Designer Brands Inc, formerly known as DSW, has confirmed it is cutting 1,000 positions including 380 at its corporate offices.

In a message to associates posted on its website, CEO Roger Rawlins said the company must position its business for innovation and growth and must restructure to better align with customers' changing shopping habits.

As a result, the owner of DSW and Camuto Group is reducing and reorganising its workforce in a move that will affect 700 store positions and 380 in its offices.

"While many of those positions were vacant, approximately 250 corporate office and approximately 100 DSW store associates will be leaving the company today and will not be offered different roles. Additionally, more than 550 store associates will be given the opportunity to remain with the company in a different role within the new organisational structure or they may choose to leave.

"Our reorganisation will also require that some of our remaining associates assume different roles. As certain roles are eliminated, associates may be reassigned to new roles based on business needs or changes to store management."

Rawlins said the changes were essential and came at a difficult time in a message to the fim's associates.

"Today's news is in part the result of much of retail's physical stores' months-long closure, impacting our North American stores. While online orders were strong during the closures, e-commerce/digital sales cannot make up for in-store sales. And while most stores have reopened, consumers' in-store shopping habits haven't returned to the prior normal," he said. "The impact on store traffic during the closures, as well as during this ongoing recovery, remains, and most likely some habits will have changed for good. We must assess challenges and opportunities, both temporary and more permanent in nature, and take appropriate actions. The reality is we are now living in a new normal. It's a new day and we must operate in a new way. 

"Our focus hasn't changed – sustaining our industry-leading position while building for a sustainable future. We continue to execute on our strategic pillars of differentiated products, differentiated experiences, and growing market share.

"We also are doing everything possible to keep our financial foundation strong."

Structurally, the company is adjusting the store management team for greater effectiveness based on the way the business is operating in a Covid-19 environment, with more back-of-house warehouse roles and fewer sales floor roles.

The Camuto Group will also be further integrated into the Designer Brands organisation, resulting in fewer Camuto-produced brands. The Sole Society business will be closed.

"We want to continue evolving the Designer Brands infrastructure into one where world-class product design and sourcing are fully supported by our own industry-leading retail and consumer expertise and experience," said Rawlins.

"Change will be our one constant and Designer Brands is ready. We will not only continue to respond in smart ways that build a stronger organisation, but we will do so with the innovation and perseverance that will keep our customers coming back for more. This is a new day and we will create a new way forward."