Waiting to Explode

You’d think in these tight times, retailers would be catering to the few women in their stores. But my friend Molly’s recent experience at a Verizon store is all too typical. 

Molly’s upfront research encouraged an in-person store visit so their on-site device could instantly transfer all of her contacts and pictures onto a new Blackberry. Figuring on 10 minutes tops, she brought along her 3 year old son Brady. An hour and fifteen minutes after saying, “That one, please,” Molly and Brady were still waiting. (If you call torture, ‘waiting.’) “No place to sit, no place to put your winter coat. C’mon, what the heck were they doing, typing and scurrying around for an hour?” 

Like every mother of invention, Molly had suggestions for improvement.  “How about some chairs, a coloring book ,even brand-building toy phones??  How about letting me watch a DVD on how to use my new phone or letting me download a few new ringtones?” Instead, she ended up taking Brady to the bathroom 5 times out of boredom, only to be sent home with “a folder of papers, 2 booklets, a CD, and 3 cords that I will never even try to figure out.”  

What retailers don’t realize is that women, especially moms with kids (or with the babysitter meter ticking) can exact sweet revenge when left waiting. Molly admitted, “I spent the first 15 minutes trying to make sure Brady didn’t break the demo phones, and the rest of the time not caring if he did.” 

In research Just Ask a Woman conducted on car dealerships, one of our favorite moms slyly confided, “When I am in the showroom, I try to control my kids. But once they start the runaround, I don’t control my children anymore.” 

Now is the time for shopkeepers to ‘get it’. You are a stop on her day, not her destination. She’ll buy…and she’ll be back…if you only let her go.

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December 2, 2021
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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