DSW tries to make itself ‘essential’ with Hy-Vee partnership
DSW has closed its 1,000 stores across the U.S. as the footwear chain has been classified as non-essential retail by government authorities trying to keep consumers at home and reduce the number of cases of COVID-19 in their local communities and states. A new partnership with Hy-Vee, however, may give DSW a foothold in an “essential” grocery outlet if social distancing and stay-at-home orders persist for an extended period of time.
Under an agreement between the two retailers, DSW’s top-selling family footwear will be displayed and sold from pallets in 120 of the grocer’s locations. Customers will be able to purchase shoes on the DSW website that are in-stock at Hy-Vee and choose to pick them up in the store, receive them via curbside pickup or have delivered with their groceries to their homes.
After the initial rollout, the parties plan to open several DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse shop-in-shops inside an unspecified number of Hy-Vee locations.
DSW’s collaboration with Hy-Vee comes at an opportune time. While overall retail sales fell a record 8.7 percent in March, grocery sector revenues jumped 25.6 percent as consumers rushed to stores and went online to stock up on food and everyday staples, such as personal care and household cleaning products. The Iowa-based grocery chain, which generates $10 billion in annual sales, operates 265 stores across eight states in the Midwest.
“We are excited to be growing in new categories and delivering DSW’s mission of inspiring self-expression to Hy-Vee customers,” said Roger Rawlins, CEO of Designer Brands, DSW’s parent company. “Our commercial team has positioned itself as the plug-and-play solution to grow in the footwear category.”
“Quality footwear and accessories will always serve as a top need for the American consumer, which is why we’ve made these solutions available to our shoppers,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president. “Hy-Vee’s goal is to provide its customers the very best in all lifestyle categories in a convenient and easy-to-shop format, and we’re proud to partner with a company that shares the same vision.”
A DSW spokesperson told RetailWire that the retailer is not looking to other grocery partnerships beyond Hy-Vee at this time.
- DSW at Hy-Vee
- Designer Brands Announces Partnership with Supermarket Chain Hy-Vee – Designer Brands Inc./Hy-Vee, Inc.
- How DSW’s parent is expanding its retail presence while stores stay closed – Columbus Business First
- March retail sales plummet during coronavirus pandemic – National Retail Federation
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your assessment of DSW’s deal with Hy-Vee, considering the current state of retailing with the coronavirus pandemic? Do you expect other non-essential and essential retailers to cut similar deals if stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures continue?