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Monday, July 25, 2011

Hot Mama Rethinks Retail Experience

Hot Mama Rethinks Retail Experience
I love coming across examples of retail experience creativity. Case in point: Minneapolis based Hot Mama clothing boutiques which I discovered in FastCompany's February 2011 in an article titled How Retailer Hot Mama Is Rethinking Shopping for Moms.

What I love most about this retail experience is that store itself is built around a centrally located space where kids get entertained with videos, movies, toys and coloring books. That means that wherever mom is in the store, she can keep an eye on her kids.

Furthermore, with her kids entertained, she can relax and shop.

Brilliant, no?

The store concept addresses an unmet need that store founder and CEO, Megan Tamte, discovered after the birth of her child.

In addition to the centrally located kid space [somewhat related to paying attention to fitting rooms, no?], Hot Mama stores offer wide aisles for strollers.

Sales associates readily double up as baby-sitters so moms can get "15 minutes of shopping peace."

Thoughtful service is what distinguishes Hot Mama from other retail experiences.  This says it all:
"Sales employees -- or "stylists" -- go through three certification programs in their first few months on the floor: denim, body type, and maternity. "All women have issues with their body," says Hot Mama president Kimberly Ritzer. "Our stylists can outfit any woman, aged 25 to 65, based on her body the minute she walks through the door, but they also build personal relationships to find a style that makes her feel comfortable. It's like shopping with a girlfriend.""
Can you imagine this level of service and focus on customers?

Something worth talking about, don't you think?

How do you see applying this concept of intense focus on one customer segment and addressing the frustrations and needs she has to your retail environment?

Let me know in the comments.


Jay Ehret said...

What a true magic spot in the customer's experience. These are the types of things that build customer loyalty. Love to see the focus on experience and not price.

Thanks for the awesome example C.B.!

CB Whittemore said...


It is refreshing, isn't it? That focus on the customer experience will become even more critical for retail businesses to figure out how to do effectively. Otherwise, customers will go online and focus on price.

Thanks for your comment. I hope all's well.


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