“Gruen transfer” refers to a moment when buyers enter a shopping mall and lose their initial intentions as a result of the deliberately confusing layout. The shopping mall environment disorientates the consumer through spatial arrangements, sounds, temperature, and lighting, etc. According to Esther Inglis-Arkell, it is “the moment when you stop shopping for something in particular, and start just shopping in general”; through eye-catching displays, illogical shopping routes, and floor plans carefully laid out, the customers happen to visit the maximal amount of shopping space and happen to see a maximal number of really distracting products. This results in losing the desire to buy a specific product and developing a generalized desire to shop (Inglis-Arkell par.3).
I have been aware that shoppers use some mind-tricks to induce people to buy products they did not intend to buy before they entered the shop. Some of the mind-tricks I was aware of are placing certain products just at the eye-level, so that a person is likely to spot and buy them. Another mind-trick is to use soft and pleasant music to create an effect of relaxation. In this condition, customers are likely to buy more. Besides, in supermarkets they tend to place the products that are on demand at the farther areas, so that a customer will cross the whole shopping area before he or she reaches the shelves with bread or milk. The idea behind this mind-trick is to have the customer pass lots of products and attract his attention with something he or she may want to buy apart from the product that was on the shopping list.

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Now, awareness of “Gruen transfer” will help me form a critical understanding of the shopping space and lead me away from shoppers’ seductive practices. It helps understand that products are sold in an unfair way, which cares only for the shoppers’ profits, but neglects the interests of customers leading them into a zombie-like condition when they even forget what they wanted to buy.

  • Inglis-Arkell, Esther. “The Cruel Irony of the Gruen Transfer.” io9. 25 April 2013. Web. 9 December 9, 2014.