How long does it take to choose a pair of jeans? I took around 20 minutes at Shopper’ Stop, including the time spent inside the trial room.
For the rest of the three-and-a- half hours, I was just hovering around the ladies’ floor at the mall. And this Olympic gold-worthy record could be created with substantial help from a woman friend, who seemed bent on breaking the shopping-time barrier.
Though like most men, I didn’t mind spending time amid a bevy of good-looking women, it became somewhat uncomfortable, after the first half an hour. Women eyed me with slight suspicion — I was the man standing a few feet away from the ladies’ trial room with no evident purpose.
According to new research from Wharton, women think of shopping as an inter-personal experience, while men treat it as merely an instrumental exercise, a job that has to be completed to make time for other things.
Furthermore, women are more likely to experience problems while shopping than men — 53 per cent of women face problems in choosing the right shade or choosing between multiple garments and styles.
As I waited, my friend was busy trying out various garments. And while she was at it, she took pleasure in breaking the law, walking into the trial room with five garments when a plaque outside said one should not take in more than two pieces. And throughout, she spoke over the phone with friends, wanting their opinion.
It was then that it hit me. We simply buy stuff; women shop. For them, it’s as important as any sport and any sale is more important than the World Cup Finals.
And my thesis is borne out by no less than the researchers in Wharton. A recent study by the US-based business school revealed that women are happy to just meander in shopping malls, soaking in the colours, cuts and sizes of clothes and accessories.
For us men, shopping is not a mission. We step in to buy items we need and escape as quickly as possible.