The next time you go shopping for clothes, make sure there are no attractive people around wearing store brands, or you could end up never buying anything to wear. Or if you don’t want to spend money, look for the hot people in the store and make yourself feel bad.
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that if you’re already down on yourself about your appearance, hot clerks or fellow shoppers wearing the same threads you’re checking out will make you less likely to purchase them.
“Our work shows that consumers often focus on parallel consumption behaviors from others to inform their product decisions–i.e., people look to others in the store environment as an information source when shopping,” write authors Darren W. Dahl , Jennifer J. Argo, and Andrea C. Morales.
They do note that the other, hotter person must be wearing the same item you’re considering buying for the effect to occur. Nothing happens in the study when the other shopper is just holding the clothing or the shopper doesn’t try it on.
And while fellow consumers influence shoppers more than store clerks, the study says retailers should probably pay attention and maybe not dress their attractive salespeople in the store brand, in case it might sway a shopper toward not purchasing clothing.
This must mean that taping up a picture of Gisele Bundchen in that dress you need to fit into in a month for wedding, so help you God, isn’t a good method. It’ll just make you sad and reach for the Cheetos.
Consumer self-esteem while shopping: Maybe good-looking clerks shouldn’t wear the store brands? [Journal of Consumer Research]