We've been shopping, we've been shopping,

Ribbons gay, and chalis neat,

And we've rummaged every counter,

High and low thro'out the street.




The ad in the paper said, 'Big Sale. Last week.' Why advertise? I already missed it. They're just rubbing it in.

Gruen Transfer

A Gruen Transfer, named after Viennese Architect Victor Gruen, is a psychological term describing the moment that shoppers succumb to certain environments, making them more susceptible to making impulsive purchases which they might regret later. He created malls with exits that are difficult to find and which have their own micro-climate, with tweeting birds and fountains.
Gruen, a Jew who escaped from Europe to the US in 1938, created the country's first shopping mall in Minnesota in 1956. He went to his grave in 1980 hating the monster that he had created; he claimed that new shopping malls had 'bastardised' his idea. 

The Gruen Transfer is also the name of an Australian television show in which a panel of advertising experts looks at the tricks used by sellers. In one controversial episode, panellists had to create an advert selling the idea of invading New Zealand. The format has been sold to the UK.

The word 'emacity' means a fondness for shopping.

Price Tags

Contrary to popular belief, shops which have labelled items at a lower price by mistake are not legally bound to sell the items at that price. This is the case in France, and in some other EU countries, but is certainly not true in the UK. Although many shops will agree to sell an item at a lower, advertised price in the event of a mistake, this is an act of goodwill, and they are under no legal obligation to do so. If a shopkeeper puts a television on sale for 10 pence, then you walk into the shop and wish to pay that price, the contract has not yet taken place, so the shop-keeper can decide not to sell the item if he wishes.  The price-tag is an 'invitation', but not a binding offer.  However, if the shop-keeper realises his mistake after you have already paid, or after an online transaction has gone through, you may have more of a case, as a contract has been completed.The Consumer Protection Act of 1987 guards against misleading price indication, but as long as a shopkeeper could show he acted diligently and took all reasonable steps to avoid the mistake, he would avoid the £5,000 fine associated with such a breach of law.
In 1999, Argos accidentally advertised televisions online at £2.99 instead of £299. By the time they noticed the mistake, they had received over £1m worth of orders - one person ordered 1,700 sets. Here the law gets murky, as some would claim that an online receipt constitutes proof of contract, though the sets were marked as 'subject to availability' and the courts do have the power to declare a contract void if the seller has made a genuine mistake.  The few cases brought against Argos were settled confidentially

There are more choirs in Britain than there are fish-and-chip shops.


My first rule of consumerism is never to buy anything you can't make your children carry.

George Orwell ran a village shop in Wallington, Hertfordshire.

Shopping Tricks

Here are some of the ways that shops force you to part with your cash:

Women look down, men look up, and men are much more likely to buy exotic high-priced foods than women are. So food products with the maximum sale potential are placed 3 to 4 feet above the floor, with premium products higher up.

People tend to turn right when entering a shop, so supermarkets will often place essentials like bread and milk in the far right corner of a shop so that you have to walk through the whole building to reach them. And research has shown that the smell of freshly baked bread makes people hungry and hungry people tend to buy more food items, so it is piped into many shops.

The area immediately inside the entrance of a supermarket is known as the 'decompression zone.'  Even regular shoppers tend to slow down at first and take stock of their surroundings. As a result this area is not very profitable for supermarkets, which tend to use it more for promotions.


It is illegal for men to work in lingerie shops in Saudi Arabia.

CATO THE ELDER (234-149 bc)

Do not buy what you want, but what you need; what you do not need is dear at a farthing.

There is only one gun shop in Mexico: 90% of the country’s firearms are smuggled in from the USA.

The Bible is the most shoplifted book in the USA.

The French for ‘window-shopping’ is faire du leche-vitrines or ‘window-licking’.