DSW 2Q14 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha

Omni and base are one and the same

“Our omni-channel endeavor is really much more than just a project or an initiative. It’s a fundamental change in how DSW conducts business. It’s causing us to view everything we do through the lens of the customer and that is causing us to expand our traditional definitions of our brand cornerstones of assortment and value and convenience. I tell you this because it’s becoming increasingly difficult to isolate the costs and the benefits of omni from our base business.”

Stores are billboards for online

“And I think what we’re learning is we really have to take a holistic view and definition of the sales that are being generated by those new stores because what we see, and that doesn’t even include the impact that our new store in a new market can have on dotcom business, but is generated from those geographies. What we find is it’s a pretty good billboard for the DSW brand and it increases awareness and it typically creates a lift in our dotcom business from customers who live in that vicinity.”

We do well in chase mode

“I think we’ve demonstrated in past quarters that when we’re in a chase mode, we actually do very well. So we’re going to plan our inventories conservatively and we’re going to play the chase game. That’s when we deliver sales at stronger margins.”

Shoe vendors are stressing comfort

“So as we saw at the last two shoe shows, I think comfort has infiltrated every single category. The vendors, smart-fully so, are putting it into dress, sandals, casual shoes. It is pervasive across the industry and frankly that’s what gets me really excited because customers have been asking for it for a long time and I think they’re doing it in a smart way and there are a couple of brands that actually I think are doing it in an exceptional way. “