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How Home Depot realized it should market to women |

How Home Depot realized it should market to women

At the end of the meeting, the team decided to experiment with their product range at the annual Black Friday sale. They gave their merchants a broad mandate: “If it’s something you can conceive of using in your home, let’s have a conversation about it.”

Some of the home appliances and cookware options they tested proved so successful that they’re now kept long-term inside every store. The Home Depot also had some rather unexpected hits during their Black Friday sales, like a giant fluffy teddy bear that sold for $29.99. “Who would’ve ever thought to see that at Home Depot?,” Mueller says. “But we were sold out in ten minutes, the first year we carried them.”


After that, the Home Depot’s Black Friday sales began to break records, year after year. At the time we spoke to Mueller, the Home Depot had just had its fifth consecutive largest Black Friday sale in history. (Mueller recently left the company, though she says she still “bleeds orange.”)

Home Depot made other efforts to expand its marketing toward women as well. In 2010, the brand started D.I.Y. workshops for women (titled “Do-It-Herself”) which proved to be a smash hit. The Do-It-Herself workshops have huge turnouts, and the company now holds one workshop every month, in all their stores. Mueller says that sometimes women bring their husbands or other men in their lives.

Since the Home Depot began its mission to woo more women, it has attracted a wave of new customers, and rave reviews from everyone, including The New York Times. Its rebranding was so successful, that Forbes called it the brand’s “resurrection.”

And in 2017, the brand announced the highest quarterly sales and highest quarterly net earnings in their company’s history.

This article has been adapted from the book Untapped: How America’s Best Organizations Discover and Leverage the Genius of Women.

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