The Journal Gazette
Thursday, December 24, 2020 7:00 am

Virus distress leads to big boost in shopping

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Purdue University's researchers are the real deal.

They've conducted space, medical, agricultural and various other types of serious research.

Why am I mentioning these esteemed academics in a blog about shopping? Because the university's public relations folks told me recently about Eugene Chan, associate professor of consumer science. He specializes in "how consumers make better decisions."

After the coronavirus pandemic took hold and officials discouraged us from leaving home except for necessities, online shopping skyrocketed. And Chan monitored consumers' splurges.

"Shopping can be a way to cope with stress," he observed.

Umm... OK. Ever heard of the term "retail therapy," Eugene?

His quote, provided by Purdue's PR office, continued.

"In fact, higher levels of distress have been linked with higher purchase intentions," he said. "And this compulsion to buy is often part of an effort to reduce negative emotions."

That explains the brown cardboard boxes -- small, medium and large -- that keep showing up on my doorstep.

Please continue, sir.

"In other words," Chan said, "shopping is an escape."

Apparently, Chan's research has included reviewing my Visa card statement.

Now, where did I put my new battery-operated, hand-held scalp massager?

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