Men ignore price tags as a show of virility

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Times of India has an interesting discussion with Paco Underhill, Retail Anthropologist where he talks about how men and women behave while shopping.

"For a man, ignoring the price tag is almost a measure of his virility." Or, "When two women shop together, they talk, advise, suggest and consult...hence the long time in the store..." But when she's shopping with a man, "he makes it plain that he's bored and antsy and likely at any moment to go off and sit in the car...or stand outside and watch girls."

He also talks about Indian Retail Industry.

The Indian retail market, valued at $300 billion, poses its own unique challenges. Organised retail comprises only 3% of this market. But Paco believes we are more than ready for it, "If you can be the largest manufacturer of steel, buy Jag, put satellites into orbit, you can spruce up distribution networks and lower the cost of getting goods to market..." Indian consumers know they deserve better — a better product at a better price.

As for the dominance of mom-and-pop (kirana) stores, he believes that "some amount of trauma" as they reinvent themselves, "is natural". "Rebirth is healthy", he says, foreseeing a transformation in less than 5 years. But the country needn't look at Europe and North America as models of a retail boom. India shouldn't borrow, but invent. "Look at emerging markets like Brazil and Dubai for retail ideas".