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There's more to hooking shoppers on Black Friday than a good deal

Black Friday On the occasion of Black Friday, the first official shopping day of the holiday season, coauthors of the new book "Spend Shift," Michael D'Antonio and John Gerzema, have written an op-ed explaining the psychology of shoppers –- not just why we shop, but where we choose to spend our money and how it often reflects our subconscious agendas.

They write:

"The biggest swing [since the recession began], when it comes to the issues we confront with our dollars, is related to civility. Starting in the middle of this decade, respondents began to tell us that they wanted to feel respected and appreciated by the people they do business with. Between 2005 and 2009, the value placed on the "kindness and empathy" expressed by vendors shot up a whopping 391%. The importance of "friendliness" went up by 124%, and the value placed on "social responsibility," which can be translated as "being a good neighbor and citizen," rose by 63%."

Read on to see how this explains why shoppers have trended toward Zappos, L.L. Bean, Levi Strauss, Red Wing Shoe and Etsy.

-- Alexandra Le Tellier


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Illustration: Laurent Cilluffo / For the Times


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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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