Bob’s is for Guys

May 29, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

When David Farrell became president and chief executive officer of the Bob’s Store sportswear chain he discovered the company had an identity crisis.

It couldn’t identify or, at the very least, reach its core customers.

“A few years ago we tried to be all things to all people. We got into a mess and we had to do a quick turnaround.”

The retailer’s problems stemmed from a strategy that targeted female shoppers, although men were its primary consumer. The rationale for marketing to women was their role as the primary shopper for family clothes.

According to the Providence Journal, “Bob’s used to advertise primarily through newspaper circulars, which are read mostly by women. The company is now experimenting more with television ads and business-to-business marketing geared toward men.”

Moderator’s Comment: What should retailers do to market
to men more effectively?

Seventy percent of Bob’s merchandise mix is for men and
Mr. Farrell sees little reason to focus greater attention on women. “How would
we differentiate it?” he asked. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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