Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gendered At The Grocery Store

I am the one who does most of the grocery shopping for my family. In this I know I stand out, as according to a survey, 70% of grocery shopping is done by women. But the number of men who do the shopping is increasing, and men and women also tend to shop differently from each other (men are more impulsive at the grocery store for example). This means that as the market expands that stores will have to begin making changes, but here is an easy one they can start implementing now.

Yesterday as I went to the check-out with a full cart I chose my line very poorly and so was standing there for a long time waiting. At the impulse area there were all of the typical magazines you expect to find, but there was not a single one aimed at men. While I was waiting I couldn't even try and occupy myself by looking through some magazine, which is what my wife does. There was no
Sports Illustrated or Popular Mechanics or anything I was interested in. The only thing that would have been even remotely appealing was People.

What's worse about this selection is what it says about what the stores and marketers think about women and what they are interested in. The viewership of professional sports by women has more than doubled in the past few decades, but you couldn't tell that from the check-out area. 1/3 of viewers of Monday Night Football are women, but I think grocery stores simply believe it is on in the background while the women read Cosmo so they can discover the top ten secrets about men that every woman should know.

Could it really be that there is no impulse market among women for other types of magazines? And, forget about Sports Illustrated for the moment, what about Time or Newsweek or other things to keep us informed? And since men are more impulsive then women at the store, wouldn't this be the perfect place to put things for men to buy?

I've said it before, and I will inevitably say it again, it's amazing how far we've come in gender equity, and yet how far we still have to go. The grocery store still has a long way to go in recognizing the simple fact that not all shoppers are women, and not all women only want to read about movie stars and the newest gossip. Some want to read about sports and other things, as do the men who are spending their time there.

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