About Designer Brands

One of North America’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories. Operating several retail concepts in Canada, including The Shoe Company and Shoe Warehouse, as well as DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse – nearly 150 locations in all.

Dark Store Challenges

Many retailers saw foot-traffic at their physical stores entirely disappear amid the COVID-19 pandemic while ecommerce business grew exponentially. Transitioning to dark stores meant new challenges, including: new store formats, communications between Customer Support and in-store teams, and efficient delivery solutions.


Opterus’ OPSCENTER agile solution quickly became a centralized tool for health and safety protocol documents, a two-way communications tool for online order issues (between Customer Support and in-store teams), and a learning and development resource for new curbside pick-up procedures.

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OPSCENTER keeps Dark Stores on Track for Designer Brands!

As parts of the world continue to face stay at home orders, and social distancing limits some retailers are making the best of the situation in the form of dark stores. Whether temporary or permanent this pivot to dark stores must be done through streamlined processes if it is going to be effective. In a recent conversation with Katelyn Robertson, Store Operations & Communication Specialist, Designer Brands she shared details about the impact of recent lockdowns and how her and the teams have been optimizing OPSCENTER. 

For Designer Brands, dark stores have gone through an evolutionary process through the pandemic. Over the past year there have been tremendous learnings and wins; and throughout it all OPSCENTER has been a constant. Some of the ways they are utilizing OPSCENTER is for quickly distributing health and safety protocols, creating two-way communication between Customer Support and in-store teams for online order issues, and tracking training progress on curbside pick-up procedures. These processes are ensuring that pertinent information is getting to the right people at the right time, important training is being completed, and allowing associates (at all levels of the organization) to better manage their workloads. These benefits, among others, are ultimately empowering everyone to provide excellent experiences for consumers and associates.