Thursday, February 28

Why We Buy - Paco Underhill

Subtitled "The Science of Shopping", this accessible and absorbing work, written by the field's founder, is a fascinating insight into what makes us chose to buy what we buy. Underhill, an environmental psychologist, started out working for local governments looking at ways of imrpoving parks and other outdoor public spaces. In Why We Buy he discusses how he came to pioneer the study of shopping habits and behaviours, as well as some interesting insights into not only the way we act but also how companies encourage us to spend. Those of us trying to cut down on unnecessary purchases can pick up some handy hints on how to prevent our resistance to impulse buying being undermined - for a start, don't pick up a basket!
Underhill has an engaging voice and clearly loves his subject; he is able to convey that in his writing with ease and grace. Themes seamlessly emerge and are integrated into the work as a whole, and my first impulse when I finished was to check if others of his work were available. If you have an interest in shopping psychology, retail marketing and advertising, or why you go out to get a litre of milk and come back with two trolley loads of shopping, this is the book for you. - Alex

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