Why is the dairy case always in the back of the store? It's to make sure shoppers have to pass through aisles of items they don't need in order to get to the quart of milk they came for.

Nothing in the layout of a retail store is random, from the baskets of enticing new products near the entrance to the packs of gum around the cash register.

There are two main triggers that will make shoppers spend more money in a store: The amount of time they spend walking the aisles and how much direct contact they have with the merchandise or the salespeople, says Pam Danziger, president of consulting firm Unity Marketing.

Armed with those simple guidelines, retailers have come up with at least a half-dozen tricky tactics to amp up shoppers' bills:

"Free" services: MIni-makeovers at the make-up counter, free in-store tastings at the wine shop or how-to classes at the home improvement center are all meant to sell more merchandise. After investing their own time -- and that of the salesperson -- most people, it turns out, will feel obligated to buy at least some of the products sampled. "Anything that will get people to spend more time, talk more and touch the merchandise is more likely to get them to buy," Danziger says. "That's the role of the special event."

The whole look: When IKEA shows off a complete room with furniture, rugs, lamps and homey nick-nacks, it's not just to make the display look nicer. Showing off a whole room arrangement in a furniture store -- or a fully-accessorized outfit at a clothes store -- creates a picture in the shoppers' imagination and encourages him or her spend more on the final sale, says Nikoleta Panteva, retail analyst at consulting firm IBISWorld.

Smells like money: Believe it or not, but some stores actually pump in scents to relax shoppers and put them in a buying mood. Macy's (M) Bloomingdale's department stores turned to a North Carolina-based company called ScentAir Technologies to create different aromas for its various departments: Baby powder for infant apparel, lilac in intimates and coconut for swimsuits. Sony Corp.'s (SNE) Sony Style stores pump a citrus-and-vanilla combo to ease the sticker shock of that 3-D flat-screen TV.

BOGO: Buy-one-get-one offers look great on signs, but most work out to be at best 50% off -- no better than the clearance rack. Most are buy-one-get-one-half-off offers, which is actually a mere 25% discount off the full price. But shoppers are conditioned to look for sales, like the recent buy-1-get-2-suits offer at Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB), says Panteva. These offers have a proven ability to drive people into the stores and get them to spend more than they planned. That's why there are so many big "Buy One Get One" signs in stores these days.

Name that tune: That soft jazz/folk/alternative playlist at Starbucks (SBUX) is no coincidence. It's meant to make you linger over your latte and order a second. Studies have shown that slow-tempo music slows down shoppers and makes them spend more time in the store. Another study in the U.K. found shoppers bought more French wine when "French" accordion music played in the store, and more German wines when a "German" oompah-pah band played on.

Hello there:
That greeter by the door at Home Depot (HD), offering store flyers and shopping carts, isn't there by chance. Talking to a store employee on a personal level makes shoppers more likely to buy, says Danziger. Too bad many stores waste that opportunity by not making those conversations meaningful, she says; staff training is crucial to make this work.

Even Danziger is not immune to a good sales pitch: She recently went to a department store for moisturizer and also bought $50 worth of lipstick, gloss and lip liner after a sales woman struck up a conversation about the pink shade of her jacket.

"It's not enough to just force people to walk around (the store)," says Danziger. "In this day and age, when anybody can find anything they want ... it's more about how you sell than what you sell." Luckily big retailers have lots of sneaky tricks to help get those registers ringing.

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I hate the "10 for $10.00" thing...If I wanted 10 tenderloin patties I would buy 10.

October 23 2010 at 8:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is really aggravating when stores suddenly stop selling a particular brand of merchandise,always one I have a particular liking for.

October 18 2010 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mark the price way up then mark it down but still more than the "original" price. ALSO 2 FOR 3.OO as if you have to buy 2 to get it at this price when in reality it is 1.50 each! It is endless.

October 18 2010 at 11:47 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Stores fiercely compete for your business,I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with going to spend my money at one of these establishments,particularly the larger ones,and not being able to find a single employee to help me once they me in there. What happened to customer service???

October 12 2010 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

CAVEAT EMPTOR-words to live by.

October 11 2010 at 7:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The greeters , like at Walmart, are not there to make you feel welcome. They're there to make sure you're not stealing anything. At the Walmart here , anyways, they look at your receipt on your way out adn compare it to your purchases. Ditto for SAMS CLUB.

October 10 2010 at 7:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to juliana's comment

Costco does the same thing, and other retailers are finding that in the time when you carry in all your own 'green' reusable bags, it is very easy for a shopper to not only bring in their own...they bring in empty ones and fill them as they shop the store. they then flash a receipt at the door....perhaps weeks old, found one, or otherwise 'saved' one...THere are more than one reason to have an employee at the door..and they are effective. See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/aLlx3Q

November 02 2010 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For us shoppers that go to the grocery store that have food allergies or are other health issues this is not a problem for us since we have to by pass all the gimicks. Some of the other place it is refreshing to stop and talk to people that are there even if one does not spend a dime there. It is a way to get ideas cheap then look else where for lower prices. So shopper have fun in getting the retail marketers.

October 10 2010 at 5:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First of all, I find the greeter at Home Depot REALLY annoying. I just want to buy my damned widgets and be left alone. Secondly, why does every store, restaurant and doctor's office think I want to hear horrible music blared over my conversation? It doesn't make me want to buy more. It makes me want to get the hell out of there.

October 10 2010 at 4:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Also, it is harder to buy smaller quantities. Stores seem to be offering only the largest sizes of a product.

October 10 2010 at 1:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Stores do use marketing strategies to get customers to buy, absolutely, they wouldn't be very effective at making a profit if they didn't-BUT I always have a problem with these articles because they always put something helpful to shoppers down. In this case it is B1G1...according to the article, it's just a measly 50% off-Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't 50% off better than NO percent off? It is up to the store to sell you as much as possible, but it is up to YOU to spend what you can afford, and if I'm going into a store to buy a pair of jeans or a box of tissues, getting 2 instead of the one I was going to buy anyway for the same price is a better deal hands down.

October 10 2010 at 12:59 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply