DSW has debuted a pop-up in New York City — but it’s nothing like your typical store.
The footwear retailer today opened the doors to its DSW Gives’ Do Good shop in the trendy SoHo neighborhood, where customers won’t be able to buy anything. Instead, they’re encouraged to give back to others.
At the interactive pop-up, which runs through the weekend, store associates will allow visitors to donate gently used or lightly worn shoes, contribute funds or get involved with the company’s charitable arm. Each day the store is open, DSW will also provide special events and activations. Further, VIP Rewards members will receive 50 points in their accounts for each donation.
“At a time when everyone is focused on giving gifts for their loved ones, we want to think about paying it forward and giving to others,” VP of marketing strategy and messaging Julie Roy told FN.
Since 2018, DSW and philanthropic partner Soles4Souls have received more than two million shoes to help children meet uniform requirements to attend school and lower their vulnerability to disease. It has also kept roughly 2.6 million pounds of textiles out of landfills.
The next target? Collecting three million pairs of shoes.
“We’re hoping that this experience influences and inspires others to visit and donate,” Roy told FN. “When we launched this program, we were blown away by the level of engagement that we saw. It tells us that people are passionate about this; they want to be connected to a brand that stands for something more than just selling shoes by giving back to others.”
She added, “We’re here to serve our customers, and what we found is that they want to help their communities.”
Together, DSW and Soles4Souls also offer customers the opportunity to visit countries where such donations will be able to fulfill the needs of impoverished families. In April, a shoe distribution trip is scheduled for Honduras.
Last year, when the shoe chain surveyed 4,400 female customers in an effort to revamp DSW VIP, it found that donation was shoppers’ No. 1 request in a loyalty program. More than a third of women said they bought new shoes at least once a month, with 95% owning more than 10 pairs of shoes and almost 75% owning upwards of 21 pairs.
The pop-up runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Dec. 15. It is located on 498 Broome Street.
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