Study: Shoppers Drop More Dollars When Treated Poorly

Photo: Touchstone Pictures

Shopping in a luxury store like Gucci or Prada should include customer-service perks like complimentary glass of champagne and an attentive salesperson on hand to tell you things are “cut slim” and assure you that that thousand-dollar bag will, in fact, change your life. Right? Wrong.  According to a new study from the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business, customers are more responsive to a little emotional abuse. 

The study, entitled “Should the Devil Sell Prada?" reveals that when given the cold shoulder or snobby treatment while shopping, customers respond like high-school students who just want to be liked: they reported an increased desire to spend more money, which researchers attributed to a desire to belong. But let's not forget the most important lesson from Pretty Woman: flaunting cash is also the only socially acceptable way to tell someone to eff off without being hauled out by store security.