DSW

  www.dsw.com
  www.dsw.com

DSW Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
530 Reviews
3.1
530 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
DSW President, CEO, and Director Mike MacDonald
Mike MacDonald
249 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Though your salary the work life balance is great, about 40-45 hour work week (in 27 reviews)

  • 30% employee discount- but don't use it or you make be accused of taking advantage of the system (in 56 reviews)


Cons
  • As many people have already mentioned the overly aggressive rewards program (in 48 reviews)

  • Upper management takes out their life problems on us part time employees (in 26 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 13 people found this helpful  

    Tired of felling like I am being Fired

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Merchandising Manager in Philadelphia, PA
    Current Employee - Assistant Merchandising Manager in Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at DSW full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    dress code makes for a comfortable work environment
    great product to use the great discount

    Cons

    Schedules are crazy. Managers work so many hours that are not necessary. The negativity, stress levels, threats of complaints makes for such an unhappy experience. We never hear anything good. Everything is nasty and negative. The DM gives such unhappy visits and NEVER says anything nice or positive or congratulates you or your store on good results. RD visits are worse. High stress, a lot of hours, negative environment, old programs, crazy rules to satisfy customer complaints (open every register no matter what, cant tell customers you are closing), extended shifts that no one wants or likes, AFPW for part time people only.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All store managers are way to afraid to speak up. Everyone fears for their jobs. There is an up coming coffee chat and no one wants to speak up because everyone is afraid of retaliation and loosing jobs. There is so much wrong. So sad.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Part Time Sales Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Sales Associate

    I have been working at DSW part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    DSW as a company offers a great discount (30%) on all merchandise. My manager has understanding of my crazy school schedule and allows me to work when I can within my desired rang of hours. Coworkers will vary by store but I have gotten along so well with everyone who has been employeed here over the year. Its awesome to work with people of all ages and backgrounds. The pay for associates is awesome too. I was very happy with my initial hiring pay and then my annual raise was very generous. I feel that we are paid very well for part time retail work.

    Cons

    My biggest challenge has been the scheduling. Most of the associates are over worked. We are given 8-9 hour shifts multiple times a week including all weekend (ex- 11-730 or 130-10). It is a store wide problem for us. Multiple part time associates have been scheduled close to 40 hours because of under-staffing. Part time associates should be kept to 20 hours unless they specifically say they need more. The schedule lacks variation and associates are usually scheduled Friday-Sunday every weekend unless they request off. It would be nice to be give a weekend off on a rotation system like mangers get.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to hire more associates. Give associates weekends off on a rotation just like the managers. Communicate with associates informally about things going on in the store/room for improvement.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Best job ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at DSW part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    My co-workers were amazing. It's what every work environment should be like. The management team encouraged questions and were considerate of the employees which only caused everyone to work harder. Customer service was a priority, something many companies lack now a days. Overall such a great work environment.

    Cons

    Since there were 4 managers they kinda contradicted each other sometimes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing, keep it up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good overall

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate

    I worked at DSW part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good work environment. Managers amazing. Amazing coworkers

    Cons

    Too much focus on rewards. Inconsistent training between managers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop pressuring employees to get rewards!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 14 people found this helpful  

    Nightmare! Sinking Ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager
    Former Employee - Store Manager

    I worked at DSW full-time

    Pros

    Awesome Shoe Discount!

    The compensation at DSW is pretty good, but you have to negotiate when hired because internal promotes get seriously low-balled and aren't allowed to negotiate.

    Cons

    Rule by fear. They call it accountability, but this company believes in fear as a primary motivator.

    Training is a joke. New hires get 6 training hours to learn the culture, register, all the shoe product knowledge, and how to force people to sign up for rewards. Managers get 2 weeks, 3 if you're lucky.

    High pressure. Managers and employees are pushed hard to get every customer to give up all of their personal information for a rewards account. You have to sign up 90% of new customers to stay out of trouble.

    This company has one main goal. Avoid customer complaints. You can fired if a customer complains about you, especially if they say you were rude - even if it's not true. As a customer, ask for, no demand anything you want. Ask for a discount, demand to return shoes you've worn a few times. They will do what ever you ask if you threaten to complain. They measure "compliment to complaint ratio" with a goal of 7 compliments for each complaint. This forces managers and associate to try to manufacture compliments because home many customers really call in compliments?

    Another weird metric is cases per hour. The company expects managers in at 6am to put out the shoe truck of hundreds of cases of shoes. They tell you how fast to move and that you have to run between cases, never walk. The district and regional mangers come in to watch video of you doing this. After being told to sweat harder, you then need to put in your day's work after being exhausted and sweaty.

    As the company swears their all about customer experience, they cut payroll week after week leaving less people to help customers.

    Want to buy used shoes online? DSW dumps extra inventory by shipping shoes out of stores (charge send) to dsw.com customers. They tell use to clean them with shoe cleaner and make sure to put the paper and cardboard back in the box to make sure they look new, even if they were purchased tried on and returned. How do you know if you got one of these? They are shipped in white bubble wrap instead of a box. This also eats up time associates should be helping customers.

    Associates are only allowed 12-16 hours a week but are expected to have open availability. Top associates can get 22-24 hours in peak season.

    Here's the kicker - DSW has the internal goal of being America's Favorite Place for Shoes and America's Favorite Place to work. Starbucks offers more than 4 times the training hours and internally promotes tons of people. DSW consistently hires SMs and DMs externally. They offer no benefits to part-timers and no stock options to anyone. Starbucks gives you benefits, a college education, stock, free coffee and free drinks and food. That sounds more like America's favorite place to work. So does Google.

    This ship is sinking. DSW store has fallen from $47.55 a share to $23.45 a share on bad earnings. They blames softening market and women buying less shoes. During the same time their competition is up more than 30% stating that DSW's stock is stale and out of season.

    Summary: Look for work elsewhere unless you like high pressure work environment with no room for advancement. You are also expected to work most weekends and all holidays if you are a manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check your ego. You aren't as great as you think you are. You aren't fooling anyone with your America's Favorite Place to Work concept. My previous employer and current employer provide more than 4 weeks of paid training for managers before you are expected to go and run a store. New sales associate are given 40 hours of classroom product knowledge training before being expected to sell. Customers are going to complaint. You are giving away the farm to avoid complaints even though Carrie McDermott says we'll never discount our way to favorite. Start by clearing house. Mike Mac is the only respected Sr manager. The rest of you are delusional about the internal healthy of your company and managers are only allow to give you the feedback you want to hear. They are all afraid to say anything that doesn't tow the party line because of the rule by fear mentality, or as you call it accountability.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 6 people found this helpful  

    The Real Housewives of DSW

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at DSW full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Previous Upper Management taught me values and integrity and just being a good person.
    Made some very good friends.

    Cons

    The Real Housewives of DSW is a reality with this company. If you are into drama, lies, false promises, deceit, unprofessionalism, negativity, favoritism, discrimination, backstabbing, hostile work environment, harassment then this is the place for you. I could keep going but by now you get the point. DSW claims to be America’s Favorite Place to Work but I was unable to find them on any of these lists put out by reputable circulations like Fortune 100. DSW is in a crossroads as they are trying to gain market share by opening a lot of stores but can’t seem to fill them with competent people to work for them. If you are a member of LinkedIn just look as they are always posting “Now Hiring” and all of the other managers and DM’s comments that they like it? Turnover is well over 100% and most managers who worked in the stores have been there only a couple of years. During Store Manager Conferences the EVP of Store Operations used to have the Store Managers stand up by years of tenure. For example, anyone who has been here 15 years or more please stand up, (false claps), anyone with 10 years of more please stand up (false claps) and so on. Each year the number dropped dramatically until no one with tenure wanted to stand up. You knew you were a target. This became evident by everyone. Upper management just thought we were stupid. So evident that DSW just settled an EEOC age discrimination claim for $900,000 in Chicago. If you go into most of the stores you will find a female store manager between the ages of 25-30 years old. Many have blonde hair just like the EVP of Store Ops because the DM can get brownie points. It also helps if they come from places like Old Navy and the GAP because that is where she came from. I still have a tough time understanding how the upper executives try to make it a specialty store in a warehouse setting? The current executives and DM’s want it this way because this is all they know.

    Another crossroads DSW faces is an identity crisis. Customers still do not know what DSW stands for and to make matters worse many of the sales associates don’t know what it means neither. How sad! Most customers think it is Discount Shoe Warehouse and wonder why there are not better prices for a company buying in bulk and being in a warehouse setting? Since DSW cannot get the inventory levels right or proper size runs no need to worry because they can find it at another store or order it on-line. It kind of defeats the purpose of coming to the store to find your shoes and actually trying them on because that makes too much sense. In that case consider Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, FAB shoes, Payless, Zappos or any other shoe retailer. Probably get a better price and current styles.

     After reading many of the other posts you will hear most employees vent about the rewards program and the hostility behind it. DSW boasts how many members they have but a large percent is duplicates because people keep signing up to get the $10 reward coupon. The customers are on to changing or making a new email to get another coupon. The company has all of the eggs in the Rewards program and it drives the business. This is why the stores get beat to death over having a poor conversion rate. I don’t know if the company still posts the Top Twenty five Premier Members online but not such a good idea. Some employee that wants to be vindictive can print them off and give or sell them to the competition. Just a heads up. After giving your email you can expect an email everyday with uneventful offers.

    If you are considering becoming a member of store management please read the following: You must drink the Kool-Aid and never question anything or you will be perceived as being negative. At this point your somewhat career is over not that you had a chance of being promoted to a District Manager’s position. If you join DSW you can scrap any skill set or experience you have gain because it is worthless. You have no say in anything. Your main concern is to beat sales, rewards conversion and look cute. Of course being able to say “YES that is great!” with a smile. Some of the expectations you will have as a Store Manager are: learn humility quick because upper management will humiliate you. You will be unloading trucks, chucking freight, taking out trash, vacuuming, cleaning restrooms, running registers, cleaning mirrors, marking clearance, price changes, and picking up a ton of stuff off the floor, shoveling snow, clean your parking lot, empty trash receptacles outside, and count register drawers down. NOTE-DSW has a no apprehension policy which means if you see someone walking out the door with merchandise you CANNOT STOP THEM. Keep in mind you are responsible for shrink. Welcome to DSW!

    Other posts often speak about the customer complaint to compliment ratio. This is a joke! I had one customer complaint in having over 10 years of service and was put on a final warning. So if Suzy Q wanted my store because it is a flagship store she has someone call in and complain. How clever. Also it is common knowledge that most managers have their family and friends call in and give a compliment. The EVP of Store Ops has a little bonus structure in place for this bogus ratio. This is exactly why a complaint will cost you your job because it comes out of her pocket! DSW will repeat over and over again that one negative comment affects many other customers. I think maybe they should think about all the angry people that leave the company on how they impact the business.

    Biggest PR Stunt of the century: The CEO puts out a statement that DSW will not be open on Thanksgiving and will open at 7 am on Black Friday so that the employees can spend time with their families. The reality is that DSW’s peak season is in October and not on Black Friday. DSW has no door busters or specials on Black Friday and is just considered a Saturday’s business just because people are out shopping. Nice try. Mike-what about Easter?
     Note: For anyone over 40 years of age or any Alpha males- no need to apply for employment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The fish stinks at the head. It is amazing to me that the approval rate of the CEO is 76% while these horrific actions are taking place inside the company. At this point DSW has millions in the bank and is debt free but yet they let actions like this compromise the company. Lately the stock has been going down and not a lot of activity happening. I would like to offer advice but they are above it and don't really care. Jay-come to your senses.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful  

    So much potential...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Store Manager

    I have been working at DSW full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Decent pay, GREAT paid time off, good benefits, 30% discount, fun and easy product to work with.

    Cons

    I have never worked for a company that focused so much on accountability and negativity. It's always about what you are doing wrong, or what field level management considers "wrong" or sometimes even as far as something that is irrelevant to the business, but they make a big deal about something so minor and irrelevant just to hold someone accountable, as if they thrive on it to make it look like they were doing their job. Retail is a challenging environment, and Full Time management sacrifice a lot just so that a company can profit, and we get a short end of it, missing family time, weekend time, holidays, etc, so support your store leadership, motivate us, develop us, avoid negative context, we are in our roles for a reason, let us do our jobs, let us have fun, now THAT will create America's Favorite Place to Work. We can only control what we can control, we can only control as far as our customers are willing to do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support your store leadership, step down to our level and into our shoes. You have some incredible managers supporting your stores, keep them on board.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Shoe Lovers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate & Cashier in Lone Tree, CO
    Current Employee - Sales Associate & Cashier in Lone Tree, CO

    I have been working at DSW part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great discount, managers who care and generally communicate well. The stock changes frequently, which keeps things interesting.

    Cons

    Overscheduling, once you're register trained that's all you get to do. They need to register train people more quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more creative when selecting trends.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Current employee of a little over 1 year

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Cincinnati, OH
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Cincinnati, OH

    I have been working at DSW part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Friendly environment, great atmosphere, not too challenging, current employees are notified about new openings at other stores before the general public, very open and accepting group of managers and employees, at least those that I have come into contact with.

    Cons

    Pressure to sign people up for rewards; getting people into the reward system is always a huge deal and if you get a lot of nos and bring down the reward percentage for the day (nos/total sign ups), you will generally have a manger come up and talk to you about it. You're expected to ask every single customer if they are in the rewards and if not, try to get them to sign up.

    Moving up is not the easiest, and can take a fair amount of time. Not the quickest.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 13 people found this helpful  

    Store Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Store Manager in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at DSW full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Though your salary the work life balance is great, about 40-45 hour work week.
    The salary is very competitive.
    Great vision followed by great values.

    Cons

    Too many initiatives at once. The pressure to balance service and the tasking is not feasible with payroll allotted.
    The tablet goals are terrible too, I get it's a technology driven culture however at the end of the day the customer just wants rung up and go and they could care less if it's at the cash wrap or a stupid tablet.
    The RD visits aren't what they should be- more support and positive energy versus intimidation and barking.
    The DM's and RD's spend too much time making sure the values are lived to sales associates but SM's feel unappreciated and all efforts are overlooked with little to no recognition- it's a double standard.
    The complaints versus compliments goal (7:1) is absolutely ridiculous. Though it's understandable it's not a realistic goal to attain, I guarantee most compliments in stores are friends of employes so stores ratio looks great. There's no "benefit of the doubt" when a customer complains about some things. SM's have to walk on eggshells to make decisions when dealing with difficult customers in fear of a complaint, it's the end of the world when it happens.
    There's not much celebrated amongst the SM's, we only feel special once a year during the SM conference.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure the values apply to SM's, they need to feel encouraged and recognized too. SM's pretty much stand by themselves in stores, the AM's stick together for the most part and so do the SA's
    Be realistic about time spent tasking- more payroll or added seasonal positions during peak times... Like temporary key holders or stock supervisors.
    RD's soften your approach on visits, we should look forward to them NOT fear them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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