Bookstores' Salvation: Whiffs of Chocolate?

Study finds shoppers linger, buy more in certain genres

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 20, 2013 10:53 AM CDT | Updated Jul 20, 2013 11:54 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Bookstores need all they help they can get in the age of Amazon, and Belgian researchers are obliging with a suggestion: Smell like chocolate. Their study found that people were twice as likely to linger and peruse multiple books if the shop had a subtle scent of chocolate working in the background, reports Pacific Standard. And the scent also seemed to help where it truly matters, at least in some genres: Sales of food-and-drink books rose 40% when compared with scentless shopping, and sales of romance novels rose 22%.

“Retailers can make use of pleasant ambient scents to improve the store environment, leading consumers to explore the store," say the researchers, whose work was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. And they encourage stores to get creative by matching scents to the types of books they're trying to sell. (Amazon probably isn't quaking at the prospect, although one blogger thinks the behemoth needs physical bookstores to survive for its own well-being.)

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