Vaccum cleaners for men, action figures for women
Change in online consumer patterns reflects shifting views on gender roles
Published : Mar 21, 2018 - 14:31
Updated : Mar 21, 2018 - 14:31
The boundaries between products typically purchased by women and men are crumbling, according to one online retailer’s statistics reported Tuesday.

The phenomenon is a reflection of changing attitudes toward gender-assigned roles, experts said.

A growing number of men are buying items such as vacuum cleaners, traditionally seen as household goods purchased by women, according to 11st, a local report said.

From January to March, some 45 percent of those who purchased robot vacuum cleaners on 11st were men in their 30s, while only 35 percent of buyers were women in their 40s, according to the report.

Men in their 30s also accounted for the highest percentage of consumers who purchased mini washing machines on 11st in the same period, at 25 percent.

Meanwhile, women in their 30s constituted the largest group to purchase action figures and other toy models, making up 33 percent of buyers over the past two months on 11st. Women in their 30s were also the top group for remote-control toys, constituting 27 percent of sales.


The change in consumption pattern is an indication of shifting social norms, said Park Wan-kyu, an economics professor at Chung-Ang University.

As more and more people tend to get married later in life or not at all, there is an increase in men in their 30s living alone, he said. “There is thus demand among this population for convenient household appliances for their single-person homes,” said Park.

There was also a greater increase in sales of men’s cosmetics products than women’s makeup from January to February at online retailer Gmarket, according to reports.

While there was a 50 percent increase in the number of men who purchased luxury cosmetics items compared to the same period last year, there was only a 42 percent increase in the sales of women’s luxury cosmetics.

By Rumy Doo (