Book Review: Call Of The Mall

A new book explains everything you wanted to know about life in a mall -- including why they're built the way they are.
March 26, 2004, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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In his new book, Call of the Mall, Paco Underhill explains that the reason the rest rooms in America's shopping malls are typically located at the end of a long, gloomy corridor is because malls are built by real estate developers, not merchants. Real estate developers, says Underhill, so resent having to dedicate any space to a non-revenue producing amenity, that they tuck it out of the way. It's just one of the many facts about mall shopping that Underhill, a "retail anthropologist" with his own consulting firm, offers up in his entertaining, detail-laden expedition into the world of consumerism. "Paco Underhill knows this sort of thing because his retail consulting firm, Envirosell, has conducted hundreds of research projects for stores in some 300 malls located in 44 of the 50 states. Underhill's specialty is hiding behind a potted palm (or its equivalent) to observe and take notes on what shoppers do."

Thanks to Knowledge@Wharton

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Published on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 in Wharton Business School, University Of Pennsylvania
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