Smell of chocolate could save bookstores

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

booksDIEPENBEEK, BELGIUM – The University of Hasselt in Belgium tried a 10 day experiment to see if the smell of chocolate would affect shoppers at a bookstore.

“I think it’s kind of a crazy idea,” says John Ridgway.

Maybe, but it worked.

The study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found customers who smelled chocolate in a bookstore ‘were 2.22 times more likely to closely examine books.’  They were less likely to search for a particular book and more likely to take their time and browse.  When it came to buying, romance novels as well as Food and Drink books ruled with sales up 40%.

Apparently, the smell of chocolate doesn’t put shoppers in the mood for history novels or crime thrillers.

We went to Half Price Books in Montrose to find out what Houstonians thought of the idea.

Valerie Sweeten says, “I’m not sure if it would make me want to purchase but I would linger longer.”

“I think when you’re in a good mood or having a good smell, it just puts you in a place where you’re more likely to purchase things,” says Rae Collins.

Lloyd Griffin, the store manager says the study makes sense to him, “I’m going to do some air fresheners and I’m going to give it a try and see.”