Gender shopping: HD, Lowe’s share their philosophies
An article in the Wall Street Journal reinforced the notions that many shoppers have always held about the nation’s leading home-improvement retailers: one caters to women, and the other prefers a gender neutral atmosphere.
Lowe’s ongoing effort to appear female friendly recently including lowering the stores’ 16-ft. perimeter shelving and 12-ft. fixtures in the aisles, company VP Melissa Birdsong told the WSJ in a Sept. 6 interview. In some areas, the racks are as low as 4.5 ft.
“What we heard from customers, mostly women, is that [higher racks were] very intimidating,” Birdsong said.
In contrast, Home Depot is staying true to its original DIY format. Company spokeswoman Jean Niemi told the WSJ that the Atlanta retailer’s store “is first and foremost a working warehouse.” Differentiating based on gender isn’t in the company playbook, she said, adding: “We don’t look at it like men versus women.”
At Renin, a new VP sales and marketing
David Murray has been named VP sales and marketing for Brampton, Ontario-based Renin Corp. Renin manufactures closet doors, room divider partitions and mirrored wall decor under the Erias Home Designs brand.
Murray has more than two decades of experience with manufacturers of home and commercial building products including well-known brands Masonite and Premdor doors, DRIcore and Barricade subflooring tiles and Ecoglo photoluminescent lighting.
"Dave’s extensive sales and marketing background in the home products sector and strong marketing and e-commerce expertise are welcome additions to our team,” said Kevin Campbell, CEO of Renin.
Renin Corp.’s product catalog includes mirror, specialty glass and raised-panel sliding, bifold and pocket closet doors, overlay wall-mount doors, room divider partitions, framed and frameless mirror wall décor, and custom-fabricated glass and mirrors sold under the Erias Home Designs, Kingstar and Truporte brands, as well as bifold and sliding door hardware systems sold under the Acme, DSH and Ramtrack brand names.
True Value gets focused on the farm
When Mike Clark, True Value’s senior VP and chief merchandising officer, talks about growth areas, he points to canning, he points to pet food. He points to strength in these warm times, of anything that moves cool air through a house, or moves water around the yard.
But Clark seems most excited about initiatives in farm and ranch.
Research showed that about 500 to 600 True Value members were involved in one or more of the farm and ranch categories. These categories represented about a third of their businesses, on average. But the members were buying their product somewhere else.
“We have 12 DCs,” Clark said. “These are loyal members. That’s why we believe we can develop warehouse programs to allow them to buy in smaller increments. We can competitively price this product.”
In June 2011, increased its SKU count by 200%. The co-op now has more than 10,000 SKUs available in the key areas of farm ranch, which includes specialty pet and automotive products.
The plan includes regional education meetings with members and a farm and ranch retail council, to provide guidance and feedback on assortment and planograms.
The co-op’s story in farm ranch will be on full display at the Fall Market in Salt Lake City Sept. 21-23.