Men have been taking on more of the household shopping as their unemployment levels remain higher than women's.U.S. retailers are finding out what jilted wives and girlfriends have known for years: Men are cheap. As stubbornly high unemployment rates -- which have been slightly higher for men than for women -- have kept many men out of the workforce for months, if not years, men have been taking on more of the household shopping. And, on average, according to a Nielsen report released last week, they've been spending less.

Since 2004, men have increasingly accounted for a higher percentage of the household dollars spent at discount stores, mass merchandisers, warehouse or club retailers, convenience stores and supercenters. Their spending has grown the most at dollar-store and warehouse-club retailers, and they also spend more money than women at convenience stores and gas stations, according to the report.

"While women continue to dominate shopping trips in all retail channels except for convenience stores, men have increased trip shares between 2004 and 2010 in all retail channels but drug stores," Nielsen says.

Men Start to Spend More

The higher percentage of male shoppers hasn't boded well for most store owners, who already have taken a hit from the high unemployment rates. It turns out that men are more cost conscious about household shopping than women, Nielsen says. On average, men last year spent 24% less per trip to a supercenter than women, and 16% less than women at mass merchandisers.

However, the economy may soon start to return unemployed men to the workforce, pushing more of the household shopping duties back toward women. Earlier this month, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate had fallen slightly to 8.9% in February from 9% in January and 9.7% in February of last year. Last month's unemployment rate was the lowest since April 2009.

More good news for retailers? Men aren't as cheap as they used to be, according to the Nielsen report. In 2010, men spent about 25% more at grocery stores -- and 20% more at mass merchandisers -- than they did in 2006.

"Women are the biggest spenders per trip, an indication that they are more likely to go on the weekly planned shopping trips for their families," Nielsen says. "But in many channels, the difference between the spending of men and women is not that great."

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I spend more because I am the one stuck doing all of the household shopping. Men leave all of shopping to their wives. They just run in for a couple of items such as ice cream and beer. duh!!

March 30 2011 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

THIS PROVES WHAT WE MEN HAVE KNOWN ALL ARE smarter, only buy what we need, and save for that inevitable "rainy day". Women are irrational, emotional, and materialistic and don't have enough common sense to come out of the rain. They buy what they don't need because of low self-esteem, thinking 75 pair of shoes will make them feel better. Very sad.

March 16 2011 at 4:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to muser555's comment

you hit the nail right on the head!! I actually blame this whole recession on women. I predicted 20 years with the major influx of women into the work force that the US would collapse. We now have almost every section of this economy controlled by women. Bad decisions increased 10,000% in all areas from education to the economy and religion. Men grow some balls!!!!

March 17 2011 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Our purchasing is mostly necessities with a few "wants" thrown in if the budget allows. We stick to cash only..if the cash runs out the shopping is over till next pay day. Its amazing how much you could save by not buying the garbage processed foods. Its healthier too.

March 16 2011 at 12:10 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

The editor is either a female or a homo. Men buy things because they need them. Women buy things because they want them...big difference.

March 16 2011 at 10:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The morale to the story is very clear...........never, never let women shop!

March 16 2011 at 10:17 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gardeningatnite's comment
Holly Pc

Especially if a group go to the malls together. LOOK OUT

March 17 2011 at 9:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

All Trends do is Rob you of Money You Should Be Saving

March 16 2011 at 10:17 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Buy what you need, not what you want !

-St. Thomas Aquinas

March 16 2011 at 10:05 AM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply