The Gruen Effect: The Reason You Stay In Malls Longer Than Expected
Going in a mall these days is second nature. It’s a place that has fabricated itself in our daily life when we are shopping. Retail spaces are designed for impulse shopping. When you go to a store looking for a shirt and you end up with a pair of pants as well, it’s partly your fault.
Stores are doing their best to look so beautiful and captivating to every potential customer. These items are enticingly displayed and in vast quantities that the consumer will start buying compulsively. This is the Gruen Effect.
The Gruen effect is named after Victor Gruen, the architect of the world's first fully enclosed shopping mall. Before Gruen, shopping malls consisted of detached single-storey buildings that were linked together by walkways.
The architect managed to unite shops under one single roof, creating a maze-like supermarket. The Gruen concept entails a perfectly safe world that is always warm, well lit, and comfortable. A place without windows or clocks.
Today all shops are built in this fashion. This environment causes people to fall into a state of disorientation and light trance, making them forget about the real purpose of their visit. When we walk around a large shopping centre, we seem to lose our ability to make sound decisions.
As a result, we’re likely to make impulse purchases and spend more than we originally planned.