[FOUNTAIN]Sometimes reality gets manipulatedDepartment stores do not have windows that allow light from outside for various reasons.
Firstly, it is for the protection of the fabric. The natural light coming through the windows could fade the colors of the clothes sold at the store.
Secondly, they want to keep the customers’ attention as much as possible. Big windows and the views outside might distract shoppers from the displayed goods.
But the most important reason for the absence of the windows is to isolate the shoppers from the outside world, to make the store a world of its own.
When there are no windows, customers are more likely to stay longer in the store. They can forget about the worries at home, and the hustle and bustle of the outside world. They can even forget about their financial status.
There is also a study that shows artificial lighting makes people more impulsive. Many department stores in Korea and abroad that made the mistake of installing big picture windows ended up seeing their revenues fall.
But the father of this trick is not the department store but the casinos. Casinos profit when people stay longer, so they have created a floor that is as isolated as possible. Casinos lack three things: windows, mirrors and wall clocks. Gamblers can forget about the reality and play the night away.
The psychological marketing strategy of the casino doesn’t stop here. Casinos make sure that the temperature and humidity are maintained at a certain level. Any fluctuation would trigger anxiety in the customers. Casinos also use red curtains and carpets to give a visual stimulus and encourage impulsive psychology.
Recently, Kangwon Land Resort in Jeongseon, Gangwon province, decided to put a large clock on the floor. The purpose is to discourage getting addicted to gambling. It might prevent gamblers from lingering, but the clock is no permanent remedy.
Casinos have their own way to manage the time. The restaurants at casinos intentionally have their clocks run a little fast, so that people will leave the restaurant faster and return to the floor.
Such manipulation is commonplace in politics too. Politicians play with the estimated number of seats a party expects to win in the National Assembly election to manipulate the voters into thinking the party is more popular than it actually is.
by Lee Kyu-youn
The writer is a deputy city news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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