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.