Designer Brands

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Designer Brands
Designer Brands logo.png
Designer Brands logo
Type Public
Industry Retail
Essential service(s) No
Country United States
Multinational Yes
Official website
Twitter (@Designer_Brands)
COVID-19 webpage
English Wikipedia article

Designer Brands is an international footwear retailer based in the United States. It also operates private footwear labels including Audrey Brooke, Kelly & Katie, Lulu Townsend, and Poppie Jones. Its retail brands include Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW), The Shoe Company and Shoe Warehouse.

COVID-19 response

  • Encouraging 17 March 2020 (WHO.svg+6 dayssrc): Company announces it will temporarily close its stores in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]
  • Encouraging 05 May 2020 (WHO.svg+55 dayssrc): Announces plans to collect from customers and donate gently used shoes as well as 100,000 pairs of new shoes will be given to COVID-19 "frontline workers and their families".[2]
  • Encouraging 06 May 2020 (WHO.svg+56 dayssrc): Company announces plans for stores reopening in states which permit it and safety measures being taken in response to COVID-19 pandemic.[3]
    • Encouraging: Installing hand-sanitizing stations at entryways.[3][2]
    • Encouraging: Implementing use of one-way aisles.[3][2]
    • Encouraging: Installing plexiglass shields at registers.[3][2]
    • Complicated: Only credit cards, gift cards or other contactless payment options will be accepted. Customers will not be able to pay with cash.[3]


  • Encouraging 06 May 2020 (WHO.svg+56 dayssrc): Company announces that when stores reopen customers will be able to try on shoes at designated areas of the store.[3]


  • Encouraging 17 March 2020 (WHO.svg+6 dayssrc): Company announces it will pay employees for two weeks after temporary closure of stores due to COVID-19 pandemic.[1]
  • Disappointing 29 March 2020 (WHO.svg+18 dayssrc): Company furloughs 80% of its employees.[1]
    • Disappointing: Employees will not be paid during furlough.[1]
    • Encouraging: Employees will continue to receive healthcare benefits during furlough.[1]
    • Disappointing: Employees not furloughed will receive a pay cut.[1]
    • Encouraging: Executives taking 20% pay cut as well as a 20% reduction in cash retainers for all non-employee directors serving on its board.[1]
    • Complicated: Implemented a hiring freeze.[1]
    • Disappointing: 2020 merit raises for all staff are on hold.[1]
  • 06 May 2020 (56 days since WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic):
    • Encouraging: Company announces that employees will be required to wear and provided with masks and gloves when they are working.[3][2]
    • Encouraging: Company will monitor employees' temperatures as they arrive for work.[2]

News articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "DSW parent places 80% of workforce on unpaid leave". Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Designer Brands makes donation on Giving Tuesday as DSW stores reopen". KNWA FOX24. 2020-05-05. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 McDonald, Samantha; McDonald, Samantha (2020-05-06). "DSW Is Doing Its Own COVID-19 Research + Other Critical Ways Coronavirus Is Changing Its Stores". Footwear News. Retrieved 2020-05-14.