Retail therapy and a journey of the senses...
Ioften wonder how and why the term retail therapy came into being. A little trivia digging revealed that retail therapy was first used as a term in the 1980s with the first reference being made in the Chicago Tribune’s 1986 Christmas Eve edition. To quote it, "We've become a nation measuring out our lives in shopping bags and nursing our psychic ills through retail therapy." How very apt! Further reading up threw up some interesting facts as well. Apparently in 2001, the European Union conducted a study in which 33% of shoppers surveyed had "high level of addiction to rash or unnecessary consumption".
Well, cut to current times and the store design scenario, offering a therapeutic experience seems to be at the core of what visual merchandisers and store designers package as a store’s intangible communication. This sees them indulging in newer and newer ways of intoxicating all the senses with sales being somewhere on the periphery of the design objectives. The idea being that once a shopper/customer spends enough time in the space, the seeds of brand loyalty are already being sown somewhere. This then, by implication, would translate into a purchase decision sooner or later. And so, a perfume store that indulges the olfactory senses, a candy store that offers a fantasyfilled visual ride, a high-end mall that appeals to our artistic senses...they are all out there in the retail realm, promising therapy-induced consumption in a sensory visual language. Check out our coverage this month and enjoy a vicarious trip to this therapeutic retail-scape. And while you are at it, don’t miss our wrap-ups of the latest windows, store designs and retail strategies either.
Signing off, I would like to quote Imelda Marcos, wife of the former President of Philppine, Ferdinand Marcos, known for her excesses, “Win, or lose, we go shopping after the election!” How very relevant for us, living as we do in one of the most vibrant and largest democracies of the world! Well then, goodbye! Got to go shopping and feed my senses ...talk about post-election binge!