Gender, sport and retailers

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03/05/2012 at 15:40

This got me thinking. The Asda bike shop (who knew they had one!) advert - <a title="link" href="http://direct.asda.com/Bike-Shop/801,default,sc.html" target="_blank">http://direct.asda.com/Bike-Shop/801,default,sc.html </a>- has a section for men's and women's bikes. The images are quite different - the guy is in sports kit, wearing a helmet, looking quite serious and with an off-road background. The woman is in jeans, sans helmet tootling along in front of some houses. And they have a much larger range of men's bikes than women's. 

Do retailers take men's sport more seriously than women's?

03/05/2012 at 15:41

Guess the new forum doesn't like the link...

http://direct.asda.com/Bike-Shop/801,default,sc.html

03/05/2012 at 15:46

Pish...same goes for the boys and girls, the girls are all clean and "pretty", the boys are engrossed in something "activey". Don't get me started on gender and marketnig S, I'll be here all night! grrrr.

03/05/2012 at 17:29

Seems Asda do. I certainly don't look like that woman when I'm out riding. Maybe send them a photo of myself riding through muddy puddles in the rain.

03/05/2012 at 20:03

When my LBS introduced a womens range of clothing they asked me what I thought.  I said that it would be nice if they stocked something other than pastel pink and black, as I can't wear pink and black is just a stupid colour for cycling in.  They asked me what colours I would like so I went over to the mens section and pointed to the red, orange, blue and green tops that they had.

03/05/2012 at 22:27

Her bike's not even very practical.

...where's the shopping basket?

<ducks>

03/05/2012 at 22:49

It's like something from the dark ages

03/05/2012 at 22:57
The person who created the advert should be very very embarassed. Asda should be very very embarassed.
03/05/2012 at 23:04

Just had another look - 9 girl's bikes, 25 for boys...

I'm actually tempted to write to them and see what they have to say about it.

03/05/2012 at 23:08
I was thinking that too. I would love to hear their right to reply
04/05/2012 at 08:21
I'm not condoning the advert at all but maybe it's all down to supply and demand. Most of the ladies I know ride men's bikes anyway. Maybe the demand isn't there?
04/05/2012 at 08:28

Most of the ladies I know ride Ladies bikes.  But then I don't know that many female cyclists that aren't short so they wouldn't be able to find a mens bike that would fit them.

seren nos    pirate
04/05/2012 at 08:32

many might rise mens bikes as the choice of womens bikes is restricted........

but for children.why on earth do we need section with girls bikes and boys bikes......surely it should just be a section of bikes and you pick which ever one you want........

there is no need for a difference in kids bikes........

04/05/2012 at 09:48

I'm surprised at the number of black/dark jackets and jerseys on sale (for men and women), surely bright colours (preferably with a choice of not just pink!) are more appropriate for cycling?

I do ride a women's bike, but it's not girly!

04/05/2012 at 10:22

I ride a womens and a unisex bike, I think the unisex bike has gender issues, it's name is Bob and Roberta Smith.

Again - 7 womens bikes, 18 mens bikes. Why?

There again would any serious cyclist buy a bike from Asda?

Iron Pingu    pirate
04/05/2012 at 10:35

Argh, my company is really into trying to encourage us lot to cycle which is generally really positive ... apart from they got Kelly Brook to demonstrate how us girls can cycle AND look lovely.  They had pictures of her looking very glamorous in a variety of non practical outfits..

The guys love sending me the Intranet links as I tend to start ranting about how I'd like to see her cycle round <insert name of crazy busy road junction> in said outfit in the p1ssing rain.  But hey, if it encourages more people ...

04/05/2012 at 10:36

There's still a discrepancy in what's available regardless of how seriously people take it. I've found an address to write to, and since I've got nothing important to do (*ahem*) then I'll write and see what they have to say

04/05/2012 at 10:47

remember folks - this is Asda we're talking about here, not some trendy, right on, gender aware organisation.  they're a subsidiary of Walmart who aren't exactly known for their defence of women's rights in the USA - I belive that until a couple of years ago they paid their female staff less than the men for equivalent roles.

but are Asda doing anything different to many other large companies in their advertising?  no.  they're pitching at stereotypes and sadly the UK still lives in a stereotyped world.  they're appealing to the emotions of the masses, not the small number of people who are posting on here who could be called "the Guardian classes" - of which I am a fully paid up member btw!

StB - it will be very interesting to see if a) Asda respond and b) hear what they say.

WiB
04/05/2012 at 10:55

I went into Boots earlier to get some shaving gel and was disgusted to see that there was a small section for mens stuff and the rest filled with expensive creams, make up, hair related gadgets etc etc... anyone would think that some research had been done and the stock reflected the sales. Who would have thought it.

WiB
04/05/2012 at 11:16

But that's the thing.  Stock does reflect sales.  Dare I say it we represent a very small proportion of the population.  ***sweeping statement alert*** we are generally fit, healthy and active and look to function rather than looks in our sporting products.

Asda advertises to the mass market who are looking at different criteria than what we may apply to our own purchases.  If there was a demand for masses of ladies bikes in that market then there would be a supply. 

And whether you agree with it or not, stereotypes exist.  Just look at the Apprentice episode on Wednesday.  Mass selling of fake tan in Essex.  They applied the stereotype, bought shed loads of fake tan, sold it for a good price and won the task because it of it. 

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