Cover image for Why we shop : emotional rewards and retail strategies
Why we shop : emotional rewards and retail strategies
Pooler, James A., 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2003]

Physical Description:
206 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF5415.32 .P66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Shopping is one of the most challenging and rewarding human activities. Pooler offers a captivating exploration of the emotional and psychological dimensions of shopping. What drives shoppers in various situations? Why do we shop the way we do? Why do people go to malls, boutiques, and Web sites with their credit cards in hand, despite not knowing what it is they're looking for? This book answers such questions, taking an incisive look at how shopping and shoppers have changed in recent years.

For those in retailing and marketing, this guide to the fickle consumer's mindset offers concrete and practical advice on modern shopping behavior, along with important insights into the shopping psyche. Comprehending why people shop as they do is a daunting challenge for today's retailer. For example, why do people shop for bargain groceries yet purchase the latest luxury-model SUV? Why do people feel justified in splurging for Christmas, birthdays, or anniversaries, but suffer guilt from over-spending at other times of the year? Is clothes-shopping all about price and practicality, or is it more about emotional reward and psychological needs? Is the excitement in the quest or the acquisition? Why is there such a thing as a morning-after urge to return among certain shoppers, while others refuse to return an item even if it's flawed or doesn't fit? Pooler probes to the heart of today's complex shopper, providing valuable insights for retailers, advertisers, marketers, and consumers.

Author Notes

Jim Pooler is Professor of Urban and Population Geography at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Pooler shines a spotlight on consumers' shopping habits as he looks at the psychological and social needs behind people's urge to splurge. Putting aside the "old-fashioned" idea of people shopping for practical reasons or to fill basic needs, Pooler notes that modern shoppers buy things to reward themselves, make statements, boost self-esteem, affirm their psyches, and more. Shopping today is a recreation and sport, often taken to extreme levels to find just the right purchase--that elusive, out-of-stock designer jacket or pair of limited edition athletic sneakers. Drawing on his background as a professor of urban and population geography, Pooler (Univ. of Saskatchewan, Canada) examines the movements and motivations of the consumers flowing into stores and malls, distinguishing between "flyers" and "floaters." Flyers are active shoppers on a mission; they know what they want and are determined to get it. Floaters, on the other hand, are passive shoppers, just drifting along until they happen to come on something. This is a well-organized and insightful volume. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate and graduate marketing students, faculty, and practitioners. P. G. Kishel Cypress College

Table of Contents

1. Introductionp. 1
I. How Shopping Has Changedp. 15
2. Shopping outside the Boxp. 17
3. The Shopping Information Gapp. 29
II. The Reasons We Shop Todayp. 43
4. The Mindset of Shoppingp. 45
5. Motivations for Shoppingp. 59
6. Shopping from the Heartp. 75
7. The Passionate Shopperp. 89
8. Emotional Rewardsp. 105
9. Shopping in the Demographic Stages of Lifep. 119
III. The Challenge for Retailersp. 137
10. The Levels of Retail Needp. 139
11. Retail Strategiesp. 155
12. Internet Retailingp. 169
13. Conclusionp. 193
Indexp. 203