Friday, November 16, 2007

Retail Phobia

After many months of being tethered to the desk even at lunch-hour, I stepped out to the cafeteria with a few other co-workers. One woman was complaining about how much she hates shopping for clothes and how badly her wardrobe is in need of replenishment. Everyone shared her sentiments with the exception of our resident style maven Judy. Turns out that some of us (including myself) hate shopping of any kind and would love nothing more than to never have to go inside a store.

Forget about retail therapy, the grouchiest among us probably suffer from full blown retail phobia. The idea of circling round and round the parking lot until I find a spot is enough to kill any enthusiasm that I might have mustered to check out a big sale at the nearby mall. Judy being slave to fashion, cannot afford to have a wardrobe several seasons too old like the rest of us. Increasingly, she finds herself shopping online and avoiding the mall.

Judy may be part of a larger trend here - even for the conspicuous consumer shopping is
not nearly as therapeutic as it used to be. The author of the FastCompany article, talks about malls creating the French market and Moroccan bazaar ambience to engender a distinctive shopping experience. However, without the authenticity of place and time, that would resemble a theme park and possibly make shopping even more irksome.

It is bad enough to deal with the deathly monotony of retail chains without compounding the evil by introducing an ersatz foreign theme around its periphery. Now, we'll have to compete for parking with both shoppingistas and carnivalers. A visit to the dentist to get some root canal work done sounds far more appealing.

1 comment:

lekhni said...

With gas prices rising and home equity falling, I am not surprised that people are no longer seeing the therapeutic part of spending. This holiday season is not going to be a happy one for stores..