New Grocery Store 'Man Aisle' Represents Pinnacle of Western CivilizationS

Where to begin with today's Chicago Tribune story "More men taking the reins of the cart"? Perhaps with Danny Meyer, a 35-year-old brand manager, who, we are told, "shops on his own":

Meyer [...] recounted a recent purchase of a Samuel Adams holiday sampler at Jewel.

"I wasn't planning on buying beer, and I happened to walk by and they had it on display," he said. "I thought it sounded really good, so I'm going to buy it. And it was good."

Indeed. What other treasures does the article have in store for the dedicated reader? There is the supermarket consultant who describes the increasing number of men grocery shopping as "very different from the whole metrosexual phenomenon of six, seven, eight years ago," and there is the ad executive who calls male grocery-store behavior "part of the hunter mindset."

And then there is "the man aisle":

Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. began testing "man aisles" in 2009 and is expanding the program into some Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens stores as well as other chains in the U.S. and Canada in 2012. [...] The man aisle puts all men's products, including P&G competitors, in one place, with shelf displays and even small TV screens to guide men to the appropriate skin-care items.

What is the man aisle like? The man aisle is slightly colder than room temperature and smells faintly of cedar and wet dog. The shelves are eight feet high. There is a basket filled with old baseball gloves and hammers and a rack filled with cassette tapes with pictures of trucks on them. In some places there are small fires. All the people in the man aisle stand with their arms crossed and skeptical looks on their faces. Sometimes they sing rounds together, and roll an empty keg down the aisle. No one has ever left.

[Chicago Tribune; image via Shutterstock]