DSW debuts Las Vegas concept store
DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse on Tuesday announced the opening of its newest store concept on the Las Vegas strip.
The store is half the size of a typical DSW location but delivers "the experience and spectacle Vegas crowds expect," according to a press release.
Among other features, the store has a "Shoevator," a wall of shoes with three elevator lifts over the sales floor, which operates like a vending machine. Customers order shoes from the wall via the DSW app or a tablet, alerting an associate to pick the ordered shoes and send them to the sales floor for the customer to pick up.
The DSW's new concept experience begins at the entrance. A 'video tunnel' passageway creates a sensory experience that gives customers the sense that they're flying over a city, swimming underwater or walking through a desert, according to DSW Chief Executive Officer Roger Rawlins. "In reality, they're [traveling] down an escalator into the new DSW sales floor, where more unique experiences await," he said in a statement. Customers can also win a pair of "special kicks" by playing the store's Heat Vault Keymaster machine, an arcade-like game that challenges players to retrieve sneaker swag in two moves.
The retailer has held its own amid turmoil in apparel and footwear sales. First quarter revenue rose 2.9% to $712 million as comparable sales rose 2.2%, the company said in May.
DSW also has a lot of moving parts these days, as it unloads money-losing e-commerce operation Ebuys, takes up the rest of Canada's Town Shoes banner and implements a new loyalty program based on customer feedback, which Rawlins has said is already resonating with customers.
The first quarter delivered the company's second consecutive positive comp and the fourth positive footwear comp for the DSW brand. The retailer's new concept could promise to move the needle further. "We continue to view this name as a unique story in the retail sector: rapid innovator, bullet-proof balance sheet, strong management team and (at least recently) sound executor," CL King analysts wrote in a note earlier this year.
Tariffs could pose a challenge, however. Apparel and footwear retailers "could experience gross margin pressures for 12 to 24 months if tariffs are imposed," Moody’s Investors Service Retail Analyst Mike Zuccaro said in a report this week.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect additional information from DSW clarifying the specific services offered in its Vegas store.
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