August 9, 2005
Memo to Home Depot: It’s about time you started playing serious catch-up.
The nation’s leading home improvement warehouse (www.homedepot.com) has known for some time that more than half of purchases made in its stores are driven by women, but it’s taken the company a little time to figure out exactly what to do to address the women’s market.
Now, I’m not picking on Depot. They’ve taken some earlier steps – like their wildly successful Do It Herself clinics that attracted some 40,000 women who wanted to learn about laying tile and repairing the plumbing in the bathroom.
But the consensus within the home improvement industry has been that rival Lowe’s (www.lowes.com) is the poster child for marketing to women. In fact, my blogging buddy Andrea Learned (www.learned.typepad.com), author of Don’t Think Pink, mentioned Lowe’s so many times in her book that her mom thought she should be on the corporate payroll.
Now, at the urging of Depot’s aggressive leader, Robert Novelli, the chain is opening a Florida location that’s designed to be “female-friendly.” What exactly does Depot think that means?
They’re calling it a “warmer retail feel” with a redesigned façade (think more glass, less solid concrete), ornamental designs around the garden center instead of chain link fence, shelves that aren’t stacked to the rafters, wider aisles and brighter fluorescent lighting.
In addition, there will be a store within a store featuring design and décor items and appliances in one central location.
Sounds good. Since women tend to think of home improvement projects in terms of what she wants to accomplish – like I need to hang this shelving – instead of all the individual tools she may need to complete the task – level, hammer, nails, those expander things that stick into the drywall, and I don’t even really what else. By pulling scenarios together, Depot is thinking like a woman.
Can you offer your female customers bigger ideas than just single products? Can you help her make the leap from product to project? If you can, your female customers will likely reward you…