Let’s face it, walking out of Kmart with only one thing is virtually impossible, unless you have the super will power.
We walk in with the intention to buy some new pots for the kitchen, then walk out with five colourful cushions, a pretty looking canvas art work, three interesting lamps, a cupboard for things we really don’t need, and a steam mop we will only use once every year, because cleaning is so freakin’ tedious.
Is there a reason we can’t just walk out with what we went in there for?
Is our will power so weak?
Well, it turns out there’s a scientific reason for why we always walk out with more than we went in there for.
The whole phenomenon is called the ‘Target Effect’ on Urban Dictionary, but a professor of marketing at New York University, Tom Meyvis, revealed to Refinery29 that there’s scientific theory behind it.
Due to the fact these stores have such a huge inventory, they place products strategically to trick our brains into making cross-category associations.
“Stores have an idea about the path [shoppers take].
“Walmart was once famous for doing things like putting like Band-Aids next to fishing hooks and things like that. Something you don’t naturally associate, but once you see them there, it makes sense.”
Adding to this, psychologist Dr. Kevin Chapman told them that stores like this make people more impulsive as a result of the “happy aesthetic and design style” they promote.
Basically, we all want to be happy and are attracted to things that look happy.
So, can we really be blamed for having a little splurge at Kmart…?