Shoe 'vending machine' among DSW's Vegas store innovations 

A DSW shoe store in New York.
Richard Levine | Corbis News | Getty Images
A DSW shoe store in New York.

DSW Inc.'s new Las Vegas store has all the flair befitting a store hitting that flashy city.

The Columbus-based retailer opened its shop in the Showcase Mall on the fabled Strip, but it isn't the standard DSW store. It's smaller than the typical, but does showcase the company's commitment to innovation.

Unique to that DSW is the Shoevator, aka the shoe elevator. It's a display wall of shoes with three elevator lifts serviced from a mezzanine level over the sale floor.

Customers can order shoes via the DSW app or on a tablet kiosk nearby. That order goes up to the mezzanine where an employee picks the shoes from the stock, puts it in the elevator and sends it down to the sales floor.

"It's essentially a giant shoe vending machine inspired by the assembly line style mechanisms that we use to move product around our actual warehouse," CEO Roger Rawlins said in a release.

A video tunnel leads customers off the strip and into the store. It's described as an immersive feature with light and sound on three sides that gives customers the feeling of flying over a city, swimming under water or walking through a desert.

Customers also can win a pair of shoes by playing the Heat Vault Keymaster machine, a game that lets shoppers get shoe-related swag if they can insert a key into a keyhole using a joystick.

Las Vegas is the newest example of the company's innovations. Here in its home market, that includes testing in store services such as a nail salon, shoe repair and custom insoles. The company has rolled out kids departments to its more than 500 stores as well.

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