All Giving, No Selling: DSW Goes For Do-Gooder Holiday

DSW, which has been steadily beefing up its charitable efforts, is going all the way this holiday season. It plans to open a pop-up just for giving, with absolutely no merchandise for sale.

The Do Good Pop Up is scheduled for a four-day run in New York’s SoHo, Dec. 12-15, and will be paired with a digital effort so people can participate nationally. Consumers will be able to donate shoes and support other causes, including anti-bullying efforts.

“We’ve already given 2 million pairs of shoes away, donated by customers and associates,” says Amy Stevenson, CMO of the Columbus, Ohio-based retailer. “And we’d gotten so much love from customers over the donation program that we knew there was more there there. So we thought, 'How could we make this bigger?'”

She says both the pop-up and digital experience include “lots of storytelling about the impact of shoe donations,” including a sweepstakes, with 10 winners accompanying brand officials on a Soles4Souls giving trip to Honduras this spring.



People can also write encouraging notes to others, and nominate a student to be an ambassador at Be Strong, a peer-to-peer antibullying nonprofit. Consumers can also donate to local causes through the United Way.

Actor Mindy Kaling, who stars in DSW ads, is also set to help promote the brand’s giving efforts this season.

Stevenson believes this is a first for any brand. “We’ve done some digging, and we haven’t been able to find any other company that set up a shop just for giving, without selling anything.”

Advertising for the program includes digital, out-of-home and email.

If all goes well, she tells Marketing Daily, the company hopes to expand next year, opening pop-ups around the country. “We are hoping to have so much customer love and connection and buzz that we can go bigger next year."

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