A recent study in Australia suggests that men would purchase more at grocery stores if there were more gender specific aisles.  Men are increasingly becoming more responsible for grocery shopping and household purchases.  This study found that there are a group of male shoppers who have a fear of walking down aisles that have women’s health and beauty products.  This study also found that men shop differently, valuing efficiency over customer service and will likely refuse to ask for assistance from store personnel.

Research also suggests that a gender specific aisle for men would encourage men to try new products and give them a sense of privacy and comfort while shopping.  This was concluded from observations that indicate that men made more health related purchases of products that were placed separately from women’s health and beauty related products.

Most retailers are resisting the notion that men need a man-cave in the grocery store.  A spokesperson for Woolworth’s, the largest grocery chain in Australia, noted that 65% of men’s toiletries are bought by women and that separating them would be a major inconvenience for the retailer and the female shopper.

Discussion Question:

  1. Why would grocery stores have gender specific aisles for health and beauty products?
  2. Do you think that having two separate aisles for health and beauty products would make a difference to consumer?
Tom Ryan, “‘His’ and ‘Her’ Grocery Aisles,” Retail Wire, June 6, 2011.