No, You Can’t Just Buy One Thing at Target
If you've ever walked into Target, you would know that it is physically impossible to walk out with just one item. Okay maybe you have, but this is a very rare occurrence. Target seems to cast a spell on you. Voices whisper in your ear, "Yes you need more candles." You seem to be drawn to the picture frame aisle for no discernible reason. Time seems to not exist inside Target. If you feel that way, you are not alone and there is a name for it.
According to UrbanDictionary.com the target effect is, "The result of going into a store, intending to buy a few things, and leaving with much more. Frequently happens while shopping at Target." We have all experienced this phenomenon. Our wallets hate us for it. There is no reason that we need 7 new pillows, but we get them anyway. You can now blame Target, their genius marketing, and their store layout for your lack of self control.
Joe Perdew, the VP of Store Design for Target stated, "We’ve added features like dynamic product vignettes throughout the store that help guests envision how things will fit into their lives. ... Our revamped Beauty department looks like a specialty shop and is designed to invite guests to try out products, and in Home, products are cross-merchandised and displayed in lifestyle settings, so guests can imagine what they’ll look like in their own homes."
Refinery29 interviewed experts on how stores can entice you to buy more things. Stores will use lighting, layout, product placement, and what they refer to as "psychological pricing."
You see prices that are $19.99 instead of $20.00. Target is known for its bright lights and white flooring which makes the store seem more open and bright. Target is also known for its end cap placement. Clearance items are on the inside end cap to make you walk through the aisle to get to it.
Perdew also said, "That whole 'I came in for shampoo and left with two carts full of other things' phenomenon is real!"
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