Shanghai’s largest mall has become the first shopping centre to install “husband rest hatches” where female shoppers can leave their bored partners.
The Global Habour complex now boasts four see-through glass gaming pods aimed at men waiting for their other halves to finish shopping.
Each contains “a seat as plush as any found on a business-class train, along with a big TV screen and games console,” says the South China Morning Post.
The gaming pods offer a step up from usual bored husband refuges like the trying-on benches in the shoe department and are already proving popular with customers, says the BBC, which picked up the story from Chinese website The Paper.
One enthusiastic user told the Paper that the hatches were “really great”, adding: “I’ve just played Tekken 3 and felt like I was back at school!”.
Not everyone was convinced, however – not least female shoppers who fear the tables have now been turned.
“Now I may have to wait for him when I finish shopping but he’s still playing games,” one woman told the Paper.
As the story spread to international newspapers, one commenter on The Times‘ article about the “rest hatches” had a suggestion to make things fairer if the concept makes it to the UK.
“They should install the booths in B&Q to keep my wife happy while I like to spend a happy hour or two checking out and handling all the various tools, fixings, nuts and bolts,” the reader wrote.
The hatches will remain at the shopping centre for a one-month trial. If their popularity continues, the mall says it will introduce a small charge for the service, which is currently free.