High-end stores offering pizza, beer, more for them
By EMILY FREDRIX
The Associated Press
Mike Galaska does not like to shop. He doesn’t like the crowds or spending money. It’s for women, he says.
But pizza and beer? He can handle that.
Galaska, 48, of Bellevue, Neb., was among the hundreds of men who came out for men’s night at Omaha jewelry store Borsheim’s this week, which uses free pizza and beer to counteract the otherwise intimidating notion of buying jewelry.
High-end retailers such as Borsheim’s — part of billionaire Warren Buffett’s empire — are changing the way they market themselves and their products to attract male shoppers. Men are shopping more and can be freer with their wallets under the right circumstances, as retailers have found.
Men will buy an estimated $49 billion in apparel this year, a 5 percent rise from last year, said Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at NPD Group, a market research company.
Men now buy 70 percent of their own clothing, up from 25 percent in 1985, so stores are doing what they can to attract these often reluctant shoppers, he said.
That is especially evident around the holidays. Stores hold functions tailored specifically to men and increasingly women, who are often encouraged to fill out wish lists to make shopping easier for men. Men’s nights out are also being held at shopping malls around the country, such as King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pa., and Fox River Mall in Appleton, Wis.
Galaska’s wife filled out her wish list the previous week at Borsheim’s ladies’ night. All Galaska had to do this week was say her name, and clerks began to bring out what his wife wanted.
“Whatever she brings, I’m going to buy,” Galaska said of the salesclerk.