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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.

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Comments (5)

About time someone gave up with a new concept. Unfortunately though its sad that they feel that you have to have the look of "high paid".

What about the Mom's who work at home.... we don't where the executive suits shopping :-)

Donna
http://www.wealthyonlinewomen.com

Varied treatment at a big box store has nothing to do with gender, and is nothing new. When I go into Best Buy or Future Shop (a Canadian equivalent), I get better treatment if I'm wearing a suit than if I'm wearing jeans.

A true Jill wouldn't be at the Big Box store anyway - she'd buy at www.bestbuy.com. (But I would love to hear the managers talking to the floor people about how to spot the Jills. That would be entertaining!) ;)

So I need to have a kid in a stroller to get some attention at Best Buy?? Whatever happpened to customer service equality for all? Sounds like reverse discrimination...

ha! just reading this makes me laugh. you may wonder just what kind of discrimination this is if you're not a `jill`, but you have no idea.

i'm 6ft+ 24yo black man, with cornrows, tats, and one gold tooth. i never get any service when i go into best buy (or any retailer for that matter.) and that's whether i'm wearing brooks brothers or my tracksuit.

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