Women, Sex and Shopping - Report and Analyst Stream

  • ID: 1552433
  • Newsletter
  • Hewson Group
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Women Sex and Shopping (WSS) was established as research programme in 2008 by market analysts Hewson Group and looks at the Pleasure Goods market for women; producing insights about what products they like and where they want to shop. Since then, WSS has appeared in the Financial Times, Times, Telegraaf (NL), The Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Glamour, TV documentaries and many other media outlets across the world. WSS research is increasingly referenced in academic study internationally and has demonstrably infuenced the marketing approach of a number of well known brands.

Women's Retail is in need of a Revolution

The fact that women like shopping is, it might be said, a truth universally acknowledged. It is also a received wisdom that most women particularly love the acquisition of high heels, chocolate, lingerie and any manner of other luxury goods. Why is it then that so much of the retail environment aimed at women is more rooted in the 1950s rather than the 21st Century? Buying Pleasure Goods is - or should be - an emotive experience and should have an implicit recognition that many products have a strong inter-connection and need to be merchandised accordingly and with a thought through proximity. Far too many retail spaces are emotionally arid and lack any innovation regarding immersive experiences or excitement.

Retailers and women's brands across the world have been slow to recognize that a very signi?cant emancipation has been achieved by women in the way that they are self-determinant about their sexual lives and of how they value this - even compared to twenty years ago. Marketing people recognize the fact and advertising for fragrance, lingerie and beauty products is frequently edgy, erotic and fantasy feeding. These highly emotive messages are very often not re?ected in the products and, even more often, are absent from the retail arena where the woman consumer too often searches in vain for immersion in fantasy. Sex Toys are an excellent example of misreading the change in the market.

These items are frequently the subject of media hysteria or manufactured outrage but the reality is that over half the women in North America and Northern Europe own one - necessarily acquired from an almost universally unadapted supply side. But...not one single aspirational brand is involved in a market of real signi?cance to hundreds of millions of women. The same observation can be made about personal lubricants where the default message of addressing ‘dysfunction' sits oddly with real world demand.

The original research (in 2008) for Women Sex and Shopping was originally quite narrow in scope and in an area that no mainstream analyst had ever considered before. Hewson Group employed innovatory and probably unique research techniques to understand the true nature of the female consumer. We wanted to establish what causal connection there was between the goods women could buy and their enjoyment or perception of sex. At the same time, we wanted to know of it worked the other way round. Did behaviours and the way that women saw themselves affect what they
might buy? The answers were clear and should always inform how we consider the market across a wide range of women's goods. The customer is looking for emotive involvement and the bland will not prosper. Understanding this will be critical to attracting and retaining the female consumer of the future.


Women Sex and Shopping provides both Report elements and access for 6 months to the research project.

Report Elements
The Main WSS report (this should be regarded as essential background)
The Future of Retail Stream
The Market Opportunities stream

Research Elements
Verbatim Extracts from Hewson Group research (either email responses or questionnaires)

Monthly analysis of all research material

Analyst Access
Clients are entitled to 2 hours telephone access to a Hewson Group analyst
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I. Table of Contents
II. Key Points
II. Introduction
IV. Overview and Commentary
V. A $60bn Sector?
VI. What are Pleasure Goods?
VII. Changing Cultures
VIII. Aspirational Brands
IX. Celebrity Endorsement
X. Research Methodology
XI. Sexual Behaviours
XII. The Power of the Female Consumer
XIII. Male/Couples Buying Trends
XIV. Sex Toys
XV. Global Sex Toy Use
XVI. Erotica for Women
XVII.Personal Lubricants
XIX. Luxury Goods
XX. Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare
XXI. Hotels and Leisure
XXII.What might the future Pleasure Goods Store outlet look like?
XXIII.Examples of Pleasure Goods Buying
XXIV.Propensity Groups
XXV.Legal and Cultural Issues
XXVI.Future Market Value – Globally
XXVII.Imperatives for Action
XXVIII.Appendix A
XXIX.Street Survey verbatim comments
XXX.Appendix B
XXXI.Email responses to WSS
XXXII.Appendix C
XXXIII.WSS Top 50 Pleasure Goods
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown