Are Women Going To Malls To Shop And Socialize While Men Stay Online?

As online shopping grows in popularity, those with an eye on the industry are trying to figure out if brick-and-mortar stores will eventually go away forever. One opinion posited by a writer — women love the social aspect of shopping, and they’ll be the ones to save malls.

An article in the UK’s The Guardian looks into the phenomenon of busy city centers, high streets and malls still being packed with shoppers, despite the lure and increasing influence of Amazon and other online retailers.

Piggybacking on that observation, a response to that article on on Forbes.com by a contributor sets forth the idea that gender stereotypes will explain it all.

He writes:

There are indeed those to whom shopping is a social activity and those to whom it is a chore best done quickly if it is to be done at all.

The thing is, if we look at the stereotypes of our society (and do not dismiss stereotypes, they are based on a reality even if they do not describe reality in total) it’s largely women who enjoy the shopping as the social outlet and largely men who have to be dragged screaming and shouting around the mall.

Basically, in this vein of thought, malls survive because women like to go poke around and gab with gal pals about shoes and chocolate, while ostensibly and stereotypically, men are probably at home watching football and drinking beer.

Sure, this view is exaggerated, he admits, adding that in fact, the fun of being social while shopping does not have to be limited to one sex or the other. Perhaps we’ll always have malls for those who prefer them, while others will head online for their shopping needs. So forget stereotypes after all!

Just kidding, as he concludes: “Or as I say, Amazon for the men and malls and the high street for women.”

Amazon for the Men, Malls and the High Street for Women [Forbes]