Why Don’t We Have Stores for Singles?
Most products are made family size, and about half of us are single for long periods of our lives.
Have you ever tried buying a small pressure cooker that only makes enough food for one person? Or maybe, you’re out shopping for a small portion of fresh vegetables, but if you take what’s on offer, most of it will be rotten before you can use it.
In earlier days, the idea behind buying large quantities was that it was less expensive because the cost of production was cheaper, and this was passed on to the end buyer. However, in recent years, in order to make larger profits, business has decided to make larger quantities more expensive. Their reasoning? It is more convenient to buy larger quantities because then you don’t have to shop frequently.
Generally singles have to look for products in stores that cater to everybody, but the time is right for singles stores. In these stores, entrepreneurs would take a leaf out of the old department-style store and sell multiple types of products — the only common denominator being that they are suited to single people.
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About 50.2 percent or 124.6 million American adults are single — in 1950, that number sat around 22 percent. “It’s become legitimate and viable to be single for a long period of time,” he says. “That’s never been the case before.” Source.
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Singles’ Day is a holiday celebrated in China on November 11. Unmarried people commemorate the occasion by treating themselves to gifts and presents, leading Singles’ Day to become the largest online shopping day in the world, by quite some margin. China’s Singles’ Day is by far the biggest day for internet commerce, easily surpassing the combined sales tallies of both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Source.
Singles’ Day in China — The Biggest Shopping Day On Earth.
November, 11th is Singles Day In China. That’s the day that anyone who is single celebrates being one of a kind, and they go out and treat themselves. In 2019, it grossed $358 billion — bigger than Christmas and Black Friday combined. While the sum total is not yet known for 2020, Alibaba grossed $38.4 billion in 2019 and $56 billion this year.
Clearly the demand is there. All it takes is for an enterprising individual to set up a group of designers who will downsize family size products and then market or sell them via a singles’ emporium.
The Products That Make Single Sense
As someone who is single, I don’t want a large coffee-maker or towelling sets that presupposes I’m half of a pair or cutlery that comes in sets of six. If I’m living in a small space, as single people in high-cost areas often do, I also don’t want a huge sofa or a large bed. I’m looking to be comfortable with space saving paraphernalia. I don’t want a large laundry basket or a large cooker/stove with enough oven space to bake three turkeys. I want small things. In fact, I don’t want a car with four seats. I want something small — about the size of a bike but with four wheels that shelters me from bad weather.
For years, I’ve wanted a range of kitchenware that is suited to a single person. It would comprise a small pot, a small single frying, pan, a small baking pan, two sets of cutlery (one might have a sexy guest), two plates, bowls, a soup ladle, spatula, and a small container into which it all fits for easy movement. No one has ever presented something like that in the market place.
As someone who wants to live small to prevent further degradation in climate change, I was flabbergasted when I used to live in Houston, Texas, and the energy company fined me because I used too little electricity.
In another twist, I love travel stores. Yes, I probably travel more than most, or to put that another way, I have a habit of relocating to new countries more often than most. I don’t love travel stores because I travel. I love travel stores because they provide small products. My favorite is my small travel iron — I always hated those large, heavy ones.
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In pricey cities such as New York, “micro-apartments” are slated to offer cheaper options for singles. Cities like London, Warsaw, Tokyo, and Shanghai are also experimenting with apartments ranging from 250 to 370 square feet. Ikea is now pushing the PS collection, aimed at 20-somethings on the move and in need of furnishings for smaller spaces. And in Korea, the e-commerce site AKMall features a “single life corner” for singles in need of self-help books and multipurpose furniture. Source.
The Benefits of Products for Singles
There are some benefits to providing singles with smaller products.
- Ultimately less space is needed in homes. This includes less storage space.
- There is less waste. This multiplies many times over. Think about it. If one has to buy twenty large products, one needs two to three times as many plastic bags as one would if one only bought twenty single-sized products. In addition to that, there is a psychological effect. When one has a small container of something, one uses less. A large container somehow makes one use more because we automatically think we have a lot of it.
- With less waste, there is less pollution. With less pollution, climate change is slowed down.
- People are psychologically happier when they are surrounded by less. Many people who lost homes as a consequence of hurricane flooding or recent fires commented that though there was financial loss, they were happier without so much stuff. Stuff ties us down.
An Emerging Market for Smaller Size Products Suited for Single People
There are brands for all sorts of products and prices. There is, however, not a single brand that specializes in providing products for single people. The market is immense, and it’s time that some enterprizing individual took a serious look at this business opportunity.
The idea is to open up a line of stores that caters to people living alone. It would provide kitchenware, scaled down furniture that would fit into small-sized homes, smaller portions of fresh food, and the added cherry on top — better quality products. After all, if single people no longer need to pay for larger products, the extra that they would normally pay could go towards making a better quality, more luxurious product.
I think it would be very successful, and I’m looking forward to the day when someone finally clicks that single people are a massive potential market when it comes to designing products especially for them.