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Shopping Atmosphere Can Put You In Mood To Spend

Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Before you begin your holiday shopping, did you ever stop and think about this: what is it about the store you go to that puts you in the mood to spend?

As CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist reports the atmosphere inside the store — what you see, what you smell, what you hear — plays a big part in your shopping experience.

Sue Labriola says she likes the atmosphere of the Macy’s on State Street.

“It gets you in the mood to shop. It really gets into the whole spirit, the whole mood, the whole idea of Christmas,” she said.

Macy’s on State Street is all decked out, definitely getting shoppers in the spirit.

“If you’re in a good mood and the holiday atmosphere in the store puts you in a really good mood, you spend more money,” said Joel Whalen from DePaul University.

The music in the store is also important. If you like the music that’s playing in the store, chances are you’re going to stay a little longer.

A University of Southern California study found that shoppers spend more money and tend to buy name brands over store labels when familiar, non-religious Christmas music is playing.

“You’re in a better mood, you’re gonna buy more,” said Whalen.

Another factor that can work on you is the smell of a store.

Dr. Alan Hirsch studies the impact of scent, and says how a store smells has a direct effect on sales. He’s the Director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.

“It’s very clear that if you want to maximize that selling experience, if you have aromas there, you’re more likely to like the products more, like the salesperson more, and buy the products,” said Dr. Hirsch.

Dr. Hirsch says holiday scents like peppermint and hot chocolate can make shoppers feel happier.

“When they’re in a more optimistic mood, they tend to view everything in a more positive way, including the products that they’re going to buy,” he said.

The USC researcher says sights, smells and sounds all work together, but tradition is also important in getting you in the shopping mood.

We asked shopper Dan Walsh what he thinks of the atmosphere at Macy’s.

“As soon as you come into the store, you know it’s Christmas here,” said Walsh. “It’s all decorated. Certain smells never leave. You always remember that, absolutely.”

Dr. Whalen says when it comes to Black Friday, you’d think that crowds and long lines would turn people off, making them buy less. But, he says, those shoppers are a different breed. In their minds, they see the crowd as a party.