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Hy-Vee opening DSW footwear ‘shop-in-shops’

Six in-store locations in Twin Cities lead off new retail concept

Over the next two weeks, Hy-Vee plans to open DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse “shop-in-shops” inside six of its supermarkets in the Twin Cities area.

So far, two DSW shops have opened in Hy-Vee stores in Brooklyn Park and Eagan, Minn., the West Des Moines, Iowa-based supermarket chain said Monday. Four more are slated to open at stores in Cottage Grove (Sept. 25), Lakeville (Sept. 25), Savage (Oct. 2) and Shakopee (Oct. 2), Minn.

The DSW shops feature footwear and accessories for women, men and children. Hy-Vee said customers can try on items such as shoes, sneakers and boots and choose from a range of athletic, fashion, casual and iconic brands.

Omnichannel elements also will be key to the new “store-within-a-store” concept. Selected locations will house DSW pickup lockers, enabling shoppers to order from and have their order shipped directly to the store. Customers will be notified via a text message when their order is ready to be picked up and will receive a code to enter at the locker.

Each DSW shop also will have a DSW digital showroom wall that displays 100 of the season’s top-trending shoes, Hy-Vee said. To order shoes on the wall, customers use their smartphone to scan a QR code and then can choose to have their new footwear shipped directly to their doorstep or to the store’s DSW pickup locker. 

Current DSW customers, too, can redeem DSW VIP rewards and promotions at the Hy-Vee shop-in-shop sites.

Hy-Vee said it aims to open several more DSW shop-in-shops across its eight-state region in 2021.

“We continue to innovate and help today’s consumer by offering them an easier and more convenient way to shop quality footwear for their families,” Hy-Vee Chairman and CEO Randy Edeker said in a statement. “By combining in-store and online shopping experiences together with DSW, we are able to meet the unique needs of every shopper and make the shopping experience — whether in-store, online or both — seamless.”

Hy-Vee and Designer Brands Inc., the parent company of DSW, unveiled their partnership in mid-April. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the companies  said they limited the launch of the store-in-store concept to a digital experience on Plans also called for the companies to pilot a pallet format of top-selling family footwear in more than 120 Hy-Vee stores.

“We are thrilled to deliver Hy-Vee customers a convenient way to purchase footwear through a digitally supported, in-store experience that offers customers — regardless of their shopping preference — multiple options to view, try and buy shoes,” stated Bill Jordan, chief growth officer for Columbus, Ohio-based Designer Brands, one of North America’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories. “Designer Brands continues to innovate the retailing experience, and we remain committed to bring our customers differentiated experiences and address their evolving shopping habits.” 

Through the partnership with Designer Brands, Hy-Vee has continued to go beyond grocery with the store-in-a-store concept.  Last July, in selected stores, the Midwestern grocer began carrying clothing, accessories, footwear and beauty under Loblaw Cos.Joe Fresh fashion brand. The affordable fashion line is presented in a Joe Fresh-branded “shop-in-shop” department and includes items for women, men, children and babies. And in 2018, Hy-Vee teamed up with upscale bath and beauty brand Basin to open in-store boutiques and displays, dubbed Basin and Beauty.

Overall, Hy-Vee operates more than 275 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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