Cluttered Stores = Spending More Money?

I read this article on retail design in the NY Times a few days ago and thought this might be interesting for anyone working on a post grad budget. As someone who spent many college and high school years working retail jobs, I know how the design of the store/ merchandise can make it appealing (or not) to customers. What I didn't realize is that cluttered stores actually trick you into purchasing more!

Apparently, people associate a packed/ cramped store with value. Walmart actually has done a few remodels over the years and found that when the aisles are less cluttered, people report a more enjoyable shopping experience, but ultimately purchase less. Determined to keep filling customers carts with things they never knew they needed, Walmart has embarked on an effort to "re-clutter" their stores.

The same can be said for clothing stores. For example, when I walk into J Crew store and see the clothing spread out in neat little piles and displays, my mind immediately thinks "$$$$". For a completely different experience, you can go into Forever 21 and see clothes stuffed in every corner possible of the store. While it's overwhelming, my initial thought is that there's got to be a deal in there somewhere!

I bet that in the end I would end up spending the same amount of money at both stores. In JCrew, the streamlined layout would help me stay focused only on what I wanted, while the sheer amount of inventory in Forever 21 would likely lead to me purchasing things I didn't initially want/ need.

The NY Times highlighted the specific stores of Dollar General, Old Navy, and Walmart in their article, so be sure to be aware that there is a mastermind behind the way every retail store is set up! My advice on how to deal with this new form of retail design? Go into shops with a list and stick to it!


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