.....and it's why I don't shop at Costco or Sam's or the like. Here's a snippet from the latest World Congress of Families email newsletter, from a report in the NY Times:
Family Quote of the Week: Costco Effect
"Shopping at Costco often goes something like this: Customer comes to buy bulk necessities like toilet paper and dish detergent. Customer buys those items, as well as a pack of giant muffins, three cashmere sweaters and a power tool.
It's more than impulse buying. It is a calculated part of the company's business plan. Call it the Costco effect.
'We always come out with too much,' said Linda Curtis Schneider, who lives in Nashville. 'It's hard to get out of there for under $200.'
...Psychological factors can strongly influence buying behavior, according to Pamela N. Danziger, author of 'Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience' (2006). Shoppers can experience an emotional thrill when they spot a deep discount, or find a particular item before it disappears from the shelves, she said, and creating those kinds of feelings has helped Costco. 'Shopping is recreational there,' she said. 'People seek out this psychological reward.'"
(Source: Julie Bick, "24 Rolls of Toilet Paper, a Tub of Salsa and a Plasma TV," The New York Times, January 28, 2007; http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/business/yourmoney/28costco.html .)