By Cheryl Wischhover
There are all sorts of innovations in retail now—flash sales sites, special shopping apps, JC Penney trying to become cool — but a grocery store on the Upper West Side is targeting that much-maligned, mostly-ignored demographic : The man.
It’s a well-known fact that men hate to shop. Most stores know this and usually provide cozy little nooks where guys can hide while the women-folk do their gathering. Witness this scene I snapped at the new DSW shoe store on opening day last weekend:
But that’s all about to change, according to a little item in the Post. The higher-ups at Westside Market, after reading on ESPN that 31% of men are shopping for their families now compared to only 14% in the 1980s, saw an instant opportunity. So they decided to make the grocery store a little more guy-friendly by designating a “man aisle” at the Broadway and 110th street location.
What’s in this aisle—which is conveniently located by the beer—you ask? The usual things that every red-blooded American male needs: Condoms, Doritos, Chock Full o’Nuts coffee (Get it? Nuts!), and barbecue sauce. No Playboys?!
OK, so this could be fantastic for the Columbia kid who wanders in once his base instincts tell him, “Hungry! Horny! Hunt for Doritos and condoms!” but if this is truly for the enlightened 21st century gentleman shopping for paella ingredients for the family dinner he’s going to cook, does it work? Perhaps they need a “man aisle” and a “husband aisle.” The latter could contain things like feminine hygiene products disguised to look like a box of doughnuts or something. (Duane Reade, as West Side Rag reported earlier, recently experimented with a “beer pong” aisle for enterprising college kids.)
If the concept takes off at the 110th location, Westside Markets—which opened a store on 98th and Broadway a few months ago–may expand it to other locations.
What else should be stocked in the man aisle?
Photos by InSapphoWeTrust and Cheryl Wischhover.