DSW has completely changed its stores and rewards program as it tries to take on Amazon-owned Zappos here's what it's like to shop there nowGet the Full StoryArielle Tschinkel
DSW, in an effort to take on retail giants like Amazon-owned Zappos, is shaking things up with a brand new look and revamped rewards program.
We visited DSW’s “lab store” in Columbus, Ohio to check out the new in-store features, which include a concierge area for shoe repair, a full-service nail salon, and so much more.
In response to the growth of online retailers like Zappos and its parent company, Amazon, shoe and accessories giant DSW has unveiled plans to completely revitalize its in-store shopping experience.
In the last year, DSW’s business had its high points, including three consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales in footwear, according to its March earnings report. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Sales and earnings took a dip in the fall of 2017 — causing the company's stocks to do the same. CEO Roger Rawlins attributed this to “an unusually severe hurricane season” in an earnings release.
But the company is determined to win back customers who enjoy the convenience of online shopping, Rawlins and Simon Nankervis, DSW’s chief commercial officer, told Business Insider. DSW plans to achieve this by adding new in-store features, including a brand-new store design that blends fun with functionality, a concierge area for shoe repair and shoe donation, a full-service nail salon, as well as an overhaul of its rewards program which currently boasts 25 million members, according to a press release announcing the revamp .
Business Insider visited DSW’s “lab store” in Columbus, Ohio, to see the changes in person.The DSW in Columbus, known as the Polaris store, is close to the company s headquarters and is one of its largest stores, with space for more than 70,000 pairs of shoes.
At DSW, shoppers will notice a new look as stores undergo remodelling. Nankervis told Business Insider that the sleek new design will no longer look like a chaotic “sea of shoes,” but instead make their stores inviting. New displays will showcase more available in-store merchandise, with shelf space for 50,000 pairs of shoes instead of the previous 30,000.
DSW is looking to provide a lively yet relaxing in-store experience by streamlining the browsing process.
The company is bringing its original concept of a shoe warehouse back to life, but elevating the experience so that shoppers can get what they want without losing the fun of shoe shopping.
Clearer signage, brighter lighting, and reverting to the original warehouse design will allow customers to peruse the items more easily.
Customers can shop their favorite brands all in one place at DSW s shop-in-shop sections.
The Polaris store currently features a shop-in-shop display by Nike, which is a fully separate section devoted to Nike merchandise. By changing out these shop-in-shop displays monthly, consumers can quickly access their favorite brands while shopping styles exclusive to DSW.
These displays will be changed out monthly in each store, highlighting the newest and most popular styles from top brands, Nankervis said.
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