Ladies Shop Till You Drop – Leave Your Man in a Husband Parking Pod – The Capsule Hotel Idea for Bored Shoppers. If you get pissed off with the man in your life always complaining that shopping takes too long here’s a new innovation that will keep you both happy – the Husband Parking Facility – Coming to a shopping centre near you. Read on…
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When I lived in Tokyo in the 1980’s I had to pop down to Osaka regularly on the bullet train to meet my customers there. In those days my fellow Salary-men spoke excitedly about the new Capsule Hotel that opened in Osaka in 1979 – this facility allowed gentlemen to sleep in comfortable little pods for a fraction of the price of a Japanese hotel.
Now scroll forward nearly 4 decades and our Asian friends have come up with another innovation to help ease the life of those tired husbands. This new development has already been introduced to a couple of shopping centres in Shanghai including the prestigious Global Harbour Mall in the Putuo district. It has been described locally as a husband parking bay (although I like to think of it as a ‘Hubby Play-pod‘).
The cabins have been developed by the company Ingrem Technology. Their manager, Mr Wei Pengfei, explained that market research had shown that although most people go shopping in ‘pairs’ usually the men are the first to become bored with the experience. When this happens their wife (or girlfriend) can drop them off at the Hubby Play-pod (at the time of writing their are four of these facilities in the Global Harbour Shopping Mall).
Inside the pod is a comfortable sports seat which also provides a personal massage facility. The parked ‘guest’ can make use of the computer games on offer within the play-pod. Currently the facilities are free but the demand has been very strong with some gentlemen being left there for several hours by their partners. The plan is to start charging for the service in the near future.
Mr Wei Pengfei explained that interest is growing rapidly with enquiries from a further ten clients under consideration. The plan is to equip the next generation of Hubby-pods with air conditioning (it gets very warm in Shanghai in the summer months). Charges will be introduced based on the amount of time a guest spends inside the pod.
And how is the feedback about the Hubby-pod experience? Mr Wei explained that generally the men have found the experience very enjoyable – their appetite for going shopping with their partners appears to have increased. However the ladies responses were more mixed. Li Ting, a 35 year old stay-at-home mother from Shanghai, told the China News (CNS): “I think it’s a creative way for my husband to take a break from shopping, which men are often not interested in. It’s totally fine if he plays games there for half an hour while I’m trying on dresses and I don’t need his opinions.”
By contrast Ding Wen, a 29 year old primary school teacher, considered it unacceptable to see her husband sitting there playing computer games if he chose to go out with her for a date: “Whether it was a decade ago when we started a love relationship or it’s now when we already have a three-year-old son, I always believe we should take the quality time we spend together seriously,”
Mr Wei explained that although most ladies support his development some women like to try on and show their husbands or boyfriends the clothes they are interested in. It should be noted however that the pods do have glass walls so theoretically the man could look at his wife from inside of the pod. Some other ladies were unhappy because they had finished with their shopping but then struggled to get their man out of the pod – apparently he was having such a good time.
By the way if you do go to Osaka in Japan and want to check out the original pod hotel there the English language website to the Capsule Inn Hotel Osaka is here (This is not a recommendation or endorsement – just for info as a piece of Japanese cultural history). Clearly this could be the next development in the evolution of the Hubby shopping pod – don’t just go shopping with him for a couple of hours – put him in a pod hotel and spend the whole weekend shopping (but make sure you keep the credit cards ladies!).
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