Emotions play a key role in convincing people to do things and have been shown to be much more persuasive than logic or ethos. On that basis, what better place to deploy emotional tactics than in a shopping environment? My Spanish colleagues have just published the results of a c. 5,000 person survey analysing happiness in shopping centres. The research (copy here for capable linguists) finds that 76% of respondents felt happier after visiting a shopping centre, with younger respondents and women markedly more so. In real estate we too often overlook the potential for our built environment to evoke emotions, but herein lies one of its key defences to digitisation. Shopping centre owners could take a leaf from Disney’s book of customer experience; their theme parks’ mantra being, ‘We Create Happiness’ (and in doing so, lots of sales), or John Lewis, which in anticipation of its recent launch at Westfield London has sent 500 employees to acting school, recognising in the words of the trainer that ‘body language, voice and expression are all as important as our words’.