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 transition, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as "comfort buys".
In 2001, the European Union conducted a study finding that 33% of shoppers surveyed had "high level of addiction to rash or unnecessary consumption"
his was causing debt problems for many. The same study also found that young Scottish people had the highest susceptibility to binge purchasing.
Researchers conducted hundreds of interviews at shopping centres as well as asking shoppers to keep diaries of their shopping behaviour, moods and buys they regretted.
They asked shoppers to keep diaries of their buying habits, moods and any purchases they regretted.
Those who said they were in a bad mood on their way into a shop were more likely to indulge in an impulse buy.
A total of 62 per cent said they had bought something to cheer themselves up while 28 per cent said they had indulged as a form of celebration.