DSW is adding shoe repair services throughout its stores
Consumers can now walk into any of the 500+ DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse stores with their old shoes and get them repaired. The retailer has partnered with Cobblers Direct, an online service that repairs shoes, boots, belts and handbags.
There was once a time when shoe repair shops were a common sight in many American communities, but they are much more rare today. Cobblers Direct is a spinoff of The Shoe Hospitals, the largest shoe repair company in the world. The company’s “repair over replace” model is consistent with calls for waste reduction in the fashion industry.
“DSW is hyper-focused on delighting our customers, offering diverse brands and delivering products with speed, and we coordinate with the best partners to make our business succeed,” Doug Howe, president of DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, said in a statement. “We want customers to enjoy and get the most out of their purchases, so if they ever need a product repair, DSW’s partnership with Cobblers Direct ensures convenient access to highly experienced and skilled repair services.”
Customers who need shoes repaired scan a QR code at their local DSW store, place an order using their smartphone and then hand over the items to be repaired to an associate at the counter. Once the shoes are repaired, they are returned to the store for pickup by the customer.
DSW’s Howe did not play up the sustainability element of shoe repair in his statement but Stephen Kelly, co-founder and CEO of Cobblers Direct, was direct on the issue. “We believe that repairing shoes, boots, and bags — and not throwing them away — will lead to a healthier planet and happier humanity,” he said. “Together with DSW, shoe lovers all over the country now have easy access to expert repair services so they can enjoy their beloved items once again.”
DSW’s parent company Designer Brands has posted solid results in 2022 with net sales up 5.1 percent in the second quarter on top of a 67 percent gain in 2021. The company’s second quarter same-store sales were up 6.2 percent year-over-year.
Roger Rawlins, CEO of Designer Brands, speaking in August on the company’s call pointed out that the chain racked up the satisfying numbers despite the fact that Nike items were no longer sold in its stores. The athleticwear brand ended its relationship with DSW as it focuses its attention on consumer-direct initiatives and key wholesale accounts.
- DSW and Cobblers Direct Launch Shoe Repair Services Nationwide – Cobblers Direct/PRNewswire
- Designer Brands Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results – Designer Brands Inc
- Designer Brands Inc. (DBI) Q2 2022 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- Nike To Stop Selling Sneakers At Popular Shoe Chain – CBS News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the repair services throughout DSW stores encourage more consumers to repair their shoes, boots, belts and handbags instead of discarding them? Will success with this service increase the likelihood of DSW entering the footwear resale market?