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Retail Therapy as a Behavioral Act of the Modern Consumer

George Cosmin Tanase

Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, 2018, vol. 9, issue 3, 29-33

Abstract: Retail therapy is suggested as a way for consumers to achieve happiness from the negative emotional state of modern life. The practice of retail therapy has been referred to as compensatory consumption because it occurs “when an individual feels a need, lack, or desire which they cannot satisfy with a primary fulfillment so they seek and use an alternative means of fulfillment in its place”. In compensatory consumption behavior, consumers shop when they are feeling negative moods such as anxiety, depression, frustration, loneliness, and stress. In addition, during economic downturns, consumers tend to spend more time shopping, albeit purchasing lower quality and lower priced products. Some researchers suggest that the use of shopping to ward off negative moods may lead to shopping addiction, necessitating financial and psychological counseling. Furthermore, the waste generated by over-consumption is environmentally unsound and unviable. This article is focused on the concept of retail therapy, revealing the personal benefits, possible issues, and research development surrounding the topic.

Keywords: E-tail; Compensatory Consumption; Self-treating Purchase; Customer Feelings (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L81 M31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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