The Sideshow

Dude! New York grocery store creates ‘man aisle’ stocked with condoms, beer, beef jerky

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This aisle could use some more "man" items. (Lisa Poole/AP)

A grocery store on Manhattan's Upper West Side has created what appears to be New York City's first "man aisle."

"Initially it was a joke," George Zoitas, owner of the Westside Market on 110th Street and Broadway, told CBS radio. "We were tossing around an idea about maybe making a man section with everything a man would need, whatever men buy."

Zoitas and Ian Joskowitz, the store's chief operating officer, decided to put their man-fantasy to the test. The "Man Isle," unveiled Wednesday, includes everything men need, from beer to barbecue sauce.

That would be beef jerky, condoms and razors, among other dude-specific sundries.

"Get ready to stock up your man cave!" the New York Post exclaimed.

The shelves are stocked with Doritos, Stubbs marinades, assorted salsas and Poland Spring--which is all men really need to survive.

"Guys don't like taking lists when they go shopping," Zoitas added. "This helps them remember what they need."

Zoitas hopes to expand the man aisle-program to other Westside Market locations in Manhattan and New Jersey.

And you should expect to see "man aisles" popping up in stores across the country. According to a 2011 survey of 1,000 fathers conducted by Yahoo and DB5, a market research firm, 51 percent said they were the primary grocery shoppers in their household.

And according to a 2011 Chicago Tribune report, Procter & Gamble Co. began testing "man aisles" in 2009 and had planned to test them in some Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens stores this year.

"Many men were terribly uncomfortable with the shopping experience," P&G spokesman Damon Jones told the paper. "Our intent in creating guy aisles was to give them an experience that was comfortable for them and made it easier to navigate the store."

More rationale from the Tribune (emphasis ours):

In many stores, men's personal-care products were scattered across different aisles, often in subprime locations like a bottom shelf or the end of an aisle, Jones said. Men had little patience searching for lotion and body wash, especially when weaving through contingents of women and teenage girls.

The man aisle puts all men's products, including P&G competitors, in one place, with shelf displays and even small TV screens to guide men to the appropriate skin-care items. Jones said the tests have gone well, with men spending more time in the aisles and, ultimately, more money.

Some women aren't necessarily thrilled about the man-aisle trend.

"Oh, brother," Cassie Murdoch wrote on Jezebel.com in response to the Tribune story. "Shopping as a guy sounds like way more fun! But did anyone stop to think that maybe it's not some sort of genetic thing that makes men less hurried, maybe it's just that they can afford to spend more time because they don't have 16,000 other things that still need to get done on the homefront? Grrr."

On BusinessInsider.com, Jill Krasny said man aisles "might be the most backhanded slap at consumers we've ever seen."

"Just what were marketers thinking when they rolled out man aisles?" she wrote. "Oh yeah, they were thinking about capitalizing on the recessionary trend of more men buying groceries than women."

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