DSW will host a pop-up shop in New York City next month, which begins Dec. 12 and runs through Dec. 15. However, shoppers will not be able to purchase products at the event, called the DSWGives Do Good Pop-Up. Instead, the pop-up will feature interactive experiences to demonstrate the impact of the company's shoe donations.
Visitors will be invited to bring shoes to donate, contribute funds and get involved with the company's philanthropic arm, DSWGives, according to a company press release.
DSW launched a digital version of the pop-up this week. Actress Mindy Kaling will host an event in Los Angeles to kick off the campaign.
For a while, pop-up shopping was all the rage. Now, experiential retail is hip, even during the crucial holiday shopping season. Brands have been dipping into this territory by testing spaces that focus on personalized services rather than products.
Nordstrom tested merchandise-free stores through its Local concept in Los Angeles before opening in New York this fall. Those locations offer online order pickup and returns, alterations, leather good repairs and styling services, as well as welcome used clothing donations. The experiment appears to have paid off so far: Customers who visit a Nordstrom Local spend 2.5 times more and make up 30% of BOPIS orders, according to the company. DSW has stepped into the experience-driven arena as well, with in-store nail bars and shoe repair services.
But while services can drive customers to spend time (and money), many retailers are going a bit further with their ideas of "experiential." Beauty startup Glossier's flagship is functional, but endlessly Instagrammable with its two floors of photo-ready nooks. Nike's 5th Avenue store doesn't have merchandise on its entry floor, focusing instead on setting up visitors for opportunities to customize their experience and the brand's shoes.
While most experiential spaces still have room for merchandise, DSW's space will instead double down on the power of social media, aiming for likes and shares with copious use of its #DSWGives hashtag that's prominent on its digital edition of the pop-up. By focusing on the warm and fuzzy feelings its temporary space might evoke, DSW may be hoping that generous spirit will extend to its holiday sales.