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Butt-brush effect

[ 2010-03-24 16:34]     字号 [] [] []  
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Butt-brush effect

Reader's question: Avoid the butt-brush effect. The "butt-brush effect" was discovered at a New York City Bloomingdale's department store. The researchers taped shoppers attempting to reach the tie rack while negotiating an entrance during busy times. They noticed that after being bumped once or twice, most shoppers abandoned their search for neckwear. The conclusion: shoppers don't like to shop when their personal space is invaded.

Could you explain “butt-brush effect”?

My comments:

As is pretty well explained in the above example, the butt-brush effect refers to the negative effect crowdedness has on shoppers, and by extension, on sales. As researchers have discovered, in New York and when in search of neckwear at least, that shoppers tend to leave the shopping area sooner if it is overcrowded. Hence it affects sales.

“Butt” is the American slang for the buttock. “Brush”, of course, refers to the quick, light touch made by chance when two people pass each other. “Butt-brush” hence refers to the situation where a shopping area is so crowded that shoppers constantly bump each other.

In other words, the Bloomingdale’s department store in New York City is overcrowded.

Yet what’s overcrowded in New York City may very well be considered sparse in Beijing. New Yorkers should try Wang Fu Jing.

Just an idea.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.