The Wall Street Journal reported that Best Buy seeks to draw in more females with Liz Claiborne accessory bags -- think computer bags, cases for Apple's
Liz Claiborne does have some hotter, younger brands, including Juicy Couture, Lucky, and Kate Spade (although the Kate Spade resigned her post as designer recently. Uh-oh.). But can Liz Claiborne's brands do much to tantalize the choosy female shopper -- or even lure her to come into Best Buy in the first place? I'm not so sure. Incidentally, Liz Claiborne didn't comment on the deal with Best Buy, so there are few details on the merchandise.
It's not surprising that Best Buy wants to better serve the female demographic. The company has long had its "customer-centric" approach in place, including stores that are specially geared toward certain slices of the consumer-electronics buying world, like soccer moms or hardcore geeks. That very "customer-centric" approach is precisely why I think it has an advantage over other electronics retailers, including Circuit City
And of course, increasing customer traffic isn't the only reason Best Buy would like to better cater to women. The company said the Consumer Electronics Association has given women credit where it's due -- right at the wallet. Not only do they represent more than half of the spending on electronics each year here in the U.S., but apparently they also "influence" 90% of electronics purchases. The influencing part doesn't surprise me, but that 90% figure is much more formidable than I would have imagined.
OK, so sure, I did admire a Kate Spade iPod holder a while back ... but I ended up settling on a more utilitarian Belkin holder from Target
Don't get me wrong -- it makes a lot of sense that Best Buy's aiming for a greater share of female shoppers, and I'm not underestimating the retailer's power over the long term. However, this particular move doesn't strike me as a very dazzling innovation toward getting the attention of more women.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.