Mall Science

Paco Underhill has made a career of studying shopping malls. In two well known books (click here) , he lays out a wealth of findings on the world of the mall, and describes how retailers lose sales by ignoring how people actually use malls and shops. For example:

– people tend to buy stuff that’s placed away from the door, stuff near the door sells poorly
– people tend to walk through the mall with the shops on their right hand side, so place your products facing in that direction; displays facing the wrong direction rarely get people to buy stuff
– chairs in stores are great, because impatient family members who are seated will wait longer while you shop

Who would’ve thought that malls provide such nice examples of systematic biases in consumer behavior and the market inefficiencies they create?


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