Toshiba links with retailer to lure women

WAYNE, NJ: Toshiba is teaming up with an upscale furniture maker and retailer to woo women customers as they become more influential in consumer-technology buys. Toshiba has partnered with Drexel Heritage Furniture Industries to feature home-theater technology, such as flat-screen TVs, in Drexel's stores.

WAYNE, NJ: Toshiba is teaming up with an upscale furniture maker and retailer to woo women customers as they become more influential in consumer-technology buys. Toshiba has partnered with Drexel Heritage Furniture Industries to feature home-theater technology, such as flat-screen TVs, in Drexel's stores.

Maria Repole, senior manager of PR and corporate events at Toshiba, said women are becoming an increasingly important audience.

While Toshiba does have a presence in retail outlets like Best Buy, being in a more upscale home-décor environment is more important in reaching women. Having such a presence is vital, particularly as consumer electronics become more sleek and stylish themselves, and the style of consumer technology becomes just as important as the function, said Repole.

"Home is the place that we love to be, and this reflects that and plays on that emotion," said Repole. "That's something women embrace much more."

Toshiba also will work with its PR agency - Brodeur Worldwide - to target lifestyle media, from In Style to Better Homes and Gardens. Toshiba already targets such media outlets, Repole explained, but will leverage its relationship with Drexel Heritage, which is based in High Point, NC, to reach a wider array of titles. Toshiba also will work with the furniture company on product placement efforts, such as on the show Extreme Makeover.

Women are involved in 89% of all consumer-electronics purchasing decisions, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. The study also found that 84% of women believe new technologies can help improve their lives.

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