Retail

DSW Embraces The Warehouse Look

Footwear retailer DSW, Inc. is embracing the warehouse aesthetic with a new store design that goes back to its roots and focuses on a more industrial feel, according to reports by retail news site Chain Storage Age. The new look is one of many initiatives the shoe retailer is trying on as it works to build a stickier and more engaging experience for consumers.

“At DSW, we see an opportunity to acquire market share as the retail industry consolidates,” said Roger Rawlins, CEO of DSW. “We have reinvigorated and positioned DSW to benefit, beginning with a new brand mission: We inspire self-expression.”

The “new look” will include features like pallet fixtures and flexible roller conveyors, elements that will allow stores to hold 7o percent more product through vertical product showcasing.

Apart from being more efficient, the brand said the bigger idea is to offer shoppers a curated, narrative experience from the moment they walk through the doors, Chain Store Age reports. The warehouse-esque stores will not only function for in-store purchasing, but also allow for the shipping and receiving of items found on the DSW website as well as accept returns.

Though currently only available as a test in the DSW lab in Ohio, the chain is getting ready to export the design starting in 2018, with Las Vegas set as the first opening.

“The customer expects that when they walk into a warehouse they [will] get the same experience they had online,” said Michele Love, COO of DSW. “Our goal is to give customers a seamless, omnichannel experience. As an authority on fashion, we’re curating the must-haves for the season in ways that really inspire self-expression.”

To match its new interior attitude, DWS confirms it is also working on expanding its product line to include things like increased options for children’s shoes — something about which many customers complained — and developing new proprietary store technology to allow store associates to better connect with customers.

“This technology enables shopping on the customer’s terms,” Love said. “Our new technology will not only put customer-facing data like personalized offers, wish lists and purchase history in the palm of associates’ hands. It will empower them with valuable information to enhance the shopping experience.”

And, because no 2017 retail reboot is complete without one, DSW is also launching a loyalty program.

“Today’s customer craves more than just a transaction, they want an experience,” said Love. “Our new program will be loyalty tailored to the customer’s level of engagement. It will go beyond points and tie back to our mission of inspiring self-expression.”

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