I hate shopping in malls and giant department stores. One reason is that I always feel like they’ve dialed back on the oxygen.1 Another reason is that large shops are usually disorienting — no directional cues (e.g. windows to see the sun), no maps, little signage, less discernible logic.
How interesting to discover that there’s a science to making me feel that way: the Gruen transfer. And that Ikea are past masters at milking this disorientation. (We used to shop at Ikea in Neasden when we lived in London.)
Now if only I could figure out what Dadeland is doing to the air to make you want to buy something and get the heck out of there.
- I should perhaps note that I have no other symptoms of claustrophobia, and indeed enjoyed caving when younger. [↩]
I confess, I don’t understand the motivation for this. My reaction to deliberately-disorienting stores like Ikea is to refuse to shop there, or, if forced to shop there, to corral employees and order them about until I get what I want, and exactly what I want.
Surely that doesn’t maximize their profits. Unless others react radically differently…?
Thank you. The wonders of the Internet.
As to the cost/benefit of losing Paul Gowder’s business, I think Ikea clearly knows what they are doing and I suspect even Mr. Gowder, albeit reluctantly, benefits from Ikea’s cheap tables (either he grits his teeth and goes when he has a particular need or a social proxy, i.e wife, picks one up for him when necessary).
Andy Rooney, is that you?