A few days ago a new DSW store opened near my house! I currently live north of Seattle Washington in a suburb called Lynnwood. It is near a mall called Alderwood Shopping Mall which features a Nordstrom and a Macy’s. There is a Nordstrom Rack just outside the mall on a side street. Across the street is a large Barnes and Noble Store with a Starbuck’s Cafe in it. Next to the Barns and Noble in a gigantic Ulta beauty supply and makeup store and a beauty salon. All of these shopping establishments feature copious amounts of free parking in gigantic lots which surround the businesses. Free parking is important. It is conducive to shopping and browsing: going out to lunch, having your hair done, meeting your friends in a leisurely manner. Without free parking you have to worry about running up a huge parking fee or getting a parking ticket. With that in the back of your mind it is hard to hang out and look for ways to spend money! Retailers know this. Of course!
About a year ago large several businesses around us closed down. One was a huge Linens and Things Store. That space was directly across the street from the Nordstrom Rack. The Rack, as people around here call it, is famous for its discounted designer shoes. Only problem is they are always trashed by the time they make it to The Rack! I have never bought a pair of shoes at The Rack because they are always scratched and damaged beyond recognition and that is not a bargain to me! I want my new shoes to be in good condition and my vintage shoes to be in beautiful shape! I take very good care of my shoes. Damaged shoes and clothes are not a bargain in my opinion.
Well, I was in the Alderwood Mall and a woman admired the shoes I was wearing. She asked where I got them. They were Alligator shoes from the 1940′s that I bought about 20 years ago in NYC. After I told her that story she asked if I had been to the new DSW. I said no. She advised me to check it out immediately, so, accordingly, I stopped by on my way home.
Check it out! It is huge. And they carry all the name brands that Macy’s and Nordstrom’s carry in the suburban stores. The only difference is that they do not carry only two or three styles of each and one or two colors. They carry every color and every style offered by any given line and they carry it in every size. And they are all in stock right there today, now. The inventory is huge and vast and amazing. The shoes are neatly packed in their boxes under the displays. Everything is well lit and well organized. It is genius, actually. The staff is very nice and available. It is semi self serve. You walk around, find the shoes you like and pull out the box to try them on. This is great as you do not have to wait for help. but the help is there if you want or need it.
Prices are great. They are discounted way be;ow Macy’s and Nordstrom’s in every case. The percentage of discount differs from shoe to shoe but it is really substantial – due to DSW’s massive buying power I am sure! For example a pair of Nine West shoes I had just seen at Nordstrom for $79 was $59 – the same shoe in the same color. Also available in 4 more colors that Nordstrom didn’t offer!
I had tried to try it on at Nordstrom, but they didn’t have my size in stock. They had called 4 of their stores in the area and looked on the computer. No Nordstrom stores in the state had it. I had paid for it to be shipped to me from another state in my size. Four days later I received an email and a call from the Nordstrom store telling me they could not get it! Even though they had said they could and had made me pay for it already. This has happened to me twice now and I am very tired of it! Nordstrom doesn’t carry enough stock. They won’t transfer items into the store for you to pick up. (They used to do this. No more!) They insist that you pay for them first, promising you it is available. You go home, wait for it, then four days later receive a call and an email saying your order has been cancelled and the item is not available any longer. They pretend it was so popular it is all sold out. The actuality is that they had not ordered enough of it and it is nowhere to be had. This means all the time you spent looking for the item, and coordinating it with your wardrobe was wasted. In the two cases in which this happened to me I also had to return the other items I had shopped for and bought to go with it. This takes up a huge amount of time and is extremely frustrating! It is terrible service. It is no wonder customer’s are fed up!
I am! I am finished with shopping at Nordstrom forever! I find the customer service dreadful. Just today, however, only a week after the above experience, I went back because I needed an item from the cosmetics department. I bought several things. When I got home I emptied the bag to look at my purchase and something major – the blush I had gone there to buy – was missing! The absent minded saleslady had not put it in the bag! This means that I will have to return to the store to get it! She was waiting on several people at once! I called the store, got them to put one aside with my name on it. They apologized. The problem is, I am missing the blush, I cannot do my makeup until I go back and I have to make another trip to the **** store to get this straightened out! This will eat up a big chunk of my time! I do not like it! It is amateur! I do not have time for it!I am busy. I have a lot of other things to do.
Back to DSW. Theoretically, I can drive up to it, park, enter the store, stroll down the aisle until I find the shoes I want, quickly help myself to my size, check out and pay and drive away. I think it is brilliant! I love the immense selection and style availability. They tell me it will be growing every day! We shall see!
The store is vast. It is divided into logical sections. Boots in the center, 3,ooo styles of women’s boots to select from! High heels in two long rows, then flats, then sandals. Sports shoes in another few rows. Handbags in another area. Then a huge wall of tights and stockings. Zillions more styles, colors and sizes than Nordtroms or Macy’s offer.
The great thing is that once you have figured out how to shop there you can get the thing you came in for very efficiently and get out of the store. This is good. I will be using the place.
They have a great selection of vegan handbags from many good designers. Same with shoes. Many people will be really happy about that! I have seen only one or two options elsewhere in the Seattle area.
The only thing I didn’t see there was the very high end shoes carried downtown and in Bellevue in the designer boutique sections of Nordstrom. This would be names such as Prada, Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, etc.I suspect that Nordstorms has exclusives for these lines in this area of the country.
DSW does carry Marc by Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Jiimmy Choo, Ralph Lauren, Via Spiga, Cole Haan, Frye, Joan and David, Matisse, Steve Madden, Franco Sarto, Ann Klein, Softt, Dansko, Seychelles, Ellen Tracy, Bandelino, and a zillions other very nice brands. I will check out what they carry and report on that more extensively in the near future. I did not have enough time to do a comprehensive study of the brands they carry. It looked, at my initial quick glance, like they carry full lines of bridge and better quality shoes and moderately priced shoes. The quality level is very high. The merchandise is current styles, not old out of date styles. The styles, size ranges and color selection are really extensive. So extensive that it will take you time to find what you want when you go there to buy! Be prepared to have a lot to choose from! You will be able to find options you like and want! I saw several I really liked. I will have to go back when I have a bit more time!
I think this new store is going to be very successful and very exciting. I think it will kick Nordtrom and The Rack and Macy’s where they need it!
I, for one, am going to enjoy driving over there, parking free, getting a coffee at Starbucks, and wandering the aisles till I find just the right pair of boots I need for a particular outfit! With 3,000 pairs to choose from in my size I am sure I can find several that will be acceptable!
I am sure The Lady Violette Shoe Collection and The Lady Violette Handbag Collection will acquire a few contemporary additions where they are needed from the DSW!