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13 ways that supermarkets trick you into spending money

Ever wonder why supermarkets keep flowers at the entrance? Or why things are stocked on certain shelves?

THEY SAY THAT one of the easiest ways to make sure that you buy exactly what you need is to make a shopping list before you leave the house, and to stick rigorously to it when you’re out picking up your shopping.

While that’s probably true, it’s a tactic that supermarket retailers have known about for decades now – and countless hours of high-level research has gone into coming up with new ways to make shoppers deviate from their plan of action.

Think about the last time you went into a supermarket – did you end up buying something on impulse, simply as a treat, or because the product had some kind of mystical aura you simply couldn’t resist?

No matter what your intentions, unless you’re literally running in to pick up a single good, you’re almost certain to end up picking up something you didn’t plan to – or there’ll be some other way to get you back into the building.

Here’s how the supermarkets do it.

13 ways that supermarkets trick you into spending money
1 / 13
  • 1. The humble shopping trolley

  • 2. High margin at the front

  • 3. It's all about the smell

  • 4. The long way back

  • 5. Left, right, left, right…

  • 6. Making eye contact…

  • 7. …with everyone, not just adults

  • 8. Price 'anchors'

  • 9. Free samples aren’t really free

  • 10. Size matters…

  • 11. …and so does colour

  • 12. Muzak makes you take your time

  • 13. Feeling peckish?

Reproduced in part, with permission, from Business Insider.

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