Texans Vie To Rebuild Payless

Home improvement and building supplies retailer Payless Cashways Inc. is shopping for a new agency after emerging from its Chapter 11 reorganization last month.
Payless Cashways representatives could not be reached for comment at press time, but sources said agencies in the hunt for the company’s $10 million advertising account include DDB Needham in Dallas; T3 in Austin, Texas; and Kansas City-area shops Muller + Co. and Barkley, Evergreen & Partners.
Executives at those agencies either could not be reached or declined comment. Kansas City, Mo.-based Payless has been without an agency since Valentine-Radford Advertising, Kansas City, resigned the account in September.
Payless Cashways Inc. operates 164 stores in 20 states under several banners: Payless Cashways, Furrow, Lumberjack, Hugh M. Woods, Knox Lumber and Contractor Supply.
Through September 1997, Payless spent just under $9 million on advertising for all of its brands, according to Competitive Media Reporting. In 1996, advertising for all stores amounted to $10 million-plus.
Sources said at least four agencies have had discussions with Payless executives, though it was not clear if final presentations have been made yet. A decision could come as early as this month. One possibility being considered, according to reports, is hiring separate shops to handle the creative and media portions of the account.
The agency search coincides with the announcement last week that two of the company’s top officers–chief executive David Stanley and president Susan Stanton–will leave the company this month and relinquish their seats on the board.
Donald Roller, former president and chief executive of U.S. Gypsum Co. and a new Payless board member, has been named acting chief executive. In a statement issued last week, the company said it is seeking replacements for Stanley and Stanton.