The Mall as the ‘Better Mouse Trap’

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The goal of retailers and mall designers is to get consumers inside and keep them there indefinitely—to increase the chances that shoppers will buy more and more “cheese,” so to speak.

In her new book Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail, Caitlin Kelly worked for two years at a North Face store, where she was able to see the mall from a deeper, entirely different point of view than the average shopper. Here’s a snippet from her book, which was excerpted by Fortune:

We think we’re just going shopping. But those who design stores, and especially those planning and conceptualizing the malls that contain them, know better.

“You’re trying to build a better mousetrap,” says Peter Tovell, a Toronto architect whose thirty-year career has been devoted to designing malls and shopping centers. “We don’t want you to be able to find your way out! Our job is to create a whole different world.”

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