December is peak shopping season, thanks to the traditions of gift giving during Hanukkah and Christmas. Most holiday shoppers know to be wary of the sale and the shopping mall. Sales aren’t always what they seem — department stores will often mark prices way up, only to “slash” them for a big promotion. But actually, everything about the shopping mall is designed to draw you in, slow you down, and get you to spend big bucks.
Those branded, reusable shopping bags are not only cheap and easy ways to advertise for a store, but they also provide a void that needs to be filled with product. The colors, sounds, smells of the mall food court and layout of the mall (and the stores within the mall) are all perfectly tailored to trick your senses into feeling something your body and mind wouldn’t feel otherwise. Heck, even those free cups of hot cocoa have a nefarious purpose!
So as you prepare to hit the road and head toward the mall, consider these 15 secrets shopping malls don’t want you to know.