Shanghai shopping mall offers ‘man pods’ for bored husbands

An employee demonstrates a ‘man pod’, where husbands can go and play computer video games on leather seats while their wives go shopping. Source: Reuters

THE sight of restless men in shopping malls may be a universal one, but a mall in Shanghai has taken steps to appease men while their partners shopped.

The Global Harbor mall introduced “man pods”, glass-covered pods where users can recline in a chair opposite a large screen and play video games. The glass walls help to shut out the bustle of other shoppers too, according to Reuters.

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

Some 1,000 men were said to have used the pods since they were installed in June. Ruwo Smart Technology, the firm that designed the facility, said it planned to expand its services to other malls as demand increases.

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The Chinese – both in their home country and as tourists – are known to be avid shoppers, with retail spending increasing another 10 percent in the second quarter of 2017.

Last year, the average Chinese tourist spent about US$988 on shopping while traveling, and retail brands in Europe have taken a keen interest in observing Chinese shopping trends.

Additional reporting by Reuters.