Supermarkets are no place for girls, either
This week we learned the painful truth that men don’t like to spend too much time in supermarkets.
In a bid to placate their poor, overwhelmed male customers, retail giants like Coles have begun tweaking store layouts so “man-friendly” items can be found at the front of the store.
Apparently, as revealed by The Advertiser, blokes just want to “get in and out as quickly as possible”.
They simply don’t have the patience or the inclination to cruise “non-relevant” aisles in search of essential items, which include – wait for it – barbecue meat, seafood and Christmas mince pies.
So, ladies, what can we deduce from this news?
Can we assume that supermarket geniuses think women LIKE shopping for groceries? (Proof indeed that we need more women at board and executive level in Australian companies.)
Do they perhaps think we CHOOSE to dawdle in their stores, wandering contentedly among the “non-relevant” aisles, our lives enriched by three-for-one discounts?
Well here’s the truth: I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t hate shopping.
I hate it so much that I don’t plan properly, and then have to go back again tomorrow and the next day and the next. Down, down. It so gets me down.
The one thing I hate more than shopping is getting home from doing the shopping, and then having to haul all the green bags out of the car and pack everything away.
Only the dogs ever offer to help unload the car, but I fear they have ulterior motives.
So instead of focusing on the 50 per cent of men who are clearly lying when they say they’re responsible for the family shopping, perhaps supermarkets could improve the experience for those of us who actually haul our sorry arses through their happy canyons of consumer choice.
They could start by putting a hook on the trolley to hang our mega-wad of recyclable green bags, so they’re not underneath all the groceries by the time the checkout lady asks in an exasperated voice: “Do you have any bags?”
I hate that.
How about dedicating decent shelf space to brands other than their own generic products? No wonder Australian companies keep going down the tube when you need the flexibility of a Cirque Du Soleil gymnast to find their products on far-flung shelves.
And hey, one day a supermarket chain might actually make the aisles wide enough to turn around their ever- expanding trolleys, instead of corralling us all like sheep at crutching time.
I tell you what would make me WANT to shop: George Clooney. At the entrance. With a large cup of fresh Nespresso coffee. Weak long black, no sugar, thanks George.
And then, every once in a while, George might walk the aisles with me, reminding me that we need shampoo or that we’ve run out of milk.
At our house there’s a “Bad Mother Alert” if we ever run out of milk – even though I don’t drink the stuff so surely can’t be expected to know when it’s running low.
So I’m sitting here, wondering why it is that supermarkets are pandering to men, and exactly why our dear menfolk are so overwhelmed on the rare occasions they arrive at the supermarket – scared and befuddled – to seek out their barbecue meat and mince pies.
Could it be that despite their claims to be responsible for the grocery shopping*, men just don’t do it enough?
Or could it be that they feign confusion in a bid to escape the thankless chore? (I confess I’ve perfected a similar look of bewilderment when Max explains the workings of our automatic timing system for drip irrigation.)
There’s only one fool-proof, long-term answer for it: more practice.
See you at the shops, fellas. I’ll be the one without a list, George Clooney in tow.
*If you’re a man reading this column and you’re truly responsible for the family shop, good on you. Do mine, too.
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