'Man creche' offers festive refuge for blokes

Blokes: ever felt like you wanted somewhere to hide rather than face the hurly-burly of the pre-Christmas trading frenzy? Time to head for the man crèche.

The novel idea with the slightly condescending title is the brainchild of electronics maker Soniq, which is dipping a toe in the water by setting up a male-only enclosure at Melbourne's Northland shopping centre for a couple of days this week.

Soniq conducted a study of around 150 of its customers and that found almost half were likely to make up excuses to get out of Christmas shopping, while one in four had faked ill health or injury to avoid joining the annual frenzy of consumerism.

The man creche features a two-metre-wide video wall, video consoles, comfortable sofas and that staple of man caves everywhere, a pool table.

Soniq marketing manager Stathis Georgianos says the man crèche means men no longer need to lie their way out of the annual Christmas shopping trip. “The man crèche is like the ultimate playpen. We have all the gear and gadgets here that most blokes wish they had in their home,” he says.

With disagreements between partners running as high as 44 per cent during the festive spending frenzy according to its research, the company recommends that partners “check in their guy, do their shopping and collect him at the end of the day and go home smiling”.

“The man crèche takes the pain out of Christmas shopping by getting your man out from under your feet,” Georgianos says.

The man crèche will operate at Northland until December 15.