The car industry doesn’t have a reputation for being female friendly. Considering that females “purchase 65% of all new cars” and “influence 95% of all auto purchases”, there’s room for an auto industry that targets female customers. [Source] Especially as most auto advertising specifically targets males, and most shops and dealerships are male owned.
Those trends are changing, and one of the frontrunners is Demeny Pollitt of Girlington Garage. She founded her female friendly shop in 2009 and has experienced some pretty amazing customer growth since opening.
Banks laughed at her when she applied for loans, but in 2009, with a little financial help from her parents, Pollitt opened Girlington Garage in South Burlington, Vermont. And now, business is booming. The garage has experienced a 40-percent increase in sales since December 2009, and the garage’s customer base grew from 860 to 2,700 during the same period, says Donna Cacace, Girlington’s co-owner and Pollitt’s mother. The business is growing so fast that they are increasing the staff — currently five full-time employees, three of them women, plus a few tech apprentices — and making equipment purchases, which likely will mean a dip in profits this year. But the customers keep coming: ”We have very loyal customers and on any given day 75 to 80 percent of our customers are current and 20 to 25 percent are new so at least for a while, we will continue to grow at a brisk pace in this area,” Cacace says. [Source]
Her goal was to provide a repair experience that built trust with customers through education and quality service. The shop amenities include full service on any models, a dog friendly environment, free organic coffee and wi-fi, free shuttles, and a children’s play area.