- The Washington Times - Friday, November 24, 2017

Retail therapy — shopping as both culture and recreational activity — has gotten complicated. In a survey released last year, RetailMeNot.com, an online discount coupon distributor, found that a quarter of Americans report they are “sleep deprived” while out shopping during the Thanksgiving shopping rush.

Another 12 percent say the shop while drunk. Yes, they’re buying bombed, so to speak.

“Anything that you were nervous about buying while sober but now appears absolutely perfect should probably be vetted by someone who knows your taste and financial situation. Odds are that if you need to drink to buy it, you don’t need it (for now),” the coupon guru advised consumers in a story titled “Shopping Tips for the Tipsy,” geared for the online shopper.

This is not new. The New York Times also reported a variation on this phenomenon in their own research, revealing that a certain segment of online shoppers are a little giddy when ordering.

“Shopping under the influence has long benefited high-end specialty retailers — witness the wine-and-cheese parties that are a staple of galleries and boutiques. Now the popularity of Internet sales has opened alcohol-induced purchases to the masses,” The Times reported in their story, published six years ago.

Meanwhile, there’s also shopping multi-tasking, truly a sign of the times.

“Regardless of where people shop, many rely on digital shopping tools for assistance. Nearly four-in-10 expect to buy something online while they are in a store due to better pricing and/or price matching,” reports a new Deloitte survey.,

Shoppers have also gotten canny. The market researcher also says that the average consumer spends over two hours researching the best deals to be found over the Thanksgiving weekend, with a quarter spending from three to five hours.

Deloitte also found that 37 percent do all this shopping simply because they enjoy it, while 35 percent say shopping is now part of their Thanksgiving tradition. Another 29 percent say the retail experience is “something to do” over the holiday weekend. And a 26 percent say they shop right on Thanksgiving Day “to avoid the experience of Black Friday.”

While 115 million people typically join the shopping on Black Friday, another 71 million repeat the process on Saturday, with three fourths of them eager to support small businesses — those retailers which make a community “unique” advises Linda McMahon, administrator of the Small Business Association.

On Sunday, another 35 million will trudge out to do battle in the malls, while 78 million are expected to shop on Cyber Monday, perched behind their computers.

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