A New Tool To Make Shopping More Pleasant

The Lempert Report
August 22, 2017

Just drop off your husband in a pod!

The BBC reports on a mall in China that has installed the concept of "husband storage" and takes the form of a glass cubicle or pod - a comfortable chair and access to a range of video games from the 90's. Perhaps this could be the solution to America’s dying shopping malls? 

Right now use of the pods is free, but of course the plans is to introduce a charge that will be payable by smartphone. According to Chinese website The Paper, the pods are popular, but also lacking in a few key areas. The biggest complaint so far is a lack of air conditioning, which means you are sitting in a glass cubicle sweating while playing. 

The BBC report suggests that there's also a missed opportunity to sell these husbands cold drinks and snacks.   

Social media in China is apparently split on whether the pods are a good idea or not. On the one hand it could encourage partners to go to the mall with their spouse, but on the other, what's the point if all they are going to do is disappear inside a glass box? 

Can these pods become the next iteration of the internet café? Or does it become new homeless shelters? Will they expand to be available to women as well? Or kids? Do we think that those empty shopping malls can be turned into a next generation locale full of gamers isolated but playing video games with other faceless people, perhaps along side each other but not identified?

Perhaps the reason that husbands, or people in general don’t enjoy shopping is that the experience is just plain lousy – and if we focused on creating better retail experiences everyone would win  - and not in a glass container.