If you’ve ever walked into Target and came out with more than you planned, then you’ve probably experienced the “Target effect.” What is it—and more importantly, and why does it keep happening?! As it turns out, it’s actually a real phenomenon and it’s not your fault.

The store layout, the colors, the lighting––it’s all a part of Target’s well-planned design that causes you to keep adding products to your cart. The company has nailed how to make people happy when entering its stores—and that leads to spending more moolah before you even get to the checkout line.

Target is extremely great at setting up its stores for ideal cross-selling. That means when you head to the baby aisle to pick up a box of diapers, you have to pass through the infant clothing section first. Then, as you leave the aisle, you’re faced with the women’s clothing section, which is right next to the shoe department. Sound familiar?

The company really pulled one over on us when it started adding Starbucks to the front of many of it’s stores. Nothing entices moms shopping alone more than getting to enjoy a hot coffee or frosty Frappuccino while shopping. Happier moms equal women who tend to spend more!

While we can’t guarantee that knowing the “Target effect” will change your shopping habits the next time you hit up the retailer, at least now you can rest easy knowing there are larger forces at work when you explain how you walked out with twice as many items as you planned.

––Karly Wood

 

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