Are YOUR bad moods costing you a small fortune? The average American spends a staggering $1,652 per year on ‘retail therapy’ purchases to cheer themselves up
Retail therapy really does exist – and it’s making up more than a fifth of all purchases, new research reveals.
A survey of 2,000 people across the country found that the average American polled spends a whopping $1,652 per year on purchases just to cheer themselves up.
The poll, conducted by Swap.com, looked at the way Americans shop and found that the typical person buys 12 retail items per month in stores and six online, with shopping itself taking up 65 hours per year online and 90 hours per year in stores.
Poll: In a new study of 2,000 Americans, conducted by Swap.com, more than two thirds of people say that shopping has some therapeutic qualities
But while much of this shopping is completely necessary, Americans admit that more than 22 per cent of their shopping is based much more in pleasure than in need.
More than two thirds of people say that shopping has some therapeutic qualities, and seven in ten admit to having bought themselves something nice simply to cheer themselves up – with 13 per cent saying they do this on a very regular basis.
Reasons for retail therapy
44% – relief from anxiety
43% – boredom
38% – a busy schedule
27% – work-related stress
23% – issues with a partner or spouse
While seven in ten of survey respondents claim they live paycheck to paycheck, the same number say they shop from thrift shops in the hopes of finding a great deal.
Two in three have also shopped at thrift stores with the specific goal of being more environmentally friendly – adding just a little more positivity to their retail therapy session.
The average retail therapy session sets an American back $70.60 and happens close to twice a month – adding up to $138 each month or $1,652 every year.
In fact, one in four say the therapeutic effects of shopping are just as emotionally relieving as enjoying your favorite dessert, while another quarter say it’s more like sleeping in.
Impulse: Americans admit that more than 22 per cent of their shopping is based much more in pleasure than in need
Over a quarter say retail therapy is as good as eating at your favorite restaurant, while 20 per cent equate it with a day at the beach or watching a favorite movie.
As for where they indulge, Americans say online is their favorite spot for retail therapy, followed by the mall.
Americans say online is their favorite spot for retail therapy, followed by the mall
There are ways to experience retail therapy without breaking the bank, according Rich Lesperance, the Chief Marketing Officer of Swap.com.
‘At a time when so many people are living paycheck to paycheck, it’s important to find new ways to save while still making shopping fun,’ said Lesperance.
‘One way to keep the ‘feel good’ benefits of retail therapy is to shop secondhand.
Thrift shopping is thrilling and doesn’t require tons of money.
‘Sites like Swap.com offer the same merchandise at a fraction of retail prices, and provide the added benefit of helping keep clothes out of landfills.’
Survey respondents revealed that the positive and therapeutic feeling they get from retail shopping lasts an average of five hours and 45 minutes.
Around 40 per cent admit that they feel guilty after engaging in retail therapy, with two in three lamenting that they should have spent the money on something more important.
The top reasons for resorting to purchase-based therapy include relief from anxiety (44 per cent), boredom (43 per cent), a busy schedule (38 per cent), work-related stress (27 per cent) and issues with a partner or spouse (23 per cent).
Afternoon is the most popular time for retail therapy and 37 per cent admit to having indulged themselves at work.
As for the target, clothes are the number one source of retail relief, followed by shoes and food.