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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 stress, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as "comfort buys" (compare comfort food).

The name retail therapy is ironic and semifacetious, acknowledging that shopping hardly qualifies as true therapy in the medical or psychotherapeutic sense. It was first used 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]

The fact that shopping may provide a short time of comfort (relief from dysphoria) but also imposes costs and is subject to comedown and withdrawal make it, like opioid use, either a therapy or an addiction, depending on whether each person uses it adaptively or maladaptively. Retail therapy thus exists on a spectrum with shopping addiction (compulsive buying disorder). 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]

Window shopping can offer some of the comfort of shopping. The advantage is that many items and many stores can be enjoyed without cost—far more than spending would allow. The disadvantage is that one cannot acquire or keep the items.

See also[edit]

Notes[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"

References[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retail_therapy — Please support Wikipedia.
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785167 news items

Fresno Bee (blog)

Fresno Bee (blog)
Sat, 01 Aug 2015 14:09:29 -0700

Retail Therapy: Fresno cosplay and costume shop opens downtown. Shop sells human unicorn costumes, steampunk, more. 3D printer can make costume accessories. Plus, Mia Cuppa hosts artisan faire. Jessica Qualls shows a steampunk outfit at her Fun ...

Mirror.co.uk

Mirror.co.uk
Sat, 01 Aug 2015 02:45:00 -0700

The supermodel, who is heavily rumoured to be entering the Channel 5 house, headed for a spot of retail therapy in Los Angeles on Friday. In what could be one of her final shopping trips for a while, the 60-year-old made sure to pick up some essentials.

Celebrity Baby Scoop

Celebrity Baby Scoop
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 09:52:30 -0700

Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio stepped out with daughter Anja, nearly 7, in Brentwood, Calif. on Tuesday (July 28). The mother-daughter duo did a little retail therapy at the Brentwood Country Mart together. The model mom, 34, has just returned from ...

Retail Dive

Retail Dive
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 07:15:00 -0700

As the editor of Retail Dive, it's my job to keep tabs on every piece of retail-related news—the good, the bad, and the silly. From a Birkin bag name dispute to a Mad Men auction, here are some of the most interesting reads from the past week.
 
Huntington Beach Independent
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:33:45 -0700

Ooh, baby, baby: Granola Babies at SoCo Collection, Suite B, 3315 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, will host a homemade baby food workshop from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The cost is $15. Watch a cooking demonstration and receive complete recipes, ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:11:23 -0700

The 36-year-old reality star had just splurged on clothing at kids' boutique Trico Field for her three children with ex-partner Scott Disick. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star strutted down the pavement in grey, distressed skinny jeans, a ...

Fayetteville Observer

Fayetteville Observer
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:02:55 -0700

The store is slated to close by the end of September. 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 ...

Fayetteville Observer

Fayetteville Observer
Fri, 10 Jul 2015 12:57:34 -0700

Kathryn King and Matthew Hollyfield looked for months for a location in Southern Pines where they could relocate two businesses they owned in Pinehurst. Hollyfield said they wanted to combine the operations - a flower shop and a home decor and design ...
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