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Friday, July 9, 2010
Throughout my fashion career I've made a few pit stops to retail island. But each time I land I try to make the most of it and increase my understanding of the psychology of the consumer. What makes them go from mild mannered Joe or Jane to crazed gotta have it Sam or Sally? I've learned how store lighting, visual placement, numerical allotment of goods, and decor set a mood of materialism.
And at each of these retail settings my I-pod (or cd's back when) inevitably makes its way into the beat of the store. "Put on your music, it always pumps up the customer," I'm told by the middle aged manager with the clipboard of year to date comparison numbers. Of course the customer is the tool used to reach these daily sales numbers (passed down by some always unseen mathematical oracle deep in the company vaults) and music is the most effective influence.
I bring all this up cuz unbeknownst to me, this trick is self-inflicted too. My I-pod is currently in the shop for some wonk-a-doo screen freezing ailment. The apathetic guy behind the counter at Best Buy informs me "two weeks" but I've always had a warranty through them. I know it's more like 4 weeks. One month. No music.
This freaks me out as my life in New York is I-pod daily dependent. But a funny unforeseen side effect is I have not even remotely gone near a store. Not spent a dime on clothes or other tra-la-las. Hmmm..... coincidence? Or mayhaps the Friendly Fires single bopping in my ears isn't so friendly afterall. Maybe the beats and the blips have bumped me right into French Connection to "just visit" that necklace or pair of jeans again. Has Bjork's bass bounced me right into the East Village vintage store and the Tricky track soothed me into a "cash or credit?" comatose haze. Is my favorite Depeche Mode lubricant for monetary mischief? I feel betrayed by my own I-pod. And by myself. I worked even my own psyche into "buy! buy! buy!"
Madonna once sang that music makes the people come together, music mix the bourgeoisie and the rebel. Hmm.. mayhaps but it's less the Utopian Soul Train she's painted and more everybody, c'mon, shop and spend. Besides, Madge is seriously in on the plot.