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How IKEA Seduces Its Customers: By Trapping Them PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 29 January 2011 04:55

By: Elizabeth Tyler

It's no revelation that IKEA drives you crazy, but now a scientist from University College London has worked out just how and why they do it.

According to Alan Penn, director of the Virtual Reality Centre for the Built Environment at University College London, it's all part of IKEA's plan to keep us in store and buying more. The theory is that while following a zig-zag path through the store, the IKEA customer becomes disorientated and is thus more likely to pick up strategically placed impulse purchases.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 January 2011 05:09
Daily Dupes: When 'What a Bargain!' Is Followed By 'Why Did I Buy That?' PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 04:17
Posted by Brad Tuttle Friday, December 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Regrets … have you had a few? If yes, you've probably been suckered into plenty of can't-pass-up daily deals sold online.

Groupon, the site that prominently turned down a $6 billion buyout by Google, is at the head of a huge trend of group-buying and flash sales websites, which include the likes of LivingSocial, 8coupons, and more. Plenty of older, more-established businesses have also gotten in on daily-deal coupons, including Valpak and Yelp.
Why 'For a Limited Time Only!' Drives Shoppers to Spend Like Crazy PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 December 2010 03:24
Posted by Brad Tuttle Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

When retailers roll out flash sales and deep discounts, the actual price of the freshly marked-down merchandise is only one factor enticing shoppers to buy. Rather than carefully considering whether the item is worth the newly discounted asking price, consumers are often prompted to buy during a short-lived sale because stumbling upon one makes them feel special and lucky—even fortunate to have been chosen to participate—and because of worries they'll feel left out if they miss out on the discount when the sale expires. It's amazing how psychology and retail strategies work: When you think about it, these two pressures aren't that different than the familiar scene at middle school recess—when everybody wants to be chosen in a game of kickball, and nobody wants to be left out.

Mom and Consumer Group Sue McDonald's For Luring Kids with Happy Meal Toys PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 December 2010 22:14

By Meredith Melnick Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In conjunction with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Monet Parham, a 41-year-old mother of two, filed a class action against McDonald's on Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court, claiming that the fast food chain's practice of giving away toys with Happy Meals is a form of deceptive advertising to children.

The CSPI also claims that McDonald's uses Happy Meals toys to circumvent parental control, and to teach children to want unhealthy, calorie-packed foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat. "Marketing to kids is an end-run around parental control," Stephen Gardner, CSPI's director of litigation, told NPR. (More on Study: Fast-Food Ads Target Kids with Unhealthy Food, and It Works)

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 December 2010 22:22
What If Yemen Is the First Country to Run Out of Water? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 December 2010 00:52
Experts cited by CNN  say Yemen could be the first nation to completely run out of water in a few years, a prospect that does not bode well for its young population of 24 million that is expected to double in 20 years, or anyone worried about the rising influence (and ability to get bombs on planes) of an al Qaeda branch in one of the Middle East's poorest nations.

In Sana'a, which could be the world's first capital city to go dry, the population is growing at a rate of 7% per year as people flee from the parched outer reaches of the country. Part of the problem is qat, an addictive plant like chewed by about 75% of men in Yemen that takes a whole lot of water to grow. In places where vineyards used to be, farmers now are growing the more lucrative qat, which uses five times the amount of water as grapes but can be harvested and sold relatively quickly after it's planted.

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