The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 30, 2013

Krohn: Sales pushing out the door


But the push for aggressiveness is beginning to backfire, driving more people out of stores and to the Internet. There’s plenty of up-selling at online retail sights, too, but at least you can click past it in the privacy of your own home.

The New York Times recently quoted a consumer behavior researcher who said shoppers are increasingly turning to the web to find the solitary shopping experience they crave.

“Sales associates have always been aggressive, but it is our exposure to new types of self-shop retail models that have made us more attuned to their pushiness,” he said. “At the department store, the beauty associate is on top of shoppers from the moment they walk into the section. In our studies, women often described them as sharks or vultures.”

Maybe it’s time for a compromise. Greet us, ask us if we need any help, then take a hint and get out of the way if we just want to look around.

Tim Krohn is a Free Press staff writer. He can be contacted at 344-6383 or

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