"Call of The Mall is a delightful romp through one of America's most socially telling and economically important phenomena. The book establishes Paco Underhill, already one of our premier marketing gurus, as a heavyweight social commentator. I didn't know how little I knew about this centerpiece of our culture." Tom Peters, author of Re-imagine!
Americans have a love/hate relationship with the mall. On one hand, we claim to loathe its homogeneity, its white-bread sterility and its rabid commercialism. On the other hand, we return there time and againto shop, to dine, for entertainment, to people-watch, or even just to pass the time. In just fifty-some years, the mall has managed to supplant the town square as the centerpiece of our commercial, and often civic, lives. It has become not just an institution, but an icon of American culture, emulated around the world.
"It is no surprise that the mall is such an easy target for American self-loathing," says world-renowned retail anthropologist Paco Underhill. "It's a lot like television... We disdain it, and yet we can't stop watching, or shopping." Founder and CEO of the global research and consulting firm Envirosell, and author of the international best-seller Why We Buy, Underhill knows malls better than almost anyone. Having carried out research jobs in hundreds of mall stores, Underhill has cast his jaundiced eye in over three hundred major malls across the U.S., and many others abroad. He knows what works and what doesn'tand he's not afraid to say so. A tacky rack of lipstick testers on the cosmetic counter, insufficient mirrors in the jewelry store, the ho-hum decor of the CD store, the fast-food-place ambience of the food courtall are fodder for Underhill's acerbic, highly-informed commentary.