I have completely gone off Joules!

(48 Posts)
higgle Tue 05-Feb-13 12:33:24

I have quite a few bits from Joules and often buy presents from the Cheltenham shop. I had an emailo yesterday asking me if I wanted to participate in a focus group and I thought it would be an opportunity to go along and tell them how nice some of their stuff is. I had a phone call back and they asked me if I was between 25 and 45 and when I said I was older than 45 they dsaid they didn't need my views !!!!!!!!!!! to add insult to injury they seemed to have forgotten they had called me and rang back and said exactly the same a second time. I'm afraid that as I've spent a few hundred pounds with them in the last six months (including nearly £90 on mugs) they have now lost a customer. I did think that being a "non person" through age kicked in at a slightly more advanced age than 46.

Startail Tue 05-Feb-13 12:37:28

As a 45 yo YANBU at all

Chandon Tue 05-Feb-13 12:43:28

Hahaha, they donot know whotheir customers are! ( lots of my 40-60 froends wear it. Have not seen a 25 year old in Joules ever)


travellingwilbury Tue 05-Feb-13 13:27:15

Maybe they already gave enough people in your age range ?

Being generous .

travellingwilbury Tue 05-Feb-13 13:28:00

Gave -- have , stupid not bloody smart phone .

higgle Tue 05-Feb-13 14:02:00

tw, that is the whole point - the only thing they want to know about you is how old you are - they have said they wanted a mix of people but they only define people by age. I have spoken to the lady who is doing the project and she said that they wanted people from different backgrounds and the "45" point was to ensure they got some people with young children! Why did they just not ask if you had any children?

BIWI Tue 05-Feb-13 15:44:03

I'm a market researcher, and I think it sounds like you've got the wrong end of the stick, I'm afraid.

When we set up projects like this one, we have to fill quotas, which are usually defined by the parameters of a project. In this case, if it was group discussions, the project managers/clients will have decided specifically which age group/social class that they want to include in the groups. These will be determined by the specific nature of the project - i.e. some projects will focus on older consumers, some will focus on younger consumers, some may want to include teenagers, etc.

In each focus group there are 8 participants. The interviewer who contacted you will have been looking for her 8 people in that particular age range - once they are all recruited, then they no longer need any more.

What is likely to have happened to you, is one of two things.

Either the whole project was focused only on 25-45 year old consumers - something that often happens as they may be exploring something amongst a particular target group.

Or they were recruiting groups of 25-45 year olds, and 45-65 year olds - but have fulfilled the quotas for the older groups and were looking now to fill the quotas for the younger groups.

It's great that you wanted to take part, and unfortunate that they obviously fulfilled all their quotas before they finally managed to speak to you.

But that's all that is likely to have been going on - nothing more sinister than that!

Charliefox Tue 05-Feb-13 16:13:34

I'm still reeling at £90 on mugs shock

higgle Tue 05-Feb-13 16:16:51

No, BIWI, you perpetuate the myth! They want to do research, they want a mix of people, but the only basis on which they select is age. I might be 46 with 4 year old twins. I might be 18 and a real frump, or I might be 68 and really stylish ( though probably not if I got all my clothes from Joules) The point I am making is that on selecting "valued customers" on te basis of age you are making assumptions about them on that basis. Clearly discriminatory because they would never dream of saying "we have our quota of black people" or "we have our quota of muslins" but somehow it is OK to make assumptions about people on the basis of age. By the very act of assuming that people over 45 will have different purchasing patterns they are discriminating. Perhaps they think I shop at BonMarche the rest of the time, or that my Zimmer won't fit up their stairs.

BIWI Tue 05-Feb-13 16:36:02

No, higgle, it isn't like that at all. The reason for grouping people into age groups is on the basis of group dynamics. When you are running a group of consumers, having them all of a similar age in one group makes it much easier, as they are more likely to share similar views. So for example, we would never mix an 18 year old with a 65 year old, as their lifestyles/aspirations are very likely to be hugely different.

You have no idea on this project (and neither do I, as it isn't anything to do with me grin) how many other groups they were running, and therefore how many different age groups the project was covering off.

And, with respect, you have no idea what the other criteria were that they might have used to recruit you.

It is very, very unlikely that age would have been the only factor. Other things that they might have included could have been (off the top of my head):

- when you last shopped in Joules
- how much you spent on your last shop
- how far away you live from a particular branch of Joules
- where else you shop
- what your attitudes towards fashion are

And, with the greatest of respect, they probably do have quantitative data telling them how much different types of consumers are worth to them.

I am not perpetuating any myth here - these are the facts about how market research projects are run. To say that it is discriminatory in any way is, frankly, rather silly.

The limits on the number of people included in any research project are always dictated by the number of places available - (usually) 8 people in one group, and most likely to be around 4-8 groups on any one project.

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 16:47:19

£90 is a lot of mugs.

Colleague of mine is that age and wears Joules, she's a horse person though so probably got familiar with them that way.

higgle Tue 05-Feb-13 16:59:17

Well Joules have redeemed themselves by contacting me and explaining that they didn't actually commission the research themselves, the people are doing it for a retail group. They are very sorry to have offended me and are sending me a gift voucher, so I won't be having a strop and chucking all their stuff in the bin tonight!
They are speaking to the research people about their approach.

"You would never mix an 18 year old with a 65 yer old.....hugely different (!!!) I've been to quite a few concerts where there are people of all ages devoutly following the same band. It is very sad to see such views put forward. This might have been the case in the 1950's but not so much today.

BIWI Tue 05-Feb-13 17:09:52

higgle - you know, I have worked in market research for over 30 years now. It's a bit insulting for you to start telling me that you know better than I do. You don't understand the process and nor are you prepared to listen to my explanation.

However, I am pleased that you are at least mollified by the financial reward.

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 17:15:48

"we have our quota of muslins"

Sorry, this made me grin

BIWI Tue 05-Feb-13 17:18:09

A couple of other points:

- they won't be speaking to the 'research people' about their approach; or at least not to get them to recruit group discussions in any other way, as this is the way that they are done.

- second, yes on occasion you might consider mixing an 18 year old with a 65 year old, where they share common interests, as in the example that you gave. However, usually it would be difficult to do that as their interests, aspirations, expectations, lifestages and financial situations (to give you just a few examples) are so very different. In a group discussion you are trying to encourage people to talk, bond and share - you are trying to create positive group dynamics where everyone feels comfortable with other members of the group.

herecomesthsun Tue 05-Feb-13 17:35:19

48 with a 4 yo and 11 month old here. Not impressed either grin

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 05-Feb-13 17:36:34

They must be really nice mugs.

AlwaysBizzy Tue 05-Feb-13 17:37:58

YABU to buy clothes from Joules..eurghhhhh..over priced, dowdy clothes for wannabe horsey\rugga bugga types

redwellybluewelly Tue 05-Feb-13 17:43:01

BIWI is right in what she has said. I do surveys as part of academic research and demographics are key.

I was once rung by someone doing some market research for Anglia trains. I was the right age, the right distance from the station, used vouchers regularly but I had travelled by train in the last three-six months. They wanted people who hadn't, ppresumably so they could figure oit how to make them more regular travellers.

£90 on mugs. Easy. We've budgeted more to replace our awful tatty collection with Emma Bridgewater stoneware mugs!

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 17:48:33

She's done a special range for TK Maxx, you could do it for less than £90, and have some money left over for PG Tips.

And yes, I deal with market research at work and BIWI is right. There are often very specific criteria they need to fulfill to test particular hypothesis, especially with cosmetics. I'm ineligible for most phone market research as, despite being the right age group and income bracket, I don't really care that much about what type of phone I have so they aren't interested in attracting people like me.

HanneHolm Tue 05-Feb-13 17:55:16

Joules is shit clothes for boring women. Hth

dexter73 Tue 05-Feb-13 18:01:20

You should get onto Joules HanneHolm. You would save them a lot of money on surveys!

higgle Tue 05-Feb-13 18:07:23

It is lilke most other things, good in parts. The quality of the stripey tops is quite good. I'm afraid anyone who makes assumptions about me on the basis of my age is not going to be in my good books. I work fo ran orgganisation tha tpromotes the rights of a minority group and am trustee of another charity that does similar work, I wrote letters tackling discrimatory recruitment practices ( aged 11) before the original Equal Opportunities act and I'm genuinely saddened by comments that there would not be a good group dynamic in a group that included someone of 18 and someone of 65.

HanneHolm Tue 05-Feb-13 18:08:10

you only need to look at hte people on here whingeing about HOllister to realise its ALL about age you loon!

HanneHolm Tue 05-Feb-13 18:09:20


i think you are well meaning but utterly deluded

off you trot to marks and spencer classic collection ;)

fridgepants Tue 05-Feb-13 18:29:00

Higgle, I get your point, but over-45s are not a minority group so claiming discrimination is difficult.

I have a disability, but as mine is hidden and 'high functioning' mh rather than physical, I don't feel entitled to speak for or campaign on behalf of those who face discrimination on those grounds because it's not my battle to fight. Complaining that this is on a par with discriminatory recruitment for a job is not going to get you taken seriously, I'm afraid.

Also, fashion and branding is micro-managed in terms of their demographic. Look at make-up advertising - there are two large-ish companies I can think of (MAC and Illamasqua) who don't use your standard white conventionally attractive glasses/birthmark/freckle-free chick to front their campaigns. I'd happily - and I do - give my money to companies that mix things up a little, but companies have their own idea of what sells, and if not, to whom they want to market their stuff.

BIWI Tue 05-Feb-13 18:30:47

higgle - are you being deliberately obtuse? I've given you a very clear explanation about what happens in market research recruitment, yet you persist in believing that it is in some way discriminatory.

Whoa £90 on mugs!!

To the point though, how rude of them! I'm 28 and do like a fair amount of their items but I find them quite overpriced. I also like some boden bits.

I also love topshop and studs!!

BIWI Tue 05-Feb-13 18:33:30

browneyedpixie - it isn't rude at all, if you read the explanations that I and other professional market researchers have given

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 05-Feb-13 18:37:08

I have gone off Joules since they upped their prices and dropped their quality. Have been wearing it for years, and still have some tops from their Market Harborough shop when it was tiny. More recent purchases haven't survived.

Simples, no need for full on market research

Takver Tue 05-Feb-13 18:42:25

" I'm afraid anyone who makes assumptions about me on the basis of my age is not going to be in my good books."

Higgle, it will be the other way around. As BWIW says, they'll have selected people to contact on the basis of a whole range of categories. THEN they'll almost certainly have to get a certain no. from each age group.

IME (admittedly a long time ago) 25-45s are a total nightmare to get to sign up for surveys etc, if you didn't stratify by age 99% of your respondents would be 45 plus.

I didn't read the other posts, so didn't see your professional opinion.

higgle Tue 05-Feb-13 19:04:30

Sorry to disapoint you HH, I'm more of an Anthrapologie girl for anything other than dossing clothes.

Missbopeep Tue 05-Feb-13 19:27:08

I just don't get Joules. I have tried but it seems to be aimed at the female equivalent of Hooray Henrys and people who aspire to country pursuits in a kind of Boden-esque way.

scarlettsmummy2 Tue 05-Feb-13 19:37:29

I have a couple of things, but lots of the children's wear- it is very good.

BranchingOut Tue 05-Feb-13 19:38:53

Glad you got the vouchers higgle.

All's well that ends well!

Though I do find it a bit strange that age is a key demographic factor. I would have far more in common with a woman 20 years older than me from a similar social and educational background than with a woman who is also 37 but who is from a totally different background.

BIWI Tue 05-Feb-13 19:42:19

Age won't be the key demographic factor. They will probably also be using social class.

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 05-Feb-13 19:44:51

Joules womens clothes are vile.

Have quite a few tops for DS though.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 05-Feb-13 20:32:52

Missbopeep - the clothes were originally designed for people who actually are into equestrian and other such pursuits. Ie they were generously cut and decent quality. Since they have decided to go more into fashion, and try to compete with Boden, Crew etc, they seem to be neither fashionable nor durable, sadly.

purpleloosestrife Tue 05-Feb-13 20:59:44

As sportswear it is excellent - am laughing that people on here have said that they don't know anyone age 25 who wears it. It is one of the most popular brands of sportswear if you are active in the sports it was designed for. Joules is worn by huge numbers of competitors, even up to international level, and people who work everyday with horses, so it can't be that bad!

I did not know it had become derided as a brand choice for horsey/ rugger wannabes, and this will now make me think twice about buying it!

To anyone who genuinely rides horses it has been an excellent ( if slightly expensive) brand. A lot of us pay (or raid the sales!) because we know we will get good cut/comfort/wear out of our riding gear. I also buy other sportswear for the same reason. I have been very happy with the riding shirts etc. I have bought over the years.

TWO disclaimers!
<I can't comment into their foray into fashion...!>
<I prefer Ariat equestrian clothing! grin>

HanneHolm Tue 05-Feb-13 21:24:03

Oh look. The joules PR team.

purpleloosestrife Tue 05-Feb-13 21:31:06

Sorry to spoil your fun, Hanne, but I'm a genuine Mum. I have a dd, a fs and also have horses!

freddiefrog Tue 05-Feb-13 21:36:58

I alwas thought Joules was aimed at the sailing fraternity. A sort of Crew-wannabe.

I live in a sailing obsessed town, and our local Joules does a roaring trade in overpriced canvas boat shoes, blue and white striped rugby shirts and tea dresses with a 'jaunty nautical' print.

Dereksmalls Tue 05-Feb-13 22:12:08

I was about to start a thread like this but based on it's current minging selection rather than their tactless approach to market research (regardless of how they were slicing and dicing, surely and explanation would have minimised offence?). I'd never been a huge fan, way too much shiney g

Dereksmalls Tue 05-Feb-13 22:15:28

I was about to start a thread like this but based on it's current minging selection rather than their tactless approach to market research (regardless of how they were slicing and dicing, surely and explanation would have minimised offence?). I'd never been a huge fan, way too much shiney gold and floral cat vomit but there is usually one or two ok things, kids stuff great. BUT just looked online for that and it is TERRIBLE, even the kid's stuff is grim. Off to staunch the bleeding from my eyes...

Dereksmalls Tue 05-Feb-13 22:15:45


Dereksmalls Tue 05-Feb-13 22:16:27

"its" FFS...

katrinefonsmark Tue 05-Feb-13 22:35:26

I do have agree with you Hanneholm.

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