DSW Plans To Add Nail Salon Services In 250 Stores

In the first expansion of what could eventually become a significant part of its business, DSW is bringing in-store nail salon services to five additional locations in Austin, Texas; Washington D.C.; and Dublin, Ohio. The footwear retailer partnered with W Nail Bar to begin testing the concept in 2017, in two locations in its headquarters city of Columbus, Ohio.

The company plans to eventually house salons in half of its 500+ shoe stores, some of which already offer shoe and handbag repair services, CEO Roger Rawlins told Bloomberg in an interview. With these changes, DSW is following the route of retailers such as Best Buy, IKEA, Sephora and Ulta Beauty, which strive to both improve and differentiate the in-store experience through expert services.

As in-store services and experiences become more important engagement drivers, DSW sees the salons as a new opportunity to bring more of its desired clientele — Millennial women — into its stores. Millennial women make up approximately 25% of the DSW customer base, noted Rawlins, but they have accounted for half the patrons at the nail salons.


Salon patrons buy a pair of shoes during nearly 25% of their trips to the store, according to Rawlins. Those patrons spend approximately 60% more on footwear than they did before the company added the salons. During its test in the two Columbus locations, DSW positioned footwear such as flip-flops and sandals to face the customers in the nail bar.

Salon revenue at one of the stores accounted for 6% to 7% of the location’s $10 million in sales; Rawlins said he’s aiming for closer to 15% in the next few years.

Customers who visit a DSW with a W Nail Bar inside can access services starting at $29, like manicures or the W’s signature copper bowl pedicure, while earning points towards DSW’s VIP Rewards program for every service and product purchased.

“The W in our name stands for ‘we’ and we mean it,” said Manda Mason, founder of W Nail Bar in a statement. “We are building a community with our customers, and we are proud to partner with DSW as we build that community together. Teaming up with DSW has been so natural for us, and for our customers, as it enhances their overall salon service – who doesn’t love to get their nails done and shop for a new pair of shoes on the way out?”

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