A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 11, 2011
“Women shop, men buy”

Retailers have long known that men and women have different habits, reflected in the adage “women shop, men buy.” Men appear to know what they want and buy that one thing, but women like to look through many items in several stores. A 2007 study, titled “‘Men Buy, Women Shop’: The Sexes Have Different Priorities When Walking Down the Aisles,” was published by researchers at Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retail Initiative and the Verde Group.

A December 1987 USA Today article said that “women shop, but men buy’’ is an “old adage.” There appears to be a “women shop; men buy” citation from 1948, but it’s not clear how well the saying was known before 1987.


Google Books
The American Male, his fashions and foibles
By Edward Ruttenber
New York, NY: Fairchild Publications
1948
Pg. 262:
Women shop; men buy.

14 December 1987, USA Today, “Deck the malls with shoppers” by Craig Wilson, pg. 1D: 
“I don’t enjoy looking for things like she does,’’ he says, reiterating the old adage that “women shop, but men buy.’’

Google Books
Human Sexuality 94/95
By Ollie Pocs
Guilford, CT: Dushkin Pub. Group
1994
Pg. 32:
Retailers like to say that while women shop, men buy. They mean to say that men don’t enjoy shopping. It may be true, because men do act differently than women in stores.

22 August 1999, Washington (DC) Post, Magazine, pg. W6:
WOMEN SHOP, MEN BUY; Despite the sweeping cultural changes of the past 40 years—feminism, women working, gender roles shifting - - the rules of retailing have remained largely unaltered. Here’s why
By Marc Fisher

B&T
Women shop, men buy
By Danielle Veldre on 21 July 2005
It’s not that men don’t go shopping or even like it, but their motivation is very different to that of women, according to research from Australia Scan and The Seed, prepared as part of ACP’s Men’s Lifestyle Forum.

David Chalke of Australia Scan said many myths existed about men and shopping, including that men aren’t important to most shopping categories and that men can’t tell the “real thing”.

St. Petersburg (FL) Times
‘A toy store for men’
Northern Tool and Equipment, where “serious tools” take center stage, opens the first of three local stores.

By MARK ALBRIGHT
Published December 23, 2005
(...)
Women are welcome. They just have to be willing to wade through a utilitarian store with a hard hat edge. Store planners are guided by the theory that “women shop, but men buy” - so don’t get in their way.

The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)
Area dealerships target women with AskPatty.com
By Jim Parker
Saturday, July 7, 2007
In the car world, men buy, women shop. The adage is a huge oversimplification but not one to ignore.

Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
‘Men Buy, Women Shop’: The Sexes Have Different Priorities When Walking Down the Aisles
Published: November 28, 2007 in Knowledge@Wharton
When it comes to shopping, women are from Nordstrom’s and men are from Sears.

Women are happy to meander through sprawling clothing and accessory collections or detour through the shoe department. They like to glide up glass escalators past a grand piano, or spray a perfume sample on themselves on their way to, maybe, making a purchase. For men, shopping is a mission. They are out to buy a targeted item and flee the store as quickly as possible, according to new Wharton research.

In a study titled, “Men Buy, Women Shop,” researchers at Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retail Initiative and the Verde Group, a Toronto consulting firm, found that women react more strongly than men to personal interaction with sales associates. Men are more likely to respond to more utilitarian aspects of the experience—such as the availability of parking, whether the item they came for is in stock, and the length of the checkout line.

KGO-TV (San Francisco, CA)
Most men buy, women shop
Monday, December 24, 2007
Attention shoppers: Scientists have confirmed what many of us already know—and have even experienced this holiday season.

That is, most men buy, but most women shop. It is research that could have some fire reaching implications.
(...)
Stanford researcher S. Christian Wheeler put this shopping stereotype to the test. He surveyed men and women and found women were nearly three times more likely to browse. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (3) Comments • Tuesday, October 11, 2011 • Permalink


The adage has been around well before 1987 and is obvious in the way men and women are different.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been trapped in a store with a shopping loved one (can you tell which gender I am?).

Posted by CPR Classes Dallas  on  10/12  at  12:34 AM

For me there is no big difference with that “Women shop, men buy” but there is only a slight or little difference but the meaning still the same.

Posted by women shoes  on  04/10  at  03:21 AM

Yea, I have a basement full of junk in storage bins my wife got great deals on.  The that I can’t get thru to her is the will always be sales.  And how good a deal is it if it just sits in a storage been for 20 years?  But Honey, I got free shipping on my shoes, and didn’t pay any sales tax!  I say, yea, thats built into the price.  She says, go sleep on the couch tonight.

Posted by free shipping on my shoes  on  07/07  at  01:02 AM

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