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Shopping In A Male's Perspective: Personal Narrative

1774 words - 7 pages

I consider myself the typical male, especially when it comes to clothes shopping. I tend to find what I need, make sure it fits, and I am out the door. Quite often, I venture out on shopping expeditions with my wife. On one of those trips I encountered a store that amazes me so much that I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and write my essay on it, that store is Anthropologie. Anthropologie by all definition is a women’s clothing store, that has very astutely followed some of the scientific formulas outlined in Malcolm Gladwell’s article “The Science of Shopping.” This article discusses the scientific selling techniques developed by Paco Underhill, an expert on consumer buying trends. Anthropologie follows some of these approaches to attract one of the largest groups of spending customers; the late twenties to early forties American female.

Anthropologie is located in a fairly new shopping center with a majority of high-end stores that target female shoppers. Approaching the store and focusing on the front of the building, I can already tell it is not like the rest of the stores in the plaza. The foyer has an archway of weathered planks surrounding the enormous glass doors in the center of the foyer. The doors are oversized and each have handles that are made out of tree branches. On either side of the entrance there are windows with eye-catching displays that are far from the everyday window dressing that I am accustomed to seeing. Both of the display windows are visible from across the parking lot, and immediately demand my attention. The positioning of both windows allows an unobstructed view from most anywhere in the general vicinity. This positioning gives potential customers time to slow down and take in the visuals presented in the windows. According to Paco Underhill, the faster people walk the more their peripheral vision narrows, and that the human down shift speed takes anywhere from twelve to twenty-five feet (Gladwell 1). This means that if a stores display windows are not visible or prominent, the average person will speedily walk right past the store. The presence of the windows here give people adequate time to achieve this and take in what they have to offer. The window on the left features a headless and armless mannequin in a stunning, single strapped, peach evening gown. At the waist, draped on top of the gown is a white piece of fabric that resembles the snowflakes that children cut out of paper at Christmas time. Both fabrics drop to the floor, fold towards the back, and then upwards towards the ceiling. The fabrics rise upwards about ten feet into the air where they are secured by five oversized clothespins that have been hung from the rafters of the building. The window dressing on the other side has an exhibit that has almost the same surreal charm about it . Mounted on a wall of time-worn, horizontal boards are thirty five large yarn spools. The yarn on the spools is thick and you can see the fibers...

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