Best Buy To Use Kitchens And Kids To Lure Female Shoppers

After listening to thousands of women, Best Buy has decided that its path to long-term profitability lies through redesigned showrooms that resemble kitchens and a loyalty program that lets women donate points to schools. The insights came from Best Buy’s Women’s Leadership Forums, local focus groups that let female Best Buy employees and regular gals like you send ideas to the suits upstairs. Some Best Buy executives were irked by the whole initiative.

“People thought it was some Oprah book club,” said former Best Buy executive Julie Gilbert who came up with the forums. She is now a consultant helping other companies address problem clienteles.

The program did manage to win some converts who now sound like public relations specialists.

“I can say that I doubted this process from the beginning,” said Harvey, a district manager in Indianapolis, as quoted on the WOLF site. Harvey was, however, soon a believer: “I have come full circle from someone who looked at it as ‘that women’s group’ to understanding the impact of how amazing the WOLF program is for our business and more importantly what it does to each individual it touches.”

So how else will the WOLF program touch individuals? Other proposals, not all of which are company-wide, include:

  • Letting teenage consultants sell cellphones and video games to their peers.
  • Moving iPhones and colorful cases closer to store entrances.
  • Placing hand sanitizer next to yucky videogame test kiosks.
  • More floor space for video games.

Best Buy recently started accepting video game trade-ins, which according to Best Buy C.E.O. Brian Dunn, are “‘very important to the moms out there’ because children tend to tire quickly of games.”

Tell us ladies, are any of these changes more likely to make you visit a Best Buy?

Best Buy Tests New Appeals to Women [The Wall Street Journal] (Thanks to Paul!)
Why don’t women buy at Best Buy? [Salon]