DSW wants consumers to spruce up their shoes instead of springing for new ones.
The Designer Brands-owned retail chain is making Cobbler Direct’s services available to customers at 500-plus stores, addressing the “growing need” for footwear repair when so few craftsmen are available to meet demand.
“DSW is hyper-focused on delighting our customers, offering diverse brands and delivering products with speed, and we coordinate with the best partners to make our business succeed,” said DSW president Doug Howe. “We want customers to enjoy and get the most out of their purchases, so if they ever need a product repair, DSW’s partnership with Cobblers Direct ensures convenient access to highly experienced and skilled repair services.”
To get started, shoppers scan a QR code featured on signage in store, place an order for repair on their smartphone, and turn over their items to an associate at the counter. When the products have been serviced, shoppers return to DSW for pickup. DSW loyalty program members will earn rewards by using Cobblers Direct, as they would with any purchase from the store.
Cobblers Direct staff will repair heels, soles, straps, and hardware as well as stretch, dye, shine, refinish and clean submitted shoes. They work on items purchased from DSW and other sources and can service categories from high heels to men’s dress shoes to athletic sneakers and hiking boots. Belts, handbags, wallets and briefcases can also be serviced.
“We believe that repairing shoes, boots, and bags—and not throwing them away—will lead to a healthier planet and happier humanity,” added Stephen Kelly, co-founding CEO of Cobblers Direct, a digital spinoff of Austin, Texas-based The Shoe Hospital. “Together with DSW, shoe lovers all over the country now have easy access to expert repair services so they can enjoy their beloved items once again.”
DSW joins a growing movement to foster circularity by promoting product repair and reuse. In September, Nike launched an experimental “Longevity Lab” at its London flagship devoted to restoring worn-out sneakers. Earlier this year, Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo debuted Re.Uniqlo Repair Studio at its New York flagship where shoppers can get buttons replaced, seams mended and fabric patched.