Men don’t need daycare
A mall in Dubai has launched a man’s daycare area where women can leave their husbands for the day while they go shopping. Kipp is annoyed.
June 8, 2010 3:05 by shafeer
In the news today: reports that Dubai Festival City mall has opened a “daycare for men.” It’s a place where husbands and boyfriends can watch sports on TV or play video games while waiting for their women to finish shopping, apparently.
“We see these guys walking around or sitting in coffee shops staring aimlessly into space,” said Tom Miles, general manager of Festival Center at Dubai Festival City. “Or they’re standing in front of the Panasonic window watching the TV that has been on the same loop for the last six months.”
The solution is “Living Rooms,” a 464 square meter leisure area with billiard tables, video consoles and flat screen TVs showing cricket and other sports.
At AED 50 an hour for video games, AED 40 for watching TV, the brains behind the scheme probably think they will coin it in. After all, think of the business plan: once the start-up costs are taken care of, the ongoing costs will be tiny.
Plus someone probably thinks it is an imaginative way to use up dead space in the mall – in this age of recession it seems unlikely that any new retail outlets are going to swoop in and lease the space, so why not turn it into an asset.
But what annoys Kipp here is the stupid, clumsy, supposedly man-friendly approach to the project. Here’s a thought for you: perhaps those men who are wondering the malls are, you know, shopping or something? Maybe the ones looking at the TV in the window are thinking, “I need a new TV.” And perhaps, those guys sitting in the coffee shop have found something to do – they are enjoying a drink and having a think. Maybe they’ll read a newspaper. Either way, the odds are they are perfectly content, otherwise they would probably go home.
If men need to kill time in the mall they are quite capable of finding their own way, and just maybe that will put some money into the pockets of already established small business operators in the mall – the cafes, coffee shops and stores – rather than a new comer who does nothing other than switch on a TV.
Kipp doubts very much this latest business innovation will attract more people to Festival City. Seriously, retailers and mall operators, invest your time and effort elsewhere, instead of treating half of your customer base (men) as stupid overgrown children who need to be occupied with gimmicks. The men at Kipp will keep their AED 50 an hour, thanks very much.