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Survey reveals SA women prefer shopping alone

According to the findings of Project Ka-Ching, a survey conducted by Columinate on behalf Liberty Properties, South African women prefer leaving their partners at home when going to a shopping centre.
Survey reveals SA women prefer shopping alone
© Valua Vitaly - Fotolia.com
The study looked at male/female shopping trends in South Africa and comprised of varied responses according to age, race and income levels. The survey found that whilst 43% of women said they felt comfortable leaving their partners behind when going shopping, only 21% of men made a similar acknowledgement. Seemingly, men have no qualms being accompanied by a partner when visiting a mall.

Mel Urdang, director of retail and leasing at Liberty Properties said, "The results of the survey are telling, in that they not only reveal consumer behaviour, they are also indicative of the relationship that men and women have with shopping centres. For example, when going shopping, 87% of women surveyed said they take their kids to the mall, while 73% of men are happy to take their children along, a significant difference in behaviour. One must however temper the thinking with the reality of women being the primary caregivers.

"Most women visit shopping centres for leisure, while men maintain transactional relationships with shopping centres. Generally, family ties are important to South Africans, but when it's time to hit the shops, the rules are bent a little."

While women's visits to shopping centres are longer, they are less likely to spend on luxury items; 65% of women said they have changed their purchasing patterns and are now buying fewer luxury items such as perfume and jewellery. When asked which items they would never compromise on, shoes were at the top of the list.

Child-friendly centres important


Couples with children tend to share similar frustrations about shopping centres and, at the top of the list is the lack of trolleys to put children in - 20% of parents said this is a common problem at shopping centres. 11% of parents said the limited number of family friendly dining facilities frustrates them and 13% said that their biggest source of frustration is the lack of baby changing areas and entertainment.

The economic downturn has dented the pockets of South Africans and many are starting to cut back on certain items. 53% of those surveyed said they have cut down on dining out and a large number of respondents said they are now spending less on entertainment items such as music and CDs (47%), magazines (45%), DVDs and videos (44%) and books (42%).

"It's clear the majority of people are under financial stress and have had to either cut down on certain items or cancel them completely. This trend is likely to continue as global economic growth remains subdued and the effects of stagnant growth are felt in the local economy. The survey has indicated a majority of consumers have been spending less on items they consider luxuries. "

"It is important to note that consumers do not necessarily consider an item as luxury on the basis of the price tag, some consumers consider clothes a luxury while others see perfumes or jewellery as luxuries, hence it is more product related," concludes Urdang.

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