Study says…snooty staff make you spend more!
Cher, likely clueless about the Pretty Woman Effect. (Image courtesy of Getty)
There are two kinds of shoppers in the world: those who actually allow the staff at a store to help them, and those who recoil in horror at even the briefest ‘everything is 20 percent off today’. But one things that unites us all? The Pretty Woman effect.
researchers at the University of British Columbia, the experience of being dismissed like Julia Roberts’ character in a ritzy Rodeo Drive boutique might make us feel bad – but it also makes us want to spend our money there even more. The study put shoppers in two retail environments – one high street, one uber luxe – and then had actors play store staff. When the participants were treated "with attitude" in the high-end establishment, they actually reported wanting to buy the store’s goods more. (‘Tude was less successful at the other end of the spectrum). The researchers put it down to the ‘in crowd’ phenomenon – basically, we humans always want what we feel like we can’t have, and getting mean-girled by shop staff just makes us want to be part of that exclusive club even more.
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