Payless Cashways Is Shopping

Home improvement and building supplies retailer Payless Cashways is shopping for a new agency after emerging from a Chapter 11 reorganization last month.
Payless representatives could not be reached for comment at press time, but sources said shops in the hunt for the company’s $10 million advertising account include DDB Needham, Dallas; T3, Austin, Texas; and Kansas City, Mo.-based shops Muller + Co. and Barkley Evergreen & Partners.
Executives at those agencies either could not be reached or declined comment. Sources said at least four shops have met informally with Payless executives, but it was not clear if final presentations have yet been made. A decision could come as early as this month.
Kansas City-based Payless has been without an agency since Valentine Radford Advertising, Kansas City, resigned the account in September. Valentine Radford had handled the account since December 1995. Bates Southwest in Houston was the other finalist in that review.
Payless Cashways operates 164 stores in 20 states under several banners: Payless Cashways, Furrow, Lumberjack, Hugh M. Woods, Knox Lumber and Contractor Supply.
From January through September 1997, Payless spent $8.8 million on advertising for all of its brands, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Total advertising in 1996 for all stores was $10.1 million.
The agency search coincides with the announcement last week that two top officers–chief executive officer 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.