DSW is expanding its partnership with W Nail Bar to add nail salons beyond those in Columbus, Ohio, to five additional stores in Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C., and Dublin, Ohio. This is a new addition for the Austin and D.C. markets, the company said in a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The partnership currently includes two W Nail Bar locations in DSW stores in Columbus — one in the company's "lab" at the Polaris Fashion Place shopping center and one at Easton Town Center.
The nail bar offers manicure, pedicure and waxing services as well as beer and wine offerings depending on the location. Services and products purchased through the partnership go toward DSW's VIP Rewards program.
The name of the game is experiential retail. These days, retailers are all doing some soul searching regarding exactly what that means for their business. While more out-of-the-box ideas have included pools full of sprinkles or meditation "zen pods," many of the traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are leading the way with services that make sense associated with what they sell. For a chain catering to shoe lovers, a nail salon makes sense. Nail and other salon services are a higher-frequency purchase and, if the services deliver, it may drive more customers into stores to see what's new in the shoe aisles, too.
The goal of the partnership is to "engage more with its customers by keeping the experience innovative and fun, while offering an assortment of additional services," the company said in the release.
"Continuing to innovate in services is one of the ways we’re creating emotional connection and loyalty with our customers, helping fortify the brand in an ever-changing retail landscape," Bill Jordan, president of DSW, said in a statement.
DSW took big steps last year to redesign the feel of its stores. It added a kids section, restructured its loyalty program, shuttered both the Ebuys and Town Shoes branches of its business and debuted an experience-driven store concept in Las Vegas. Now, it appears the shoe chain is taking what it has learned and doubling down, starting with nails.