Best Buy has apparently launched a new “woman-friendly” store where the “Home Theater” section is marked “Family Room” and there is a “lower sink for children in the bathroom, lotion near the paper towels, and a private room for new mothers, with carpeting, a rocking chair, free diapers and softer lighting.” [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

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  1. OmniZero says:

    Because remember, every woman drags children along with her to the store and would need those sinks. Also every woman goes into the bathroom with their child.

    I think “mother friendly” is more prominent here than “woman friendly”….

  2. DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    There won’t be a woman-friendly Best Buy until they build one with a BCBG Max Azria inside it. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what my girlfriend would say.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @DarkKnightShyamalan: Thanks for leaving your sexism at the door. Being an ass was SUCH a productive comment!

      • The_IT_Crone says:

        @The_IT_Crone: (and for the record, I had to Google what the hell “Max Azria” was).

      • m4ximusprim3 says:

        @The_IT_Crone: No offense, but that’s what my wife would say as well. I don’t think he was being sexist so much as echoing the general sentiment of most women that electronics stores in general are fairly boring.

        Probably not going to be well recieved on a gadget blog, but overall, I think a fairly representative statement.

        Personally, I don’t think a rebranding and lowering of the sinks is really gonna help lure the mall woman crowd into best buy, but I don’t work in marketing, so who knows.

        • richcreamerybutter says:

          @m4ximusprim3: echoing the general sentiment of most women that electronics stores in general are fairly boring.

          Seriously?

          You know what I demand from a “woman-friendly” electronics store? Don’t let your male employees patronize me. I often know more about electronics than they do, and have thoroughly researched the desired product.

          If, after speaking to an employee, I determine he or she is qualified to answer any further questions, I’ll gladly ask.

          (This is why you will never see me step foot in a place like B&H.)

        • The_IT_Crone says:

          @m4ximusprim3: FROM THE FUCKING ARTICLE:

          “we know women make 45 percent of electronics purchases.”

          Yes, women are so scared of and hate electronics stores! My uterus just HURTS when I go near technology! Quick, apply a designer-hankerchief compress and buy me a new purse!

          Just because you two have bad taste in women doesn’t mean all women are like that.

      • DarkKnightShyamalan says:

        @The_IT_Crone: It’s sexist of me to say that my extremely intelligent girlfriend fucking hates electronics stores? I fail to see the logic. Incidentally, I’m a pretty strong feminist.

        • The_IT_Crone says:

          @DarkKnightShyamalan: Feminist FAIL. Saying “women will only like electronics stores when they sell clothing” is like saying “I support women being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, therefore I support women!”

          Strong misogynist, you mean.

          • DarkKnightShyamalan says:

            @The_IT_Crone: I don’t like Best Buy either. If they started selling used books and fancy kitchen supplies, I’d probably go there more often.

            Therefore, I’m anti-male and think all men only like reading and cooking and blah blah blah talkingpointspants.

    • Kia says:

      @DarkKnightShyamalan: Way to be an ass, A+. :D

      Adding another voice to the “female that still had to google WTF Max Azria is” group. I wouldn’t be caught dead in those clothes!

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @DarkKnightShyamalan: I’d much rather they have more computers and video game systems to mess with.

      I mean, I know you weren’t trying to be sexist and all, but we’re not all vapid clothing-obsessed techno-phobes.

  3. LostAngeles says:

    Wow! Me and my vulva were going to pop over today to pick up the Sonic RPG, but boy! My labia have been so upset about all the DVD players that require testicles in order to operate and digital cameras that you have to stick your penis into in order to take a picture. I just might have to head out to MN so my hoohoo won’t feel so oppressed.

    • ThickSkinned says:

      @LostAngeles: If I was a woman, this is exactly what I would have written. Great post!

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @LostAngeles: Hell yeah. I’m tired of being told that since I’m female, I’m out-of-place in a video game or electronics store. I’m tired of my boyfriend being greeted/served in these stores instead of me, I’m tired of being talked down to like I don’t know the difference between USB port and a SUB sandwich.

      HELLO? I’M *RIGHT HERE*.

      Though this particular store is apparently in Denver, CO.

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I want a more male focused Best Buy. Where the Home Theater room is the Testosterone Room. All the tvs would be looping Bruce Willis movies, and the receipt checker is an American Gladiator blocking your path.

  5. maneki neko says:

    And let me guess, everything is pink?

    UGH UGH UGH.

    If they really want to make a store “woman friendly” they need to hire associates who don’t condescend to women or act shocked when they try to buy video games.

    • Etoiles says:

      @hurkon: THIS.

      I hate Best Buy because when I go in I either (a) get no help or attention at all, because of course as the original owner of a pair of boobs I can’t possibly be there to spend my own hard-earned salary on something electronic, or (b) I get completely condescended to because those self-same boobs mean I can’t possibly have years of expertise or knowledge.

      Shout-out to the one college-aged girl at the Best Buy in Fenway that one time, though, who was completely awesome to talk PC gaming with. May she have smacked some sense into her less enlightened co-workers.

  6. lodleader says:

    I’m sorry but as a single father, what about us? F you best buy. Where is our private rooms for changing our little guys or girls?

    Yeah, I forgot, only women can be single parents in this country…

    • parkavery says:

      @lodleader: Exactly.

      As a woman, every time I go into a public bathroom with those prominent “We have baby changing tables!” stickers on the door, I wonder what all the single – or even married but-also-responsible-for-parenting – fathers do.

      Sexism against either gender is just ridiculous.

    • beboptheflop says:

      @lodleader:

      I thought the exact same way and I’m not even a single father. My husband is always taking the kids to the bathroom; my germ phobia gets the best of me. What do they think, that fathers don’t care if their children’s hands are clean after using a public bathroom? Sounds like reverse sexism to me.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        @beboptheflop: That’s what I was wondering, too. Free diapers is cool, but I would hope this is in both bathrooms. What if the father takes the kids with him to Best Buy? How is he supposed to change them? And honestly, the thing I’d like to see at Best Buy is to actually get someone to help you and not ignore females.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @lodleader: Agreed. I always feel so happy in stores when there is a Women’s, Men’s and FAMILY bathroom. That way anyone can use the changing tables, instead of just the women.

  7. “lotion near the paper towels”

    Are you sure that’s for women?

  8. teh says:

    Honestly, I think the female customers really crave the same thing as male customers: knowledgeable employees.

  9. hellinmyeyes says:

    Reminds me of a store I saw in Williamsburg, VA. I think it was Lenox Mill. They had a “Men’s Recovery Room” with a buttload of recliners and a couple televisions with ESPN, etc, going. Ahhhh…

  10. strathmeyer says:

    Women in Minneapolis are only good for making children? Who knew?

    Perhaps they should start making bigotry-free stores.

  11. aront says:

    Best Buy has been running trial stores such as this in California since 2004 – this is nothing new. The interesting thing, though, is that they can’t get the concept to work!

    No matter how hard they try, stores that focus on Women and Mothers (“Jill” they call her) the store is not profitable enough to overcome the cost of the specialization.

    In the end the trial store gets converted to a Buzz/Barry (18-45 y/old men) store with heavy focus on home theater and computers/gaming and becomes instantly more profitable.

  12. MissTicklebritches says:

    I just want to go to a Best Buy store where employees don’t scatter the second they sense a customer needs help.

  13. Outrun1986 says:

    As a female customer, we just want to be treated equally at the store as males. Also, we want to be left alone to do our own shopping, if we need help, we will come to you. Do not give us special treatment or try to talk down to us. Just treat us the same as you would any other customer, thats not asking for much now is it? Also lose the stereotype that all we want are washers and kitchen appliances, more females are playing video games than ever. Don’t try to push games like Cooking Mama on us either, there are females that would be embarrassed by this and would just leave the store. Don’t try to push extra hard to sell us those overpriced accessories or service plans just because you think we need them since apparently we don’t know what we are doing with televisions, your looking at your most feared devil customer here who is very knowledgeable on prices and who does research before she goes to the store.

    Also if we have kids, you better not be making the extra effort to sell things to them, we already know that all retail stores are out to take advantage of anyone who comes into the store with children.

    Fortunately I haven’t experienced any incidents while shopping that made me feel like an idiot for being a girl in a store. So most retail is doing pretty well on this front, at least where I live. Or I don’t fit the stereotypical female that they are trying to sell to, that and I don’t have children.

    • guroth says:

      @Outrun1986: Everything you just listed is standard BestBuy employee behavior toward all customers and not just women.

      Everyone gets talked down to, bothered without asking for help, upsold on bs product upgrades and services etc etc.

  14. Craig says:

    They’d be much more profitable if they trained their associates to convince significant others that the bigger screen was a much better deal overall.

  15. Thoria says:

    What about sales associates that don’t flat out lie about the features of cell phones?

  16. jwm1314 says:

    Toss out the more “women friendly” idea and make them more “family friendly”. Go the Apple Store model, stock the nicest 10 HDTV’s (10 total, all in different sizes), the newest and best video games, newest and best software, iPods and Zunes, the newest and best music, 6 best digital cameras, 6 best video cameras, etc. Realize people don’t want a choice of 8 kinds of TV’s in each size, they want the best. Make it open, airy, and inviting, not tons of isles, content, and bland.

    Keep the old stores for those who want selection, open the smaller stores for those who want to spend 10 minutes getting a new TV or digital camera.

  17. idx says:

    This is not new, they have had stores geared towards women for the past 4 or 5 years. In Atlanta there is a ‘Jill’ store (upperclass soccer mom) that features a play area for kids, a coffee bar and personal shoppers.

  18. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This is pretty ridiculous. When I go to Best Buy, all I need help with is checking whether things are in stock because I don’t see them on the shelf. I don’t need a ramble on the features of this camera, or the difference between blu-ray and regular…as soon as we get within 40 yards of the TVs, they descend like vultures and they always talk to the husband, though I know more about TVs than they do, and when I start asking questions, they still look at him!

    And I’ve never purchased appliances, so I don’t really care so much for the mother-friendly aspect of BB, but I probably wouldn’t care for it even if I did have kids…why should BB be a fun appliance-buying experience? It’s more fun to go look at the electronics and TVs.

  19. thelushie says:

    What about making a child-free store where those of us without children and who don’t like children can shop without having to dodge strollers and kids running wild because the parents are too busy trying to be childless again.

    This isn’t woman friendly,it is kid friendly. I would not shop there if I was in the area.

    • Gorphlog says:

      @thelushie:

      I concur wholeheartedly. I wish more businesses besides places like Dave and Busters would adopt a no kids policy. It would make shopping a much more peaceful and enjoyable experience

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @thelushie: I was in the grocery store the other day, and this little girl in the produce section with her parents kept shrieking “daddy! look, daddy!” and holding up a tomato. It annoyed me to no end, and I don’t breeze by the produce aisle. I was there for a good 15 minutes gathering veggies and fruit for the week, and this girl was screaming for her dad to look at her tomato, which she probably dropped onto the floor later.

      I understand the nature of bringing kids places. I don’t hate children, I plan on having some someday. But I can totally understand not wanting to have them screeching in your ear everywhere you go, especially when electronics shopping (actually, shopping in general) is a therapeutic experience for some people. It helps them relax, and it’s hard to relax with Jimmy and Sally yelling three aisles over.

      • Outrun1986 says:

        @IHaveAFreezeRay:

        I am not a kid hater either (hey we were all kids once) however I can imagine it being really annoying if your trying to make a decision on a large purchase of possibly 1k or more and there are kids screeching in your ear (its bad enough you would have the sales associates breathing down your neck when trying to make a decision!) I really don’t care if kids screech in the grocery store or anywhere else where I am buying trivial stuff but not when I have to make a careful decision about a large purchase.

        If a store is catering to people making purchases of 1k or more (or other large purchases) than a play area should be mandatory regardless of whether its a “woman-friendly” store or not.

  20. Mary says:

    This makes about as much sense as painting a gadget pink and declaring it’s “for girls.”

    I can’t think of a single woman I know that shops for the types of things Best Buy sells that would be more likely to shop there because of this. They would all avoid it more, I think.

    • Lepoth says:

      @Meiran: When it comes to pricing, that stuff really makes me mad. I was at BB once looking for a case for my Zen, when I found two. They were the same in everything except for color and price. The pink one was on clearance for $5.00, and the black was selling for $35.00. WTF?

  21. dahlink_natasha says:

    I guess I can’t shop at those Best Buys because I don’t have kids and I got my tubes tied.

    Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m a baby factory!

  22. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    Oh that’s great news! I’ve been confused about what that “home theatre” stuff was for a long time now. I’m glad that Best Buy is finally catering to my tiny brain as a vagina-american.

  23. CrackerJaX says:

    As the father of a 3 year old and a 6 month old, I want lower sinks and baby changing stations in all men’s rooms, but alas, its not a priority. My favorite is changing a diaper on the table at Starbucks (I use a changing pad.) If they don’t want people with kids there, stop selling drinks with cartoon cows on them.
    Oh yeah, and holding my 40 pound kid in the air so he can wash his hands sucks. The things I do to try to teach my kids to be cleaner than I am.

  24. alysbrangwin says:

    I used to work in a computer store. We had several female employees and we were all knowledgeable about the Macs, PCs, iPods, wireless routers, and USB keys back before people knew the purpose of a flash drive. Most of us had access to one form or two of video games as well, and we played the Doom demo on the Mac. We had the Starcraft II demo up when I left last summer, and it was great. Customers responded well too, telling our manager that they appreciated the female-friendly atmosphere. Well-trained employees can do a lot for a business.

  25. electrogeek77 says:

    Imagine being a woman that NEVER wants to have children. This just adds to the societial pressure.

    I will admit, though, if a good product comes with a pink option, I will usually go for it.

  26. SinisterMatt says:

    Does it have that “cherry red steam thing” too? Just wondering.

    Cheers!