Vancouver shoe lovers, rejoice! DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse is coming to town, and its Canadian e-commerce website launches on August 7. Expect huge stores, with over 22,000 pairs of shoes per location.
Local landlords are already courting the new US-based discount footwear retailer. Last week, we interviewed Town Shoes President and CEO Bruce Dinan about DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse‘s Canadian store expansion. In April, DSW bought a 49.2 per cent stake in Town Shoes, paving the way for DSW’s entry into Canada. Dinan said that DSW stores will eventually roll-out across the country (including Vancouver), and that its Canadian stores will essentially be the same as those in the United States.
According to Dinan, DSW’s Canadian stores will be about the same size as its American locations. DSW’s average store size is approximately 22,000 square feet. DSW ultimately seeks Vancouver-area retail space in the 18,000 to 24,000 square foot range.
Dinan said that DSW may open both suburban as well as inner-city locations, provided that the right space becomes available. In the United States, DSW has urban locations in areas such as San Francisco’s Union Square, Washington DC’s Georgetown, Downtown Boston, as well as several Manhattan stores. In Canada, a busy centres such as downtown Vancouver could therefore house an urban DSW store.
Buying Town Shoes was a strategic move on the part of DSW. Not only does DSW gain Town Shoes’ Canadian market expertise, it also secures its pre-existing national distribution network. Dinan said that as far as he’s aware, DSW intends to purchase all remaining shares of Town Shoes. The 62 year old Town Shoes brand will also continue to grow and expand in Canada, as will company-owned The Shoe Company, Shoe Warehouse and Sterling Shoes.
Each Canadian DSW store will have over 22,000 pairs of shoes. Handbags and accessories will also be carried. About 80 per cent of the brands in DSW’s American stores will be carried in Canada. Canada’s DSW stores will also carry some brands exclusive to Town Shoes.
DSW is hugely popular in the United States, with 410 stores in that country. Its name indicates its business model – it sells designer shoes at discounted prices. The company has hundreds of millions in cash and no debt.
DSW’s Canadian e-commerce site also launches August 7, with thousands of shoes available to purchase online. Over 180,000 Canadians are already enrolled in the company’s rewards program.
Stay tuned for more exciting retail announcements from Retail Insider, here on Vancity Buzz.
Feature image: Wikipedia