• Leif Kristensen Copenhagen Business School


Originally rhetoric was applied to spoken language, then to written language, and much later to the language of images. Ladenrhetorik, which may be translated into the imagery of a store, aims at putting rhetoric to use in the expressive 'language' of stores. Any professionally managed, profit-seeking store relies on a basic, strategic concept profiled to meet consumers’ needs and habits by means of its store-layout, its interior design, and a matching assortment displayed in a meaningproducing manner. This text argues that the elocutionary power of these marketing instruments can be reinforced by means of rhetorical devices. My argumentation relies heavily on Jacques Durand 1970 and 1987 (1) who was first to “find a visual transposition of the rhetorical figures in the advertising image”(Italicised here). With a few modifications, gains and losses, the set of rhetorical figures can be applied to retailing. For example, metaphors tend to carry ambience, metonyms productorigins and –applications. I believe there is a rewarding match between teasing, artful retail rhetoric and consumers’ cognitive and affective behaviour.