11. 02. 2005
Best Buy now targeting "Jill", the well-paid working mother
New York Times has an article today about competing electronic chains searching for their niche in an increasingly difficult competitive landscape. I had heard that Best Buy had been working with ESI Design to redesign their stores towards a more customer friendly layout by grouping products by usage (like home theater) rather than stand alone categories where customers are often left on their own to ponder a wall of 75 different TVs. Wal-Mart has provided 25% more aisle space to accommodate shopping carts and strollers, and both chains are chasing after previously overlooked shoppers including, of course, women. Best Buy has named that target group "Jill" - the well-paid working mother. I find it annoying that they are specifying "well-paid" here when they easily could have said "working mother" or just "mother" (what about the moms that stay at home?). It leaves me to believe that I would not get the same kind of customer service if i didn't look like I had money to burn. Besides how would they know who the well paid mothers are? Are they trained to look out for Bugaboos and Gucci loafers?
"To woo the Jills, who are short on time and intimidated by the crush of gadgetry in a large electronics store, Best Buy has trained a designated group of employees to identify her in the store, chat with her and walk her through the sales process. Before, employees were most likely to wait for Jill to chase down a salesclerk, at which point her frustration level meant she was, in many cases, ready to leave the store."
Ha! So they admit that they waited for us to become frustrated (mostly from the layout of the store) to the point where we felt the need to "chase down a sales clerk". I'm getting a great visual of an angry woman with a stroller chasing after a scared store clerk trying to run away from them. And what is this line about women "intimidated by the crush of gadgetry"? I'm telling you, ANYONE would find the experience of having to choose among 40 different digital cordless telephones overwhelming. We're making progress but it seems like we can't get away from these derogatory remarks that always seem to sneak in there.