The Smell of Chocolate Could Help Boost Bookstore Sales

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In the mood to buy? According to a new study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, people engage more with the merchandise and staff when a bookstore smells like chocolate.

Researchers in Belgium conducted a 10-day experiment at a general-interest chain bookstore, comparing customer behavior when the smell of chocolate was present to when it was not. Dispensers releasing a scent of chocolate were placed in two different locations. Researchers observed every fifth customer who came into the store, for a total of 201 customers. They observed “purchase-related” customer behaviors like looking at several books closely, reading the summaries of books, hanging out in the store, talking with staff and asking questions.

(MORE: New App Sends Smells via iPhone)

Overall, the researchers found that patrons were twice as likely to look at multiple books closely and read what they were about when the scent was in…

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