Monday, 5 September 2011

Book Review No. 22!

It’s a book with a difference this time.


In an effort to determine why people buy, Paco Underhill and his detailed- orientated band of retail researchers have camped out in stores for over 20 years, dedicating their efforts to the "science of shopping." Armed with an array of video equipment, store maps, and customer profile sheets, Underhill and his consulting firm Envirosell have observed over 900 aspects of shopper/store interaction. They've discovered that men who take jeans into the fitting room are more likely to buy then females (65 percent to 25 percent). They've learned how the "butt-brush factor" (bumped from behind, shoppers become irritated and move elsewhere) makes women avoid narrow aisles. They've quantified the importance of shopping baskets, employees/shopper contact, the "transition zone" (the area just inside the store's entrance), and "circulation patterns" (how shoppers move throughout a store). And they've explored the relationship between a customer's amenability and profitability, learning how good stores capitalise on a shopper's unspoken inclinations and desires.

First five sentences… Okay, stroll,stroll,stroll, stop.  Shhhhhhh, stay behind the potted palm. Get out your clipboard and pen.  Our subject is the fortyish woman in the tan trench coat and blue skirt.  She’s in the bath section.

Where I got my hands on it.. Amazon. brand new. Well it was my birthday….

The cover.. Looks like a text book. Almost is. I’ve learnt so much!

Made me want to… Open my own shop and put all I’ve learnt into practice! Failing that….I could totally work for Paco and stalk/track people all day!!

Who’s the lucky duck that’s getting it next?.. No one is getting this, cos sometimes I can be a selfish bitch and I want to keep it.

I bought this book on a bit of a whim as I was just in the mood for something a bit different.

I’m so glad I did. It’s a must read for shoppers or retailers. It’s so informative it could be like a text book, but the way it is written is so readable and entertaining.

I found myself quoting bits to Mr D…..’oh that’s why they stack jumpers on a table when you’ve taken 6 steps into a Gap store!!’

As an avid people watcher myself, (Mr D quite often tells me off for staring at people) I find it fascinating that Paco Underhill has made a successful business out of tracking people.

Much of the things he writes about are common sense, but it’s a kind of common sense that you only become aware off when someone points out the obvious.

Read it. You’ll never go shopping in the same light again!

It’s been a bit fresher on the coast today, i found myself thinking about open fires this evening. Luckily while I was in Yorkshire Mr D stocked up the woodshed. Oh Happy Autumn Days ahead!!



  1. You are the second person in one day that talks about this book, I think I need it :).

  2. Sounds like quite an interesting read! I always love to people watch and I'm a pretty skeptical consumer so this seems right up my alley. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  3. I've heard a great deal about this book. I might need to pick it up :)

  4. "why they stack jumpers on a table when you’ve taken 6 steps into a Gap store"

    now i need to know why!? lol

  5. Ha. I giggled when I read "Who’s the lucky duck that’s getting it next?.. No one is getting this, cos sometimes I can be a selfish bitch and I want to keep it"...haha.
    I'm a selfish bitch with almost all my books!! :)
    Thanks for sharing! I'll pick one up soon! :)


  6. oh i bet this book is such fun to read and amazingly informative. i might give it a go! x

  7. P.S.
    Your comment just made my day! I adore you!


  8. That sounds really interesting! I hope to be a retailer one day, so I should read this in order to get people to buy my things! ;) Hehe, thanks for sharing!

  9. Haha that is funny. I learned about that stuff in Marketing. And I have Buy-ology which is the science of how we buy! :)


  10. This sounds like such a cool book...thanks for the recommendation!

  11. I have this and have not read it yet, maybe I should