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Shopping in the man cave

Tess Vigeland: It's a cliche, I know -- The clueless man roaming around the grocery store like a visitor from a foreign planet While the ladies maneuver the aisles like they're in the Indy 500. Men, New York feels your pain. This week, the West Side Market opened what it's calling a "man aisle," a space carved out just for dudes.

Gimmick? Sure. Higher sales? We sent Sally Herships shopping to find out.


Sally Herships: All right, lead the way to the man aisle.

Ian Joskowitz: Do you smell the testosterone?

Ian Joskowitz is COO of West Side Market. The man aisle is stocked with what else? The man-sentials.

Joskowitz: We have all kinds of barbecue sauces, protein bars, protein shakes, Doritos, beer...

Which is probably the most popular item on the man aisle. But the logic behind the layout is gender neutral.

David Bell: One thing we know for sure -- the more time you spend in a store, the more you're going to buy there.

David Bell teaches marketing at Wharton. He says creating a grocery store man-cave could keep men in the store longer. It could also solve another problem.

Bell: So most people have a list, either written down or in memory.

Except for men, especially single ones. And West Side Market's Joskowitz says his male customers are notorious for coming without a list.

Herships: Are you a single gentleman?

Randel Appell: I am a man, that's correct.

And Randel Appell is single.

Appell: Think that's an accurate aisle there. Barbecue sauce, Milky Way, and beer and I'm good to go.

Herships: Any suggestions for what should be added?


Benjamin Mace:
Maybe some gifts for the girls, chocolates, even some flowers, make it easy for us, get some extra points.

That sensitive gentleman is 20-year-old Benjamin Mace. For any ladies who might feel left out West Side Market's Ian Joskowitz saysthe rest of the store is for you.

On New York's Upper West Side, I'm Sally Herships for Marketplace.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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