless ShoeSource experience shows the perils of private equity investmentThe New York Times 01/31/2020
Private equity and hedge fund ownership has not been beneficial for Payless ShoeSource, which has been in and out of bankruptcy for years. In some cases, private equity owners thought they knew more about retailing than the professionals who worked for the chain. That’s why they insisted over staff objections to loading up on millions of pairs of World Cup-branded flip-flops despite the footwear not being ready for sale until after the sporting event. This is just one in a number of stories illustrating how private equity ownership created problems for Payless while loading it with unsustainable debt.