Submit your best potluck recipe! Get votes! Win some fresh gear from Le Creuset! →

The front of many grocery stores is wide open, with plenty of windows to show you exactly what you will find inside.

On the inside of the store, however, it is quite another story. In fact, you will rarely ever find a window that allows natural light into the store. Why is that?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In case you didn’t know, there is a lot of psychology involved with shopping. Stores will do what they have to do in order to make you feel comfortable so you spend more time and money within those walls.

They even share that information from one store to another, so all of those retail outlets can benefit. For example, they will sometimes move items to a different shelf so you have to spend longer looking and perhaps buying out of impulse.

Photo: flickr/Mike Mozart

If there were windows in the store, you would have a better idea of how long you were spending on the inside. Without the windows, they are suspending time, more or less, so you don’t feel in a hurry to leave. That is especially true if it is getting dark outside or if some bad weather is coming in.

In addition, sunlight does have an impact on packaging. If there were faded packages on the shelves of the store, consumers might not be as quick to purchase them. That isn’t even to mention the wall space they would lose. Think of every window as being a potential product display location.

Photo: flickr/Nicholas Eckhart

The bottom line is, the lack of windows in a grocery store is meant to trick you into staying in the store longer. More than likely, this knowledge is not going to keep you from shopping but it does answer a burning question for many of us.