How a Construction Boot Retailer Found Gold in the Women’s Market…and How YOU can too.

Mark’s Work Wearhouse is going for the gold in the women’s market! Yahoo!! Like other companies that in the past, had a completely male-dominated customer base: Canadian Tire, Home Depot and Harley Davidson… Mark’s is seeing huge money in turning their attention to the women’s market!!  There are FIVE big key lessons to learn here, and I’ve summarized them, just for you.

Mark’s Work Wearhouse is known for “outfitting men with construction boots and overalls” and they’ve realized (as you have too, right?) that women are an untapped, but very lucrative market – even for a company that focuses on construction boots and overalls.

As the Globe & Mail article reports: “In it’s 4th quarter, even as the chain’s overall sales slipped almost 1 per cent, its women’s business enjoyed an 11.4 per cent lift.”

Excited yet? Me too.  Read the story here, then come back to me, as I have FIVE useful lessons that you need to use….

Now You: So, what can you take-away from this story? Glad you asked.  I’ve laid out FIVE ideas for you – which, by the way, I go over and over in my training and writing, but here’s another excuse to say it again:

1. Realize that women are different than men.

Yes, women and men are different.  Many marketers and salespeople worry that this statement is sexist.  It’s not.  Women worry about panty lines, men typically don’t.  That’s not sexist, that’s a fact to consider when finding ways to serve the market’s need.

2. Find out what drives women nuts, and make it into a business opportunity.

So, find out what drives women nuts.  But remember….you’re not going to find out by sending women pre-written multiple-choice surveys that ask what they like about the store or how satisfied were they on a scale from 1 to 5 with their service today.

You will find out the same way Mark’s did, by entering into a wide, and sometimes eclectic conversation with an advisory group of women over Perrier and cookies and not limiting the conversation to fit your perceptions about what women want, but by asking them in their lives, at every turn, what is really driving them nuts.  Panty lines? Really? Hm.  We can fix that. (for double the price of other womens’ underwear…..which leads me to lesson #3…)

3. Realize that if you can truly solve a problem that drives women nuts, they will pay a premium for a solid and true solution.

If (and I mean a big IF…no faking it!) you can truly solve the problem, women will pay premium for a good solution that works.  Mark’s didn’t hold back in charging five dollars for a pair of underwear – which is “at least twice as much as underwear at other retailers” because they knew – after speaking directly with women – that this is a compelling problem for women.  They knew if they could truly solve the problem in a quality way, that they could easily justify the price.  And they were right, as the story reports: “When the first panties appeared…..demand was so hot that the outlet couldn’t keep them in stock.”

4. Remove barriers that will conflict with your efforts to woo women shoppers

If the name of your store is Mark’s Work Wearhouse, and you’re known for construction boots and overalls, yes, you might want to think about re-branding.  Mark’s Work Wearhouse figured that out, and is now changing their name to simply “Mark’s” in a pilot test to start.

5.   And last, but not least – even if you are in a super, super, super (did I say super enough?) male-dominated market, think women.  Harley Davidson did it.  Home Depot did it, and now Mark’s Work Wearhouse is doing it.  Are you?


Stumped on your Marketing and Selling to Women plan? Book a High Heel Audit with me today, and get unstuck!  Email: or call 250-448-7975.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: