PARIS - French shopaholics hitting the streets of Paris could now be going home with a man in their shopping baskets.
Nestling in the heart of one of Paris's main shopping districts, the 'adopt-a-guy' (adopte-un-mec) boutique opened its doors last week promising a high-end shopping experience for any Parisians searching for Mr Right.
Eligible bachelors dressed in quirky costumes posed in mock toy boxes - a whole row of Kens waiting to meet their Barbies.
Meanwhile crowds of women browsed the boutique to see what was on offer, posing for photos with guys who caught their eyes.
The idea comes from French dating website 'adopteunmec.com.' Created in 2008, it invites men to sign up and post profiles online for a cost of one euro (S$1.60) a day.
Women are then free to trawl the profiles and get in touch with whichever man catches their fancy.
The men in costumes in the shop windows are all signed up to the website and passers-by can contact them through the site, but, with a seating and drinks area downstairs, people can also meet and chat on the shop floor.
The system appears to work - organisers say that at least one visitor to the shop on Tuesday (Sept 11) did not go home alone.
Adopteunmec.com are keen to dismiss any sense of objectification saying that the environment is light-hearted and the aim is to have some fun.
And shop visitors such as Ms Lucille Roux seem to agree.
"I already know a bit about the website, and I find all this funny. It reminds you a little bit of the red light district in Amsterdam, but much tamer and for us girls instead," she said.
The men in the boxes are all volunteers who chose their own characters and costumes. Dancing, posing and smiling for photos they switch places every hour or so to stop them getting tired.
In a nod to the tongue-in-cheek theme, each one comes with character-appropriate accessories - a board for the surfer and weights for the muscle man.
And they say the women get into the spirit.
"They're very open-minded and approachable. They take it all as a joke and I think that's how you have to see it - as a bit of fun," one of the men, Jefferson Stragier said.
Organisers say the set-up puts women in charge, and shop visitor Ms Amandine Camporro agrees.
"For once we have a choice and we don't have to put up with the trials and tribulations of seduction so it's a really great idea. It's different. It proves that the guys can make fun of themselves and the ones who are here have a sense of humour and that's different," she told Reuters Television.
Though the atmosphere may be low-key, dating is a serious business with 4.7 million people signed up to the site and on average more than 7,000 joining each day.
But the 'adopt-a-guy' shop only has a short-term lease. Open until the end of the week it will head to several other French and Swiss cities in the coming weeks including Lausanne, Lyon and Toulouse.