If you find yourself driving down River Highway in Mooresville, NC this summer and suddenly smell a vaguely steak-like odor, don’t worry, you’re not having a stroke. You’re passing by the billboard for Bloom, a supermarket chain that’s owned by Food Lion. The billboard went up last Friday and poots out a charcoal-and-pepper fragrance from 7 to 10 a.m. and again from 4 to 7 p.m.
The right smells, the right music, manipulating inventory levels, displaying certain colors: aided by tons of research on consumer psychology, stores now employ all sorts of wily techniques to wine and dine you before getting you in the backseat. (And yes, we meant for that sentence to go there.)