From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It is fascinating, this business of how and why people shop. Self-styled urban geographer and retail anthropologist Underhill has carved a niche–and a substantially good living–with observations ranging from the purchasing of cosmetics to the positioning of shopping carts and baskets. Here, he explains how he began his retail meanderings, inspired by teacher William H. Whyte (The Organization Man), and what exactly constitutes the shopping science. Each chapter delves into a particular aspect of a store environment and its interface with customers: the importance of signage and why less is more, how men shop (they ignore price tags, for one), the need to cater to boomers, and clues about waiting time. Throughout, insights are peppered with one or several examples; a section on Internet shopping, for instance, uses statistics and case histories to explain why cyber retailing will never command the top percentage of retail sales. Intriguing for both lovers and haters of the game of visual stimulation. Barbara Jacobs