Her Depot: Home Depot For Women

Scary man tools will be replaced by decorative trinkets and stylish furniture at the new Home Depot pilot store designed to attract women. Tragically dubbed “Her Depot,” the store will abandon Home Depot’s warehouse aesthetic in favor of shorter, “cleaner” aisles that emphasize home organization and interior design.

“There is a showroom of doors and windows unlike any other we’ve ever tried,” Feldman said.

“She can buy a light bulb as well as all of the lighting,” he said. “Or a major appliance plus the laundry detergent to go with it.”

Though there will be a garden center, the focus won’t be on the act of gardening as much as the appreciation of outdoor living. No piles of dirt and grass-seed bags or rolling shelves full of begonias and impatiens will be found at the design centers. Instead there will be more stylish outdoor furniture and accessories, upscale pottery and other garden paraphernalia.

The pilot Home Depot Design Center opens this week in Concord, CA, while a second store is expected to open soon in Charlotte, NC. Home Depot may want a new slogan to match their pretty new stores; “You Can Do It, We Can Help,” never sounded so patronizing.

This Home Depot is for women [Contra Costa Times]
(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Math is hard. Lets go shopping!

  2. ExtraCelestial says:

    @homerjay: lolol

    i think the great indoors is already an excellent non sexist alternative

  3. alhypo says:

    “Her Depot”? You’ve got to be kidding. I can’t believe someone actually thought that would be a good name for it. Anyway, I predict this will be a flop.

  4. missdona says:

    I’m totally who they’re targeting with their stupidly named store.

    I hate the friggin’ Home Depot and gag from sawdust whenever I have to go there.

  5. e-gadgetjunkie says:

    I love going to Home Depot or Lowes and checking out tubs and flooring samples and lighting fixtures. This all sounds patronizing to me.
    I’m a woman, I already like the stores.

  6. Rusted says:

    Seems like Lowe’s made an impression after all on the management at HD.

  7. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    This makes me want to throw up. As a woman, I’m sickened when companies put a coat of pink paint on something and say they’re catering to women — whether it’s razors/shaving cream, airline websites, or stores. Such pandering is insulting to our intelligence.

    Here’s something I didn’t see in the article — are they going to have employees ANYWHERE around, or are they going to hide like the HD ones do?

    By the way, I use my boyfriend’s cheap “guy” shaving cream — works just as well and costs a whole lot less. Just doesn’t come in a pink can.

  8. Didn’t they learn anything from that airline with the girl-only and gay-only ticket ordering? “It’s easy and pretty! Women will love it!” Women don’t like being patronized, especially the sort who would shop for their own DIY projects.

    And screechy, indignant Feministing post in 3…2…1…

  9. alhypo says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: Hey, I like pink. In fact, I have a pink dress-shirt I often wear to less formal performances.

    But seriously, I understand what you are saying. It is ridiculous to associate colors with gender.

  10. JulieG says:

    I have to concur with the majority here. The concept they are suggesting is pure patronizing crap. Isn’t there a single, sane female in the upper levels of management in this company? This is just more of the same old ‘we need to dumb it down and gussy it up for the gals’ bullsh!t.

  11. wizardlizard says:

    I used to work at Lowe’s as a summer job (ugh, such boring work) and there were plenty of women in there who did just fine. Why do we need this again?

  12. missdona says:

    I don’t hate Lowe’s as much, but I still hate it.

    If they only separated the lumber the way the separate the garden stuff, I would like it a lot better.

  13. n/a says:

    They should call it “Heil Depot”

  14. pmr12002 says:

    Wasn’t that indirectly the point of Expo Design Center? Won’t it cut into that market?

  15. mantari says:

    Myself, I’m waiting for Homo Depot.
    Come on, HD, you know you have gays all over your stores!

  16. the only way this story can end well is if Martha Stewart ended up tripping face first into an operating band saw

  17. rbb says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS:

    Using his shaving cream is fine. But don’t even think of using his razor. We can tell when you do…

  18. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS:

    And yet enough women buy it that they keep doing it.

    Like men, most women are not capable of having their intelligence insulted.

  19. LucyInTheSky says:

    This is so stupid. i don’t know what to say about this. really, who comes up with this crap?

  20. kenboy says:

    Even more annoying, what if I’m out running manly errands and need to pick up some sort of decorative trim for a home improvement project? I can’t go into a store called HER Depot!

    Kidding, but in all seriousness, isn’t it somewhat stupid to notify half the population, right in the store’s NAME, that this place isn’t for you?

  21. gibwar says:

    That’s all I have to say

  22. Me. says:

    Okay, I agree with everyone so far and say that this is very borderline insulting.

    However, to play devil’s advocate, I’m going to think about how this could help someone like my mother. She’s 100% capable but just hasn’t had the exposure to tools and such that I do. I’d rather have her going into a simplified environment (not because she’s female and supposedly can’t handle more but because there’s a lot in a Home Depot she simply has no use for) and be able to get what she needs for around her house. As of right now, she’s paying fix-it people waaaaay too much money to fix tiny little things around her house simply because she doesn’t know how easy it is to do it herself.

    If this could give her the knowledge she needs in an environment she finds inviting, I’m all for it. If they make everything pink and shiny… I’ll take back everything I said!

  23. ideagirl says:

    Sounds similar to what HomeBase tried with the House2Home stores before they went belly up. I don’t need my hardware pretty, I just need my hardware. Oh, and Home Depot sucks, I wouldn’t go to their stupid girl store unless they were giving hardware away.

  24. emt888 says:

    “She can buy a major appliance plus the laundry detergent to go with it.” Well thank God they have both in the same place, because I don’t think my tiny female brain could handle having to go to another store to buy the detergent. Of course, that would be the only appliance I would buy.

  25. bohemian says:

    Funny, most of my recent hardware store trips were for the things they are removing from their “chick” stores. Actual hardware, lumber, bags of mulch, electrical wiring components.
    What is more sad is that I usually know more about what I am working on than most of the guys in the stores that try to help me.

  26. Boberto says:

    After swearing I’d never go back there (because they suck), I stopped in to pick up some door weather stripping. It wasn’t busy, BUT while I was there three people approached me and asked me if I needed help. Also, the people who I passed in the aisles all made eye contact with me and greeted me. There must be some kind of touchy/feely initiative going on.

  27. CumaeanSibyl says:

    There’s totally a market for a store that sells home decor/organization stuff, furniture, appliances, and soforth. Target is really popular because they have all the things you need to furnish, clean, and organize your home in one store. Take just that section of Target, expand it, and get a wider price/quality range of products, and you could have a huge success with that.

    The real marketing failure they’ve got here is the bright idea of describing their store as “like Home Depot, except we took out half of the departments.” If they’d gone with “Hey, we have this great new home store with tons of stuff!” it would have looked a lot better. Marketing it to women just makes it even worse, as now it looks like they’ve crippled Home Depot for the sake of scaredy-cat weenie girls.

  28. XTC46 says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS: My girlfriend stole my razor :( she says it works better than the ones they make for women. Then she bought me a nice electric razor to replace it, so I guess we are even.

  29. Robobot says:

    The worst thing about Home Depot-like stores is getting treated like a dumb-dumb by all the male employees.

    It is a pretty insulting busindess model, but I’d be willing to go to a dumbed-down store if it meant being treated like a human. Home Depot employees ruin my day. I know that as a female I’m weaker, smaller, and downright stupid, but I’d like to shop for lightbulbs in peace and carry my own paint cans.

    Maybe they will carry pink power tools too! (With easier instructions and fewer functions for my delicate female brain.) I have to get them somewhere and I never intend to set foot in the local Home Depot again. (There are actually male *employees* who stand outside smoking and hoot at the women who walk in/come out.)

  30. synergy says:

    I was just about to say that the whole thing sounded patronizing. What exactly is wrong with all of it being in a warehouse? They have signs and I can read. If the “prettification” means I have to pay more for a faucet washer so they can afford to pay the store designer, no thanks!

  31. Youthier says:

    I don’t know much a home improvement. I also don’t know much about sewing or knitting. It’s just not an interest of mine.
    So I don’t need a pretty store. What I need are employees who know what the fuck they are doing so that they can help me find what I need. The “Her Depot” employees will probably be even less competent than the regular HD employees.

  32. EvilSquirrel says:

    @pmr12002: That was exactly what I was thinking. The only problem I see with this is the fact that stores like Kmart, Target, Sears, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, and so on already carry most of these things.

    What will women do when they need to build that deck and fix up their garden to accompany all that lawn furniture they bought? I just hope you can still rent a truck after you buy all your crap and realize it will not fit into your compact car.

  33. robotprom says:

    @mantari: there’s a 24 hour HD in Atlanta thats a cruising spot, so the Homo Depot is already here.

  34. Dustbunny says:

    @Consumerist Moderator – ACAMBRAS:

    “Here’s something I didn’t see in the article — are they going to have employees ANYWHERE around, or are they going to hide like the HD ones do?”

    Amen!! I thought it was just me they were hiding from…when I was shopping for my bathroom remodeling, I got so frustrated trying to find an HD employee, I wished I was carrying a sign that said “Ready to spend $2,000 – 3,000 $$ Please help!” Feh. I ended up going to some plumbing and hardware wholesalers w/the contractor where we got much better service.

  35. Anonymous says:

    They already have this, it’s called Expo Design Center. There’s one right next to HD here.

  36. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @xtc46: This is true. Women’s razors are overengineered with “fins” and “moisture strips” and “ergonomic design” and whatnot, which means that you can’t actually get the blades to reach your skin. Very safe shave, that, but not so effective.

    To stretch an analogy, one wonders if “Her Depot” will spend all their time and money on designing cushy, pretty, non-threatening stores that won’t make us feel scared, while neglecting things like employee training, efficient stocking/ordering/shipping, and reasonable policies.

  37. camille_javal says:

    Um, is that local CBS affiliate story wrong? Is it *actually* called “Her Depot,” or did someone misunderstand a joke in a wire story? It seems like it’s really called Home Depot Design Center.

    In fact, a Montana tv station lists the Associated Press story, with the line, “A new Home Depot is more like a Her Depot. ” – [www.montanasnewsstation.com] (scroll down)

  38. Gloria says:

    And hey, nice job on alienating guys who aren’t macho handymen, as if they aren’t already getting enough flak about their masculinity. How about creating a helpful environment for *people* who don’t know much about home repair?

  39. formergr says:

    @camille_javal: Okay that would be hilarious if the CBS affiliate got the story wrong and it’s not actualled called “Her Depot”. And a relief, because I seriously cannot believe that HD would pre-emptively halve a store’s customer base in half (because seriously, how many guys would be caught dead in a place called “Her Depot”?).

  40. XTC46 says:

    @Gloria: Thats a very good point. My family owns a construction company, and just about every male in my family works for it… except me. I fix computers. Don’t get me wrong, I can do basic stuff (I worked with them when I was a kid and wanted cash) but they look at me like an idiot when I dont know how to do the more advanced stuff. I can’t imagine the shit I would get if I didn’t know anything.

    Oh well.. they can keep giving me dirty looks from their hot sweaty dusty construction site while I’m sitting in my nice leather office chair in an air conditioned building.

  41. lizzybee says:

    @camille_javal: You’re right. If you click on the graphic of the Contra Costa Times story, it’s clear that the business name is actually “Home Depot Design Center.”

    I’d just love it if they’d train their staff and put a decent directory in the new store. I’ll never forget the time I went alone, struggling to find decent home networking equipment. My husband recommended the place as a good place to buy a big box of RJ-45 connectors. Unfortunately, they were almost out, aside from a busted box. The staff was utterly useless and kept trying to suggest that RJ-11 connectors were the same thing **sigh** I just drive the extra miles to Fry’s now…

    Lowe’s doesn’t strike me as being any cleaner than Home Depot. The only difference I’ve noticed between the two is that they have brighter lights and white shelves.

  42. lizzybee says:

    @lizzybee: “I’d just love it if they’d train their staff and put a decent directory in the new store.” Dumb. I meant, “I’d just love it if they’d train their staff and put decent directories in their old stores.”

    Brain short-circuit, sorry.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Dumb move, but then this is the company that named themselves THE Home Depot.

  44. Trackback says:

    Everything you ever wanted to know about men’s rights activists, but were afraid to ask. Hot local Purity Ball action! Organizers say there have been more than a thousand of these things in the past year. And apparently, not all of the sorta similar events for boys are called “Integrity Balls.”

  45. vex says:

    So long as they still sell me “scary tools”, lumber, and everything I need to shock myself, I don’t care what else they do. They might want to think up a better name though.

  46. Jezebel will have a field day with this.

    I should know, I’m from Kotaku.

  47. Landru says:

    Maybe they’re just renaming the Expo stores?

  48. Raziya says:

    I hate marketing initiatives like these…when my fiance worked for Gamestop they made a questionable one too that was similar…one side of a gondola “Games for Boys” and the other side “Games for Girls”. Games for Boys? Regular games. Games for Girls? COOKING MAMA. DISNEY PRINCESS. o_O As a girl gamer that really pissed me off, and this move by Home Depot does the same. What about people like my parents? Two capable women who have remodeled their entire home by themselves! Just because you’re a women doesn’t mean you’re stupid, marketing, plztry2rememberthatkthx.

  49. thepounder says:

    Can anyone reasonably expect Home Depot to actually “train” some disinterested teen or early-20-something to be a quasi-expert in any field that pertains to something they sell in the store? Well, since they say “You can do it. We can help”, yes, you should have a reasonable expectation that they have some knowledge of the latest paint technique, how to lay tiling, or even something as simple as where to find 7 1/4″ circular saw blades.
    I’ve never worked at a Home Depot but on several occasions I’ve helped other shoppers to find what they’re looking for. I go there all the time so I know where most everything is, and if I see somebody who’s obviously not finding what they’re looking for I just help them out. I’ve gotten some strange looks but I’ve also received a bunch of “thank you’s”… and I had no doubt that any random employee may not be able to help out.
    I will say, however, that at the Home Depot I frequent there are quite a few retiree-age folks working there who seem to know their stuff… those are the only orange-aproned people there actually rendering assistance of any kind. The young’ns just seem to want to hover around the registers or be outside where they’re far away from customers with questions. It’s too bad really because their conduct hurts Home Depot itself, as folks like you and I see them as the face of the store too often, as opposed to the few good employees who will always help a customer.

  50. nidolke says:

    Keep those damn women in their place, remind them that They’re the ones who need to be doing the laundry!

    This is the dumbest idea ever. I’m not stepping within 100 feet of one of these stores.

  51. Trackback says:

    I know Ann mentioned the new Home Depot store for women, Her Depot (blech). But I had to point out some of the language they’re using in their rollout: “She can buy a light bulb as well as all of the lighting,” [a spokesperson] said. “Or a major appliance plus the laundry detergent to go with it.”

  52. hexychick says:

    I admit it, I’m not one of those women who gets offended by these kinds of things because I know I can hold my own and I have nothing to prove. I’m a woman who has worked in the construction industry for the last 7 years. I ran a roofing company with my father for 3 years and I have done everything from “handyman work” to deck building to roofing. Now I’m in the field office side of things for a large general contractor and have the construction experience from a different view. I know my way around just about hardware store, can ask for help when I need it, and actually know how to use those “scary tools”, but I have to say that I actually like this idea. I don’t like the warehouse feel and I really don’t like the “you’re a stupid female, aren’t you?” look I get pretty much any time I go into Home Depot or Lowes or any other one of these stores… if I can even get any assistance. I don’t like the industrial look or standard 6 colors of anything that you get through HD. I don’t like my limited options. I don’t like the cheap look to a lot of the products. The idea that “Her Depot” would be more upscale and look different would be far more inviting to me and many other women. They just need to change the name to something that isn’t quite so ultra girlie.

  53. gruffydd says:

    As far as Home Depot’s “Expo” Stores, it seems to me that it’s the red-headed stepchild of the company – totally forgotten about.

    For a store with such high-end products, the condition of the displays is horrible. Broken tiles, dirty bath fixtures, broken faucet components….

    It used to be the place to go a dream about what you would want to do in a remodel. The one in Torrance, CA has very dated products. It seems like they haven’t changed their displays in 4 years.

  54. mwynn13 says:

    This is totally about Lowe’s. My friend who sells windows for HD says they took a huge hit with female customers after the Lowe’s opened in Burbank. And Lowe’s carries better looking merchandise- I shopped both stores for a screen door and various light fixtures recently, and found Lowe’s buyers’ taste to be much more like mine, and I’m talking about the cheap stuff, not designer merch. This is like Target vs. WalMart aesthetics. One is a little more sophisticated and design-conscious, and the other is strictly middle of the road cheap+functionable.

  55. mwynn13 says:

    This move is totally about Lowe’s. In LA, HD took a huge hit with their female customers when Lowe’s opened in Burbank.

    I recently shopped both stores looking for a screen door and various light fixtures, and found much better-designed merch at Lowe’s at the same price range as HD.

    It’s kind of like Target vs. Walmart’s aesthetics- one is a bit more sophisticated, while the other is function plus no taste. If I’m looking to buy a bunch of inexpensive merchandise, I’m going to look for as much style as I can get.

  56. mwynn13 says:

    @mwynn13: Whoops. go away.

  57. Trackback says:

    You know, I like working on projects around the house, but I find that Home Depot just isn't attuned to my needs as a woman and a mother. Everything is so, you know, manly and sawdust-y, it just makes me feel intimidated. And those power tools are so big and scary-looking…

  58. sassycaddy says:

    @mantari: A gay friend of mine already calls it that. He elaborated by way of explaining HD’s attractiveness as a gay hangout, “I think it’s the combination of power tools and interior decorating.”

    As for “Her Depot,” this is a marketing approach that has been a known loser for at least 51 years. In 1956, Dodge tried to convince women they needed a car called the “La Femme” which was painted in girly colors and came with a makeup kit that matched the upholstery. Think Barbie car for grown ups. Guess what. It was a total flop.

  59. lostonly2befound says:

    I work at Home Depot and i have never seen the male employees hoot at women, i do know that if they think she is attractive they will be a bit more persistant on helping her. So you should be flattered if anything, and the men at my store(most) dont think of girls as weak and stupid, i had an old associate get mad at male customers who complained about having me help them load things that were 40-60 pounds. They complained because i was a girl and i guess in some way i was insulting them by giving them, a male, my help. This associate made it clear that i was fully capible of lifting more than a girl would normaly lift while shopping for meat for her husbands dinner

  60. Anonymous says:

    I would avoid that shop not only because it is sexist, but more because I want a proper selection when I go to a massive hardware store.

    Maybe though it would be good for older women, because definitely one of my grandmothers would not be able to walk the length and breadth of HD comfortably.

    My other grandmother is more fit that I am, OTOH. So maybe it is not actually useful for any demographic.