I bought an outfit for my wife (scary experience for anyone out there who is considering taking the leap) in a women’s clothing store. Apart from the fact I looked like a deer in the headlights, I was the only man in the shop, and it was obvious I needed help. A girl of about twelve years old (why do people keep looking younger? Don’t answer that question, in fact) asked me if I needed help. Okay, so the approach was a little classic but she was right on the money about needing help. Then she asked me if the size I was looking for was for me, looking me up and down. I politely said no with my deepest baritone voice I usually reserve for Barry White impersonations.
Now, this could have been a funny slip and we both could have giggled a little and I could have continued my day but when I went to pay for what the twelve year old had chosen for my wife a different twelve year old asked me if I wanted the items gift wrapped or if they were for me. Again. Now my analysis of this could have gone in a couple of different directions 1) I looked like transvestite material and, nothing against the transvestite community, but I would make a pretty ugly woman, 2) The girls were prattling out the same automatic chatter which they say five hundred times a day.
I presume it was the latter and I think there is room for some basic marketing techniques as well as some lateral thinking in retail. When I left the shop I felt like a number (and a woman, but this is a different issue). If I found myself in the situation to buy women’s clothes again, I would probably not go back to this store. Consumers have the final say. People are not manipulated and there is no conspiricy theory, if you are not happy change. If you are thinking about starting a women’s clothes store there is room to make something new, personalised, and spectacular.