The Science Behind Snooty Store Employees

20_052_DoresAndre_Look3_MariaDelRioPhotographed by Maria Del Rio.
Have you ever walked into a fancy retail store and felt the air turn chilly? Sales people scatter to the winds like dried-up dandelions. Employees make meaningful eye contact with each other, but not you. Or, worst of all, you get a raised eyebrow and a "May I help you?" in a tone that clearly implies you are beyond help.
Advertisement
In some shops, snooty salespeople are a fact of life. And, a new study reported in The Huffington Post shows that, far from hurting business, those bad attitudes can actually boost a luxury brand's sales.
The study comes from the University of British Columbia and is called "Should the Devil Sell Prada?" (cute). Participants interacted with store staff — rude or not — then rated their desire to own products by each brand. Turns out, the folks who aspired to a high-end lifestyle "reported an increased desire to own the luxury products after being treated poorly." A UBC professor stated that the rude sales people, "can [have] a similar effect to an 'in-group' in high school that others aspire to join."
But, we're not just a bunch of gluttons for punishment. The study found that salesperson rudeness did not improve shoppers' impressions of mass-market brands. Guess it's a little harder to swallow hauteur from the girl selling you $10 jeggings.
Has getting the brush-off ever made you more likely to buy from a brand? Maybe we're not aspiring hard enough, but we feel no need for a Pretty Woman moment while shopping — especially when Net-A-Porter's never judgy and always open. (The Huffington Post)

More from Stores

The term "lady" certainly feels pretty antiquated. But in H&M's latest campaign commercial, the dated word gets a cool, thoroughly modern ...
J.Crew doesn't have the over-the-top quality of some other shows (or, as fashion critic Vanessa Friedman recently called them, "hashtag hoo-has") such as ...
Here’s a sentence my teenage self never thought she’d write: Lane Bryant is seriously killing the plus game. Besides an overall aesthetic shift from “stuff...
Lane Bryant's latest campaign is evidently not suitable for national network TV audiences: Its 30-second spot was banned by ABC and NBC. Featuring plus-...
If you had any lingering doubt that fashion is all about nostalgia, just take a look at Opening Ceremony's new arrivals: Humberto Leon and Carol Lim keep ...
We should probably employ a "believe it or not" clause around all of the epic tales we heard while on our exclusive tour of Cartier's newly renovated ...
When I saw Ashley Nell Tipton on Project Runway, I knew that a sea change had just occurred. It was thrilling to watch her tackle challenge after challenge...
After last month's productive spring-cleaning binge, we imagine your closet's looking a little sparse these days. With all of that freed-up space, the ...
H&M is on a quest for ambitious, innovative green ideas that could change the fashion biz. The Swedish retailer's non-profit arm, H&M Foundation...
Another day, another independent artist calling out fast fashion for ripping off work. Let's get right to it: Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed, who is known ...
If you've been a fan of R29's for years, you'll know we have a soft spot in our hearts for J.Crew. Its new arrivals always seem to address exactly what our...
A new book, set to be released in Sweden next week, asserts that the factories in Myanmar under contract with H&M hired employees as young as 14 and ...
Update: H&M just released a second look at its upcoming collaboration with Kenzo — one that teases a very different direction for a fast-fashion ...
Just a few weeks after people rallied behind artist Tuesday Bassen following allegations that Zara copied her original illustrations on numerous ...