Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finally: Avoiding the Feminine Products Aisle

It would seem that major brands as well as major retail outlets have discovered something I could have told them years ago: the reason men generally don't like to shop! I noticed long ago that most shopping venues from malls to big box stores cater to women. Men are simply ignored as shoppers. It is something of a chicken-or-the-egg phenomenon, I think: do men hate shopping because there's not much for them to feel comfortable looking at, or do retailers stock things only women buy because they know men aren't shopping? Whatever the case, it would appear that the days of men feeling uncomfortable at places other than Cabela's or Fleet Farm are history.
A consumer research result recently released by GfK MRI and seconded by ESPN (?) noted that the percentage of men now shopping for everything from groceries to personal care items has shot up to 31%...a whopping 17% increase from 1985. Part of the reasoning for this includes the fact that men are becoming a bit more metrosexual, I guess and connecting with the kids, but part of it might just be that men are becoming more adventurous and doing some of the cooking while not expecting the "little woman" to buy toiletries and groceries that HE will like. That old stereotype of men as neanderthal-like, both disengaged and incompetent seems to be fading away like the credits of and old Humphrey Bogart movie...and it's just getting nationwide recognition from some big names.
Procter and Gamble began testing "man aisles" in stores as recently as 2009 in order to make shopping more comfortable for men who would no longer have to search the bottom shelves for "their" products, dodging women and teenage girls who were seeking more "feminine" items. It must have been about this time that men began thinking products like body wash (not to be confused with soap) and assorted skin care items were important to them, and they began seeking them out. Finding aisles specifically dedicated to manly products like this allowed males to swagger through and make their own choices without having products foisted upon them by caring females. Of course, this trend may have coincided with the onslaught of commercials showing desirable women pawing all over men who used such products..hey! it works with beer and cars...why not skin care?
All in all, guys like my friend Mark have taken to the shopping experience after realizing that they have "other" wants and desires as well. Face takes a special woman to know exactly what a man wants in toiletries, junk food and intoxicants...and Fleet Farm has only junk food to offer of the three!
Now, if we could just make those "green" shopping bags look a little bit less like purses!


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