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Schnucks: More Men Shopping Stores

ST. LOUIS — Six percent more men and 5% fewer women are doing the primary grocery shopping for their household versus five years ago, according to consumer research from Schnuck Markets.

Findings indicate that while men make more frequent stock-up and fill-in trips than women, female shoppers spend more money per excursion. Both sexes spend about the same over the course of a week.

Women also invest more time in-store with the largest difference coming from routine trips, according to Schnucks. Nearly one in four men (24%) shop for 46 minutes or longer compared to 42% of women.

Females also tend to shop earlier in the day. Men shop later, and are more likely to make a fill-in trip after 6pm.

DiDi Steltenpohl, manager of Schnucks’ Brentwood, Mo., location has observed more men shopping her store. “I don’t know if it’s because jobs were lost, there are more stay-at-home dads, more couples sharing responsibilities, or that it’s more socially acceptable now, but I believe more men are shopping as a product of their environment. It’s no longer a woman’s job,” she said. 

Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble has also noticed the trend. It’s testing so-called “Guy Aisles” to help males who had trouble navigating the store, get in and out as efficiently as possible, P&G spokesman Michael Norton told SN.

Adopted by such chains as CVS/pharmacy and the H.E. Butt Grocery Co., the configurations group personal care products like men’s razors, moisturizer and deodorant in a single aisle.

“It’s a dedicated area in the store designed to help men and the women who shop for them easily compare products across features, benefits and prices,” Norton said.

Although he could not confirm plans for expansion, reports indicate that Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens will apply the concept later this year.

Though Schnucks puts its research to work with past studies informing decisions from store designs to services offered to consumers, spokeswoman Lori Willis said there are no immediate shopper marketing plans to target men.

“At this point we’re concentrating service levels on all members of the family that shop our stores, but this makes us keenly aware that there are more men shopping and perhaps it’s something to take a look at,” she said.

Schnucks tapped its Schnucks Listens panel, comprising 13,000 grocery shoppers, for the study. Roughly 1,500 respondents were men with a large portion being older men. Forty-three percent of males had undergone a change in marital status in the past five years and 32% of women indicated their spouse had retired.

Launched in 2007, the Schnucks Listens panel includes grocery shoppers from across the region who provide input on a variety of issues affecting today’s shoppers.

“In this case we set out to learn about how shopping habits are changing and why,” said Mary Ver Mehren, Schnucks project manager of consumer research. “The fact that we have so many men weighing in is another indication that times are changing.”

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