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Designer Brands

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Designer Brands Inc.
  • Shonac Corporation
  • DSW, Inc.
Company typePublic
FoundedJanuary 20, 1969; 55 years ago (1969-01-20)
Number of locations
Key people
RevenueIncrease US$3.493 billion (2019)
Increase US$124.9 million (2019)
Increase US$94.5 million (2019)
Total assetsIncrease US$2.465 billion (2019)
Total equityIncrease US$750.5 million (2020)
Number of employees
16,100 (2019)
Footnotes / references

Designer Brands Inc. is an American company that sells designer and name brand shoes and fashion accessories. It owns the Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) store chain, and operates over 500 stores in the United States and an e-commerce website.[5]

The company also owns private-label footwear brands including Audrey Brooke, Kelly & Katie, Lulu Townsend, and Poppie Jones.


DSW store in Saugus, Massachusetts

The company was founded in 1969 as Shonac Corporation, as the shoe licensee for Value City.[1][6] In July 1991, the company opened its first store, which was in Dublin, Ohio.[1] In 1998, the company was acquired by Value City.[6] By 1999, the company had 48 stores.[7]

In December 2004, the company was acquired by Retail Ventures, an affiliate. In March 2005, the company experienced massive data theft, including customer data from 1.4 million credit card transactions.[8] In June 2005, the company became a public company via an initial public offering.[9][10] In April 2008, the company launched its e-commerce website.

In 2011, the company acquired Retail Ventures, its largest shareholder.[11] In 2014, the company acquired 44% of Town Shoes, a chain of Canadian shoe stores, and entered into a licensing agreement for the DSW name.[12] In February 2016, the company acquired Ebuys for $62.5 million.[13] In July 2016, the company added shoes for children to its inventory.[14] In August 2016, the company entered into a franchising agreement with Apparel Brands to open DSW stores in the Middle East.[15]

In March 2017, the company reached a deal with Under Armour to carry Under Armour shoes in DSW stores.[16] In June 2017, the company opened a store in Oman, its first store in the Middle East.[17] In May 2018, the company acquired the remaining shares of Town Shoes to obtain complete ownership of the company.[18]

In February 2019, the company announced an addition of nail salons to 5 stores, after testing the concept in 2 stores in Columbus, Ohio.[19] In March 2019, DSW rebranded their corporate name to Designer Brands.[20] The company also changed its ticker symbol on the NYSE from "DSW" to "DBI" effective April 2, 2019.

Entertainer Jennifer Lopez collaborated with the brand to launch the March 2020 line. When the chain closed all its retail stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and fashion trends shifted as a result of the increase in remote work, the line was redesigned to include sneakers and comfort shoes.[21]


  1. ^ a b c "DSW, Inc. 2016 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ "Designer Brands Inc. (DBI) Income Statement - Yahoo Finance".
  3. ^ "Designer Brands Inc. (DBI) Balance Sheet - Yahoo Finance".
  4. ^ "Designer Brands (DBI)". Forbes.
  5. ^ "About DSW Inc". DSWINC. DSW Inc. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b "COMPANY NEWS; VALUE CITY IN DEAL WITH SCHOTTENSTEIN STORES". The New York Times. Dow Jones. 1998-03-14. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-07-19.
  7. ^ Showalter, Kathy (October 25, 1999). "DSW steps up its expansion, building into Pyramid malls". American City Business Journals.
  8. ^ "DSW Releases Findings From Fraud Investigation Into Credit Card and Other Purchase Information Theft" (Press release). PRNewswire. April 18, 2005.
  9. ^ "DSW debuts on NYSE with IPO". American City Business Journals. June 29, 2005.
  10. ^ Gelsi, Steve (June 29, 2005). "Neustar, DSW Inc. IPOs kick off". Marketwatch.
  11. ^ "DSW Inc. Completes Merger With Retail Ventures, Inc" (Press release). PRNewswire. May 26, 2011.
  12. ^ Eaton, Dan (April 15, 2014). "DSW buying stake in Canadian shoe chain". American City Business Journals.
  13. ^ "DSW Inc. to Acquire Ebuys, Inc" (Press release). PR Newswire. February 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Eaton, Dan (July 28, 2016). "Parents, you can now shop for your kids at DSW stores". American City Business Journals.
  15. ^ "DSW Inc. to Open New Stores in the Middle East" (Press release). PRNewswire. August 17, 2016.
  16. ^ Wilen, Holden (March 20, 2017). "Under Armour enters deal to sell its shoes at DSW". American City Business Journals.
  17. ^ Eaton, Dan (June 29, 2017). "DSW moves into the Middle East with store in Oman". American City Business Journals.
  18. ^ "DSW to Shutter Town Shoes Chain of Stores". 29 August 2018.
  19. ^ Holman, Jordyn (February 27, 2019). "DSW Bets Nail Salons in Shoe Stores Will Lure Millennial Women". Bloomberg News.
  20. ^ "DSW Posts Surprise 4Q Loss, Will Rename Co. Designer Brands". U.S. News & World Report. 19 March 2019.
  21. ^ Kavilanz, Parija (November 7, 2020). "JLo's new DSW shoe collection is more sneakers than stilettos. That wasn't the plan". CNN.

External links[edit]

  • Business data for Designer Brands: