‘MAN PODS’ IN MALL FOR NONSHOPPERS

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE -

SHANG­HAI— At a Shang­hai mall, rows of “man pods” equipped with video games are prov­ing a big hit, pro­vid­ing a refuge for hun­dreds of weary hus­bands and boyfriends as their other halves shop un­til they drop.

The first pods were launched at the Global Har­bor shop­ping mall in Shang­hai in June, and since then over 1,000 men have used the fa­cil­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to Ruwo Smart Tech­nol­ogy, the com­pany be­hind the scheme.

“Man pod” users can re­cline in a chair with a large screen and play video games while en­closed be­hind clear glass walls that shut out the bus­tle of other shop­pers.

“I think this idea is pretty good be­cause nowa­days many boys like me are not will­ing to go shop­ping with their girl­friends,” said Yao Lei, a 26year-old man us­ing one of the new booths on Sat­ur­day.

With re­tail spend­ing in- creas­ing an­other 10 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2017, there could be huge de­mand for such fa­cil­i­ties—and the firm said it was plan­ning to ex­pand the ser­vice to other shop­ping malls in the fu­ture.

“We found that in most malls, men and women go shop­ping to­gether, but men can­not ac­cept spend­ing a long time shop­ping,” said Zhao Wei, an oper­a­tor of one of the pods.

“Some­times they’ll even start hav­ing ar­gu­ments. So we think in this sit­u­a­tion, we can have a prod­uct that gives a man some­thing to do and the girls can go shop­ping at ease.”

—REUTERS

HUGE DE­MAND SEEN With re­tail spend­ing in­creas­ing an­other 10 per­cent in China, there could be a huge de­mand for “man pods.”

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