Tuesday, February 15, 2005

News bulletin: women buy stuff too

Did you know women outspent men on technology last year? MSNBC reports that this is shaking up the normally male-oriented industry. Stores in particular are doing some re-thinking since "three-quarters of women surveyed...complained about being ignored, patronized or offended by sales people when shopping for electronics....Forty percent of the women said they were treated better when accompanied by a man." It's also influencing product design so look for those new powder-blue laptops. Seriously.

But women have even been ignored by retailers who you'd think would know better. Yesterday's WSJ (the print edition -- yes! I still read it on paper) featured an article about JCPenney's new effort to attract the "middle" shopper -- middle-aged suburban moms who can't find proper clothes at Target or Neiman-Marcus.

Supermarket brands know these women inside and out and are constantly refining research on them. But what happened to other retailers and manufacturers? They evidently never imagined these women might shop anywhere other than a grocery store for anything other than detergent.

Marketing people. They really need to get out more.

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