Retail Anthropologist Examines Mall Life

Author Paco Underhill's new book looks at the effects of psychology on the shopping experience.
July 13, 2004, 10am PDT | Jeffrey Goodman
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In his latest work, anthropologist Paco Underhill examines how consumer centers both dictate and follow shopper's desires. In terms of mall design, the author discusses the role of the private sphere as a public space, the selective exclusion of 'unwanted elements' through transportation, and both the liberating and confining aspects of merchandizing. As for the future, Underhill thinks American malls are trailing Japanese models, which feature libraries, galleries, and wide scale access. As baby-boomers age, the author says that "malls are not going to be the slam-dunk proposition...they were 25 years ago."

Thanks to Jeffrey Goodman

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Published on Monday, July 12, 2004 in Newsday
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