It’s that time of year again. As retail staff put on their reindeer antlers and prepare for the Christmas rush, spare a thought for that disadvantaged creature…the male shopper.
No, this isn’t a joke. It’s been scientifically proven! A psychologist carrying out some research on behalf of an English shopping centre came up with some interesting findings.
You may remember hearing about it or perhaps read about it in my ‘52 Terrific Tips for Christmas Workbook’. Just prior to Christmas a few years back, Brent Cross Shopping Centre in London, sent men and women of different ages to stores with identical Christmas lists. Some went alone while others were accompanied by children.
Every man in the survey suffered considerable increases in blood pressure and heart rate while only one in four women registered a significant change.
For men even the thought of going shopping was enough to send their stress levels soaring. According to the study over 70 per cent of them recorded above average readings before even stepping out the front door.
The challenge of choosing the right gift for loved ones and facing crowded shops and long queues was almost too much for them. In fact, according to the psychologist who carried out the research the peak stress levels were equivalent to emergency situations experienced by fighter pilots or policemen going into difficult situations.
So, ladies treat the men in your life with care at this time of year. And retailers, think of the opportunities this creates.
The male shopper is likely to be less comfortable and confident about trends, sizes, colours, and fragrances and embarrassed about asking questions in ‘female’ shops. What can you do to make him feel more comfortable, to get him at ease and talking about his shopping dilemma?
Blokes as a general rule are single minded and they are likely to be focused on getting a present for one person when they have two or three others to buy for. Wives and girlfriends get fed up buying the gifts for his parents or his children. So help make him the hero. Find out who else he should be buying for and suggest solutions. If you do, next year you will be his store of first choice for birthdays, Christmas and special occasions.
And help him with the box, the card, the gift-wrapping and all the little extras that will have him glowing with pleasure at how well he has done.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Cartoon courtesy of Dean Alston