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Retail therapy is shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer's mood or disposition. Often seen in people during periods of depression or transition, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as "comfort buys".

Retail therapy was first used as a term in the 1980s with the first reference being this sentence in the Chicago Tribune of Christmas Eve 1986: "We've become a nation measuring out our lives in shopping bags and nursing our psychic ills through retail therapy." [1]

In 2001, the European Union conducted a study finding that 33% of shoppers surveyed had "high level of addiction to rash or unnecessary consumption".[2] This was causing debt problems for many. The same study also found that young Scottish people had the highest susceptibility to binge purchasing.

Researchers at Melbourne University have advocated its classification as a psychological disorder called oniomania or compulsive shopping disorder.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schmich, Mary (24 December 1986). "A Stopwatch On Shopping". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Shopping can make you depressed"
  3. ^ "Investigating retail therapy"


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retail_therapy — Please support Wikipedia.
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10944 news items

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:52:30 -0700

And although Grace is only two, I'm already working to instill the great values of "retail therapy" to her. She joins us each and every shopping adventure, and I'm pretty sure she likes the lunch part the best too, especially if Grandma Susie orders ...
Fayetteville Observer
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:07:22 -0700

If today's column were a grocery cart, it would be filled with news and rumors about new supermarkets in Fayetteville. Which ones? Take your pick. There's Aldi, Fresh Market, Walmart Neighborhood Markets, Harris Teeter, Publix and maybe others.

Fresno Bee

Fresno Bee
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700

UCP of Central California sell the art they create in the their classes. Sometimes the commission is the only paycheck they'll ever get. Photo by Bethany Clough BETHANY CLOUGH — The Fresno Bee ...
Huntington Beach Independent
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:52:30 -0700

Scrappin' sale: Scrapbooking and paper-crafting superstar Me and My Big Ideas will host a huge sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 1 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 2 at its warehouse, 20321 Valencia Circle, Lake Forest. Enjoy a sizable discount on papers ...
Fayetteville Observer
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:09:48 -0700

Retail Therapy: Local businesses are ready to help you celebrate National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day. Andrew Gillis, of Gillis Hill Farm with homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream. Retail Therapy: Local businesses are ready to help you ...
Huntington Beach Independent
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:37:30 -0700

Beachy keen: The Beach, which makes backpacks, makeup bags, totes and other carry-alls in fun patterns and materials like neoprene, will offer a warehouse sale featuring up to 75% off retail from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 7402 Mountjoy Drive, Unit B ...

Fresno Bee

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Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:56:15 -0700

Chelsea Alameda, who recently moved to Clovis, passes by a row of newer shops including Brick & Mortar and Elle spa after shopping for items in Old Town Clovis Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Many of the antiques at the store are becoming hot items for young ...
Fayetteville Observer
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:22:30 -0700

Have tips, questions or comments for Retail Therapy? Dish it out by emailing retailtherapy@fayobserver.com or contacting staff writer Catherine Pritchard at either pritchardc@fayobserver.com or 486-3517. Thank you for reading 10 free articles on our site.

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