Hy-Vee plans to sell footwear and accessories online and in stores under a partnership with Designer Brands Inc., the operator of DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse stores.
Initially, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the partners will launch a digital experience through Hy-Vee.com, Columbus, Ohio-based Designer Brands said Wednesday. Plans call for several DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse “shop-in-shops” to be rolled out to Hy-Vee stores over time.
Before the store-within-a-store locations launch, the companies will pilot a pallet format of top-selling family footwear in more than 120 Hy-Vee stores. Designer Brands and Hy-Vee said they also are developing buy-online/pick-up in-store capabilities.
“Quality footwear and accessories will always serve as a top need for the American consumer, which is why we’ve made these solutions available to our shoppers,” Hy-Vee Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker said in a statement. “Hy-Vee’s goal is to provide its customers the very best in all lifestyle categories in a convenient and easy-to-shop format, and we’re proud to partner with a company that shares the same vision.
Designer Brands said the partnership enables it to deliver differentiated products and experiences, part of its long-term growth strategy. One of North America’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories, the company operates nearly 1,000 stores under the DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, The Shoe Company, and Shoe Warehouse banners and, through its Affiliated Business Group, services footwear departments at other stores in the United States. Designer Brands designs and makes footwear and accessories via Camuto Group, a leading manufacturer selling in more than 5,400 doors worldwide.
“We are excited to be growing in new categories and delivering DSW’s mission of inspiring self-expression to Hy-Vee customers,” commented Designer Brands CEO Roger Rawlins. “Our commercial team has positioned itself as the plug-and-play solution to grow in the footwear category. We’re looking forward to working with our incredible partner, Hy-Vee, to offer an amazing assortment of quality footwear for the whole family at a great value.”
The deal with Designer Brands marks Hy-Vee’s second apparel-related partnership within a year. Last July, in selected stores, the Midwestern grocer began carrying clothing, accessories, footwear and beauty under Loblaw Cos.’ Joe Fresh fashion brand. The affordable fashion line is presented in a Joe Fresh-branded “shop-in-shop” department and includes items for women, men, children and babies.
Overall, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee operates more than 265 retail stores in Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Illinois, Kansas and Wisconsin.
This article originally appeared in Supermarket News.