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Paco  Underhill

Paco Underhill

Expert in Consumer Trends


Paco Underhill is one of the era’s foremost shopping anthropologists, and the founding president of Envirosell, the New York-based behavioral research and consultancy firm focused on commercial environments. His first book, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping was an internationally recognized bestseller and has been published in 27 languages. Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping was released in 2004 and has been called a humorous walking tour of an American shopping mall. His newest book, What Women Want, focuses on how the changing status of women affects the physical world we live in. Read More >

Underhill’s columns and editorials have appeared in The New York Times, Money Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He is an expert on global consumer trends, and tailors his presentations to the specific needs of his clients. Whether he is working with McDonald’s, Starbucks, Estée Lauder, Bloomingdale’s or Blockbuster, Underhill provides companies with the insight needed to truly understand their customers. From buying behavior to consumerism in the modern world, Underhill’s insightful and entertaining presentations have been lauded worldwide. Packed with surprising details, anecdotes, important lessons and groundbreaking observations on shopping and corporate behavior, Underhill’s expertise is beneficial for any organization that serves consumers in an online or retail store environment.

Underhill’s company, Envirosell, provides hundreds of great examples and data to back up his presentations. Envirosell is a testing agency for Fortune 500 banks, stores, restaurant chains, and consumer product companies. The company specializes in examining consumer shopping behavior using a combination of in-store video recording, observation and customer intercept interviews. Envirosell’s findings have been profiled in The New Yorker, The Washington Post Magazine, and Smithsonian magazine, among other major publications. Given the company’s success with identifying shopping behaviors, Envirosell now has offices in Tokyo, Milan, Moscow, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Bangalore, and offshore clients account for about 15-20 percent of Envirosell’s business.

Underhill has more than 20 years of experience in research and consulting. In 1975, he became a member of Project for Public Spaces, a New York-based firm specializing in land use planning and management. In 1977 and 1978 as a part-time instructor, Underhill taught in the Doctoral Program in Environmental Psychology at City University, where he supervised a series of research projects ranging from playground evaluations to the effects of commercial window displays.

In 1979, Underhill formed Environmental Analysis & Planning Consultants and began to apply his research methodologies to issues he had developed in retail environments. The firm changed its name in 1989 to Envirosell, Inc. The organization has become a leading research and consulting agency for stores, banks, restaurants, and consumer product manufacturers. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping

Based on his best selling book, Paco Underhill reveals how to keep your changing customers and entice new and eager ones. Get fresh observations and important lessons from the cutting edge of retail, including what retailers are doing right and what they're doing wrong, and how nearly every Internet retailer from iTunes to Amazon can drastically improve how it serves its customers.  Underhill also takes audiences on a guided tour of the most innovative stores, malls and retail environments around the world – almost all of which are springing up in countries where prosperity is new.

Global State of Retail

The world grows and changes every day; so does the state of retail.  The flexibility to adapt to tomorrow’s changes comes from having a solid footing today. Paco Underhill reveals the trends to watch for to stay on the cutting edge – from changing consumers and communication to leadership issues and human behavior – and shares with audiences the retail tools of tomorrow.

What Women Want

The global marketplace is turning female friendly.  Paco Underhill reveals why it is so important to serve women in the marketplace, what makes a product, space, or service female friendly, and why it matters.

Retail Banking in the 21st Century

The Future of Travel

The State of Luxury Goods

Convergence - On-line, Mobile Phone, Bricks & Mortar

The Crisis of Market Research

The Evolution of the Mobile Phone

Trends in Global Shopping Malls

The Future of Bread & Food Service

Getting to the Modern Airport