In-store Strategy

An Uncommon Partnership: DSW Shoes and Hy-Vee

By May 5, 2020 No 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.

David Esparza

David Esparza

Marketing Specialist at Engage3

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