Cost of Living

The sneaky science behind the impulse shopping aisle

Some retailers force customers to walk through a maze of irresistible snacks and scented candles before paying for what they actually came for — and that's deliberate. We also talk about celebrity endorsements and speak to Scotiabank's chief economist about the weird year that was for the Canadian economy.

The Cost of Living for December 18, 2022

A maze of irresistible products line the checkout aisle in a HomeSense in Calgary, Alta.
A maze of irresistible products line the checkout aisle in a HomeSense in Calgary, Alta. (Danielle Nerman/CBC)

The Cost of Living ❤s money — how it makes (or breaks) us. 
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If it's good enough for celebs, is it good enough for you?

Brands have paid celebrities to endorse products forever. But why do we care what Taylor Swift says about Diet Coke? Or Shaquille O'Neal thinks about crypto?

Paul Haavardsrud talks to the University of Rhode Island's Lauren Labrecque about what happens in our consumer brains, and hearts, when we see a celebrity endorse a product. And he asks Gene Simmons (yes, THAT Gene Simmons) what he thinks.

Why retailers want us to indulge our impulses   

Even the most disciplined shopper makes an impulsive purchase once in a while — and that's just fine with retailers. In fact, stores like HomeSense, Canadian Tire and Sephora are banking on it.

That's why going to the checkout means snaking through a maze filled with stuff that's hard to resist. And also, lentil chips.

'22, the economy and you

This year was a real mixed bag for the Canadian economy. The cost of groceries, gas and just about everything else went up. But in other ways, the economy was remarkably resilient.

Paul Haavardsrud talks to Jean-Francois Perrault, the chief economist for Scotiabank about the wacky year that was.

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