This could have been a scary quarter for Retail Ventures (NYSE:RVI) if it weren't for its majority stake in DSW (NYSE:DSW). With comps falling at its wholly owned Value City and Filene's Basement chains, it was the positive showing at DSW that kept same-store sales throughout the chain dipping by only 2.8%.

Sales rose 6.5% higher to hit $874 million, but that, too, is the sole in DSW's soul stepping up. Expansion at DSW -- and, to a lesser extent, Filene's -- helped offset the stagnant Value City discount department store chain that held firm to its 113 locations.

Value City still matters to Retail Ventures. Even though more than 60% of the Retail Ventures stores are DSW locations these days, Value City still generates more revenue. Why is that? Well, think about it. Value City is a huge, high-volume discounter. It's not Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) or Target (NYSE:TGT), but it's easy to see how a Ross (NASDAQ:ROST) or a TJX (NYSE:TJX)-owned T.J. Maxx could outsell a specialty shoe store.

However, DSW is really the best reason to own Retail Ventures these days. It was the only chain to produce an operating profit over the course of the fiscal year.

For the holiday quarter itself, Retail Ventures was smoking hot, even with the Value City and Filene's sandbags. Earnings would have clocked in at $0.62 per share for the period if not for a massive non-cash accounting charge. Wall Street was only looking for profits to clock in at half that amount.

So keep Retail Ventures on your radar, or just stick with DSW if you want the pure growth play. Either way, Spike Lee was right after all: Money, it's gotta be the shoes.

For more on the discount retailers, check out:

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz knows his wife always comes back with a bag or two when she hits a DSW. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.