There's a post at the Re-imagineering blog aching with sadness at the way the Disney theme parks herd you into a shop at every possible opportunity. This is, apparently, exactly contrary to what Walt himself wanted when he built the parks. Sure he was happy to sell you stuff, but he didn't want to dislocate the theme (the point of a theme park, after all) so the stores were discrete and appropriate. Theme came first, retail second.
This reminded me of a disturbing recent trend in UK retaillers - the annoying upsell. You get to the counter of a WH Smith and the poor assistant has to say - 'since you're buying a magazine you can also buy this bar of chocolate at half-price'. (I've yet to discover a product that doesn't qualify you for an enormous bar of chocolate at half-price.) They do the same thing at HMV with half-price DVDs. I'm sure some clever management consultants have demonstrated that this yields significant ROI from the odd person that says yes. But what the model presumably doesn't reveal is that it really irritates the hell out of the rest of us. It slows the transaction down a bit, which I guess isn't the worst thing, but it just sends this horrible 'we're always selling' signal to the customer, at the point where you thought you'd already made all your decisions. They may as well just wave a big sign saying 'to us - you're just one big wallet'.
Doesn't anyone in these companies remember the old Goldman Sachs thing about long-term greedy versus short-term greedy? It's Goldman Sachs after all, not Naomi Klein, but even they recognise the value of short-term sacrifice bringing longer-term gain. ie leave your customers alone sometimes, so they'll like you a bit and come back.