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Almost 2 in 3 American Women Say They Indulge in Retail Therapy

by MarketingCharts staff
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Overall, slightly more than half of Americans report shopping and spending to improve their mood, with the main triggers being a bad day at work (18.9%), bad news (14.6%), and a fight with a significant other (12.2%).

While many Americans say they engage in retail therapy, fewer believe it actually improves a person’s mood, though women are twice as likely as men to believe that’s the case (39.2% vs. 20.6%). Interestingly, two-thirds believe that online shopping is better for retail therapy, mainly because they don’t have to leave the house (43.7%), it’s more convenient (42.6%), they don’t have to drive (37.9%), and because there are a wider range of stores to browse (30.8%).

Given American’s love for deals, it’s not too surprising to find that getting a deal makes about 4 in 5 feel best when engaging in retail therapy. Among those, the most popular ways of scoring a deal are shopping during a sale (61.8%), receiving a reward, such as cash back (49.4%), free shipping (45%), and using coupons (44.6%).

According to the survey, the top items women buy for retail therapy are:

  • Clothes (57.9% of women citing this category);
  • Food (34.7%);
  • Shoes (32.4%);
  • Accessories (29.1%); and
  • Books/magazines (28.7%).

For men, the top categories are:

  • Food (28.1%);
  • Electronics (27.4%);
  • Music/movies (26.6%);
  • Clothes (21.5%); and
  • Games/toys (17.6%).

About the Data: The survey was conducted online within the United States by TNS Global via its omnibus product on behalf of Ebates from March 7-10, among 1,000 adults ages 18 and older.