Home Depot targeting women

 home depot logo Pictures, Images and Photos

As reported by the NYT (click here to read it), Home Depot and other home improvement chains are adapting a new strategy amid the sluggish housing sector in the U.S. Home prices are still very low there and fewer people are buying homes and new home construction is also still very slow. This has been the bread and butter for companies like Home Depot who rely on contractors and ‘do-it-yourselfers’ that are moving in to a new home. Their new strategy aims at smaller purchases, but at a higher rate and to a new audience.

If properly marketed to, women can be an engine of growth for these chains. They are not as likely to buy drywall and lumber in order to construct a new room in their home, but they are very likely to by window coverings, vanity mirrors and rugs to spruce up their home. They are even more likely to make these purchases if a Martha Stewart label is slapped on the items. That’s exactly what Home Depot is doing. They have partnered with Martha Stewart to sell many of her branded products throughout the Home Depot stores. These products will even be categorized into matching lines across many types of items. This simplifies the purchasing process for women who often feel out of place at stores like Home Depot.

Now, women will find a Martha Stewart rug as an example that is marked with a certain icon and then in the curtains section they will be able to find Martha Stewart drapes that have the same icon to make it easy for the customer to buy products that go well together. Home Depot hopes that this strategy will do two important things. Firstly, they hope that the Martha Stewart brand will make women feel more comfortable in a male dominated hardware store and secondly, that they will purchase multiple items because they have matching icons.

They need these purchases to be more than just a single item because the slumping housing market is causing lower sales of big ticket items and construction materials. Therefore, they need customers to spend more money per transaction to fill the gap. It sounds like a good strategy, but its success will depend on how they execute it. The look of the store will need to be more inviting for women and the marketing will have to convince women that Home Depot is catering to them. We will see how Home Depot does with women moving forward and if competitors try to imitate their strategy.