Store design makeover
DSW’s store designs are also getting a makeover. DSW likes calls its stores “warehouses,” and the company is planning to give its stores a warehouse look with conveyor and pallet fittings. The company mentioned that, by using vertical displays for its products, it would be able to enhance display units by 70%. New store layouts, combined with more products on display, could attract customers.
The company is testing the new design at its Columbus location and expects to roll out the new design to four stores this year, including a new store opening in Las Vegas. On the fiscal 3Q17 earnings conference call, the company’s CEO, Roger Rawlins, stated that the newly refurbished store in Columbus exceeded expectations. The company is confident that the new store layout will unlock significant productivity, with more products and services and well-trained staff.
As of October 28, 2017, the company operated 514 DSW stores. In the fiscal nine months of 2017, the company opened 15 new stores.
In comparison, peers like Shoe Carnival (SCVL) operated 424 stores in the United States as of October 28, while Finish Line (FINL) operated 566 US stores as of November 25. Foot Locker (FL) operated 927 US stores as of October 28.
Loyalty membership card improvement
DSW launched a new membership program called DSW’s rewards VIP in September 2017. Under this loyalty program, 25 million customers can take advantage of services like repairs to shoes and handbags along with rental shoes. For nominal fees, customers can customize their purchases. Premium members get early access to new launches.
In the next part of this series, we look at the company’s inorganic expansion plans.