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Gendered retailing: a study of customer perceptions of front‐line staff in the DIY sector

Carley Foster (Lecturer in Marketing and Retail Management, Department of Strategic Management and Marketing, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



This paper reports findings from a small scale study exploring the role gender plays in the interactions between customers and front‐line staff in DIY retailing. Drawing on materials gathered through observations, informal discussions with staff and focus groups, this study suggests that “maleness” pervades many aspects of DIY retailing. For the respondents the image of the case retailer, B&Q, and the products sold had male connotations. Furthermore, male customers perceived male customer‐facing staff to have better knowledge of technical DIY than female employees, even though this was not always the case. Given the rising interest from women in home improvements, it would appear that measures need to be put in place to create a more “inclusive” DIY store environment for female customers, and one that challenges the stereotypical assumptions held by many male home improvement customers.



Foster, C. (2004), "Gendered retailing: a study of customer perceptions of front‐line staff in the DIY sector", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 32 No. 9, pp. 442-447.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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