Target knows you can't stop spending at its stores

Elise Solé
It’s hard to resist Target’s hypnotic powers. And the store knows it. (Photo: Getty Images)
It’s hard to resist Target’s hypnotic powers. And the store knows it. (Photo: Getty Images)

Target is famous for being a vortex of irresistible finds, from marble-and-gold tape dispensers to bamboo cutlery and frosted globe lights — and the retail giant is in on the joke.

On Monday, the company tweeted, “A moment we can all relate to,” along with a funny meme called the “Target Effect,” defined as “the process by which a guest enters a Target store with the intent of purchasing one item but leaves the store with many.” Example: “I went to Target for milk, ended up buying Halloween socks, a new sweater, and a doormat. Totally experiencing the Target Effect.”

So what drives this universal impulse to buy the entire store — the artful $1 bins, the cocktail bar, that adorable bull terrier? A rep for Target didn’t respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, but here are a few guesses.

The sophisticated French-inspired nickname. For those who crave a classier experience for a toilet paper run, “Tar-zhay” simply rolls off the tongue. According to the book On Target: How the World’s Hottest Retailer Hit a Bull’s-Eye, the French-sounding pronunciation as “Tarzhay” originated back in the 1960s. “Duluth was the first place I heard it: Customers started calling it ‘Tarzhay.’ That was 1962,” said founder Douglas J. Dayton, who died in 2013, referring to the Minnesota location.

The affordable designer clothing. Target is one of many retailers to partner with high-end runway designers. However, its many designer collections, such as those of Cynthia Rowley, Prabal Gurung, Phillip Lim, and Zac Posen, allow the 99 percent to live luxuriously — or at least dress that way.

The zen-like vibes. You’ve likely never noticed, but Target doesn’t play background music in its stores, unlike many of its competitors. Why? Execs considered music a distraction, according to MPR News. However, that’s changing: Stores across the country will soon pump out tunes from artists like Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift. Research shows that certain types of music prompt people to spend more time and money in stores.

So there you have it. And while everyone is responsible for their own credit card bills, at least now you know why you go to Target to buy a carton of OJ and leave with patio furniture.

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