Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For the love of shoes

DSW is coming to the Lehigh Valley, with a new store in the "Airport Center" shopping center, you know, where Christmas Tree Shops and On the Border opened last year.

For the uninitiated, DSW (an acronym for Discount Shoe Warehouse) is better than Famous Footwear because it is bigger, and carries more designer brands. The stores usually offer a selection of accessories - hats, bags, wallets, socks, tights. The sale deals can be hard to beat - the longer the shoes are in-store, the bigger the discounts. The frequent-buyer program gives regular customers free shoe credit. The selection is extensive: dozens of designer women's dress shoes, tons of sneakers and flip-flops, and imported boots and beautiful men's loafers, to name a few.

But the looks are often last year's models (no biggie if you don't care about wearing something fresh off the runway), and you have to be patient. There are lots of aisles to navigate, and you're just going to have to walk up and down them to see everything. Their ad campaigns from a few years back compare women shopping for shoes to lions hunting for prey.

It has been my experience that DSW does not have service of any kind. What you see is what you get. There's also no in-store merchandising, to help you figure out what to wear with the shoes. For that level of service in the Lehigh Valley, you'll need to visit indie shoe stores The Shoe Box, Shuze, or Stepin4Mor.

The local grand opening is Thursday night, with giveaways and a whole lot of hoopla. Some promotions claim that a percentage of grand opening evening sales will be donated to Dress for Success's Allentown location, but actually it's benefitting a similar program called A Perfect Fit in Allentown. If you prefer to do your shoe shopping in (relative) anonymity, wait until next week. Happy hunting!


  1. LOVE DSW!! So excited!! Great deals on cool shoes... yay!!

  2. I can score a decent pair of shoes at Target, but then I see them on EVERYONE'S feet all over town. I STILL have heels from high school I bought at DSW and I love them to death. Great prices, big selection, I can nottt wait!

  3. It is kind of a big deal for those of us who are already "in" on the DSW secret... probably not as exciting for people who see it as just another shoe store.