Winter is Most Popular Season for Retail Therapy, Finds New Survey

--Forty-Five Percent of U.S. Adults Report They Shop in Pursuit of Retail Therapy; Highest Among Women Ages 18-34—

Jan 16, 2013, 07:00 ET from

WHITING, Ind., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- You won't be alone if you have the winter blues this upcoming Monday. Coined "Blue Monday," January 21st is considered to be the most depressing day of the year, and many people will be seeking mood boosters as a result. A new survey finds that one of those attitude adjusters is shopping, as more than one-third (36 percent) of U.S. adults said winter is the season they'd most likely shop in pursuit of retail therapy. In addition, 26 percent of U.S. adults agree that bad weather, like cloudy, cold, and gray skies has prompted them to shop in pursuit of a better mood. This survey was conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of from January 7th - 9th, 2013, among 2,166 adults ages 18 and older.

"Now that the holidays are over, gray skies have taken over and warmer days are months away, some consumers find shopping takes the edge off a dull mood," said Jackie Warrick, senior savings adviser at "It's important to be aware of the damage that unnecessary retail therapy spending can do to your budget. Instead, seek out other seasonal mood boosters like exercise, exposure to sunlight during the day and vitamins."

Regardless of the time of year, the number of people who shop in hunt of a mood enhancement has increased. Nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. adults have shopped for retail therapy, i.e. gone shopping or purchased something solely because they were in a bad mood. This is up from 24 percent who said the same in a 2011 retail therapy survey.  

More women shop in search of retail therapy than men, at 53 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Women ages 18-34 were the most likely to hit the mall to improve their mood, at 63 percent.

Often, retail therapy does result in a better disposition. Four-in-ten (40 percent) of those who have gone shopping for retail therapy report they have temporarily forgotten their bad mood. More than one-third (36 percent) said it made them feel happy.

On the flip side, retail therapy may not always do the trick. Thirteen percent of those who sought out purchases thought it would put them in a better mood, but it didn't. Nine percent said shopping for retail therapy made them feel guilty, down from 15 percent who said the same in 2011.

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Coupon Cabin from January 7th to 9th, 2012, among 2,166 adults ages 18 and older, the 2011 survey was conducted online from November 4th-8th, 2011, among 2,042 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Allison Kaplan,

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