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6 Degrees Entertainment

Book Reviews
'Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer ...'
By: ~ Lee Eisenberg
(Hardcover / 352 Pages / Free Press / ISBN: 0743296257 / $26.00)

Description: Eisenberg (The Number) reveals the mechanisms of manufacturing needs and wants in this book that explores every facet of retail consumption, from advertising to behavioral marketing, from malls to Internet communities.

Verdict: Consumers account for about 70% of the economy. When they pulled back from buying, it had a devastating impact on the GDP, Nearly every asset class (stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, oil, and international stocks) imploded and fell like a rock.

There are all kinds of consumer surveys that measure consumer confidence, their desire to spend money and how long they'll stay home. Stock traders, economists and the Fed watch these numbers closely because so much is riding on the wallets of the people.

So are we ever going to start shopping again?

According to "Shoptimism" we're coming back because there is a huge industry of people who study what it takes to make consumers want to buy, and they will adjust every factor that rings that buying bell in our heads until we hear it loud and clear.

Black Friday is coming in less than four weeks. Are consumers going to be there? Will they be shopping for friends, relatives and kids--or themselves? You may be surprised. November and December are the two biggest shopping months of the year. Retailers have cut back on inventory, so they won't have as much clearance merchandise this year as they did last year. If the big bargains aren't there, what will people do? Higher prices are not an incentive to buy!

As the title of the book suggests, shopping is an activity that projects optimism? Consumer optimism can be measured in dollars and cents. Buying things is fun. And the better someone feels about the purchase price, the better they feel about themselves and life.

No wonder companies keep looking to move jobs to countries with cheap labor. Consumers want their products at cheaper prices because they feel better about buying when prices are lower. Shoptimism will give any reader a good insight into what makes people want to buy. I don't know if it will help anyone buy less, save more and feel good about that, but it will give readers a completely different view of the mall in November and December, and who is buying what and why. It's fun to watch shoppers and think about what's going on in their heads!

Shoptimism’s Street Interviews