The Gender Intelligent Retailer
By Joanne Thomas Yaccato

“Forget China, India and the internet: economic growth is driven by women.”
The Economist, April 2006


Make it Women-Friendly, Make it Everybody Friendly…

With the economy in distress, retailers need to pay more attention than ever before to the mechanics of their business. Women are incredibly discerning consumers who control 80 percent of the consumer dollar spent in the industrialized world, yet the retail sector ranks poorly in its ability to serve this major market. Retailers are fighting to maintain or increase market share, yet still narrowly focus on selling the same way to everyone without taking into account the diversity of their customers. Research reveals that women feel they are not taken as seriously as men by the companies they do business with.

The way to reach women effectively is to put their consumer needs at the epicenter of your business strategy, and this is the book that explains why, and how to do it. The holistic or “organic” approach outlined in The Gender Intelligent Retailer shows that if you focus on what women want in a retail experience, you raise the bar for everyone.

Using examples from clients including Sobeys, the Toronto Blue Jays, The Home Depot, Mountain Equipment Co-op and Allstate, Joanne Thomas Yaccato shows retailers where to start and what they can do. From assessing corporate gender intelligence™ and changing internal culture, to recognizing consumer-relevant gender differences and using a gender-lens to control product development, service, sales tools and training, creating a gender-intelligent environment is an organic, ground-up approach to retailing.

Becoming a gender intelligent retailer is an effective way to create an environment that women want to visit, spend their money in, and tell all of their friends about. Men and women shop and spend in very different ways – with women controlling 80% of every dollar, shouldn’t every business start taking women a little more seriously?

“In a lifestyle based company, Joanne’s thoughts come at you like a ‘best friend’ who’s not afraid to keep you grounded. In our case, Joanne’s perspective has allowed us to meet the changing needs of our customers over the years in a relevant and authentic way. The Gender Intelligent Retailer pushes the right buttons and creates dynamic conversations that make valuable differences in the retail shopping experience.”

Kerri Molinaro, President, IKEA Canada

Joanne Thomas Yaccato (Toronto, ON, Canada), is President and founder of The Thomas Yaccato Group, a consulting company known as Corporate Canada’s Gender Lens. Since 1994, the firm has specialized in helping companies create products, services and business strategies that attract the attention and loyalty of women consumers. TYG’s innovative work with companies like The Home Depot, IKEA, Imperial Oil, PetroCan, Royal Bank Financial Group, Allstate and Toyota Canada has proven that there is a connection between getting it right with women and getting it right with everyone else. Joanne is the author of three other books, Balancing Act, Raising Your Business and The 80% Minority as well as a regular contributor to Canada’s media, including CBC, CTV, national newspapers and top financial press. She is a frequent speaker at conferences.

Sean McSweeney has held a number of management positions in his 10 years as a retail manager with Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). The Toronto store’s first gender-based store re-design was his brainchild and he has been instrumental in helping MEC win a number of environmental awards. Sean is a committed bike commuter, rain or shine, and has co-founded a charity event Run with the Sun to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

Available in bookstores everywhere. 

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 Make It Women Friendly
        Make It Everybody Friendly
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Joanne’s newest book, The Gender Intelligent Retailer, written with Canadian retail guru, Sean McSweeney, is now available at your favourite bookstore.
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