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An Uncommon Partnership: DSW Shoes and Hy-Vee

By May 5, 2020January 27th, 2021No Comments

In the latest partnership between retailers, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse and Hy-Vee are working together to sell footwear inside grocery stores. Orders placed on DSW’s site can be picked up at Hy-Vee locations, and in the future shoes will be available to purchase alongside groceries.

States have different levels of strictness for declaring essential businesses, but DSW has opened a new avenue for selling their inventory. By partnering with supermarkets, the retailer can avoid the shipping difficulties that other businesses have encountered.

DSW will reportedly open “shop-in-shops,” but prior to that they’re placing pallets with footwear in over 120 Hy-Vee stores. Designer Brands, Inc. closed many of its stores in response to the COVID-19 situation, but this partnership will likely continue into the coming months.

“We are excited to be growing in new categories and delivering DSW’s mission of inspiring self-expression to Hy-Vee customers,” DBI CEO Roger Rawlins said in a release. “Our commercial team has positioned itself as the plug-and-play solution to grow in the footwear category.”

Footwear News, April 15th, “Why DSW Is Teaming Up With a Midwestern Grocery Store Chain”

Kroger Parallels

Other retailers are building similar partnerships, including Kroger. The retailer launched a pilot with shipping company Frayt to provide same-day shipping for furniture. The pilot is currently limited to 21 Marketplace stores in the Ohio region, but it may expand further from there.

In comparison to most e-commerce sites whose delivery capabilities have been compromised by increased demand, same-day shipping for these large items is considerably faster. Frayt previously specialized in business-to-business deliveries, but working with Kroger has shifted them to be more consumer-focused. The company connects a network of drivers to customers in order to arrange the no-contact deliveries.

Frayt’s opening message on their website, Source: Frayt.com

Kroger also operates over 100 Fred Meyer stores in the Northwest, where they carry a larger inventory with furniture and outdoor supplies. Many outdoor suppliers are closed in states with continuing stay-at-home orders, and this partnership puts Kroger into a similar position as Hy-Vee for selling general merchandise.

“Frayt is the right partnership to help connect our customers with the items they need,” said Erin Rolfes, corporate affairs manager at Kroger’s Cincinnati-Dayton division. “Their innovative response to large-item delivery is a great way for our customers to rethink their outdoor space while we’re all spending more time in our homes.”

Progressive Grocer, April 21st, “Kroger Marketplace, Frayt Team on Same-Day Delivery of Home Furnishings”
Delivery ad in a Kroger Marketplace, Source: Kroger website

States are re-opening to different types of businesses, including non-grocery retail, but in the meantime these partnerships are allowing for new combinations of inventory. From furniture to footwear, grocery aisles are offering larger variety to become more of a “one-stop shop” for consumers.

For more information on store formats and product availability, you can read our blog on how restaurants and supermarkets are partnering and trading places here.