Innovation That Matters

Best Buy launches store for and by women


Reflecting the fact that women make the majority of consumer purchase decisions these days, a number of companies have begun exhibiting signs of female fever, as our sister site would put it. We’ve already covered instances in the automotive, construction and transportation industries, to name a few, and now consumer electronics giant Best Buy appears to have succumbed as well. This past weekend Best Buy opened a new store in Aurora, Colo., that was designed with women in mind. Specifically, the company asked 40 local female customers and its own Women’s Leadership Forum–or WoLF pack–to participate in the design of the new store. Among its findings over the nine-month effort were that female customers wanted more help seeing how products could work together and fit into their lives, for example; also that the term “home theater” suggested technologies suitable only for the very wealthy, according to the Associated Press. Accordingly, the new store features electronics products working together in homelike settings, and “home theater” has been renamed “family room.” Gone are the chain’s typical warehouse-style blue interiors and metal shelving, replaced instead by wood panelling, carpets featuring earth tones and skylights for natural lighting. Family-friendly restrooms and race car-shaped shopping carts are also among the additions to the store, which is reportedly putting a new emphasis on making eye contact with customers as well, following its female advisors’ recommendations. The cost of building the women-friendly store was higher than usual for the company, but Best Buy says it expects customer loyalty will make it worthwhile, the AP reported. Ginger Sorvari Bucklin, Best Buy’s director of Winning With Women, explains: “Best Buy’s roots 40 years ago was with high-end audiophiles. Because technology has changed so much, we know women make 45 percent of electronics purchases. This is about serving women better.” A worthwhile–and clearly profitable–goal for traditionally male-focused industries far and wide. What is your brand doing to appeal to women…?



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