DSW announces new brand mission and strategic plans
DSW is focusing on consumer experience, product education, better assortments and building its kid's footwear business. It also announced developments in tech, stores, and ops for better omnichannel retail experience.
The company's new brand mission is to inspire self-expression, an increasingly popular goal many brands are aspiring to assist their consumers with in the changing retail landscape. DSW's CEO Roger Rawlins said they believe the new mission will help reinvigorate and reposition DSW for growth.
DSW experimented with creating memorable consumer experiences with a summer music concert series and mobile tour. The company will dive deeper into creating experiences with in-store pop-up parties this fall.
From an operations standpoint, DSW has begun using its retail locations as warehouses to fulfill e-commerce orders and accept returns. Rawlins said, "It's why we like to call our locations 'warehouses,' because more than half of our digital orders are fulfilled in-store, as opposed to in a traditional fulfillment center."
DSW is currently testing a new retail concept close to its corporate HQ in Ohio. The company plans to update its retail locations to look more like warehouses. The spaces will feature pallet fixtures and flexible roller conveyors as well as vertical merchandising that will increase sales floor capacity by 70 percent.
Plans exist to roll out the new concept at several existing stores in 2018. DSW is also opening a new store on the Las Vegas Strip which will use the new warehouse concept when it opens next spring.
In addition to a new mission, ops and retail strategies, DSW is rolling out a new loyalty program. Perks include shoe rental and repair as well as a "philanthropic connection" designed to offer a "non-commerce" experience.
The company is also developing a tech platform to help associates in store provide more streamlined service to customers. Associates will have mobile access on tablets to personalized offers, shopping history and wish lists to better assist customers in store.
Rawlins acknowledged the customer is craving something different. He said, "Our goal is to earn their loyalty by creating an emotional connection and by inspiring self-expression."
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