Shopping has long been described as a guilty pleasure, but according to consulting firm Bain & Co., the economic crisis has caused the guilt factor to override the pleasure for some luxury shoppers.
Bain & Co. suggested “shoppers are suffering from luxury shame.” Brand strategist Martin Lindstrom agreed, saying, “Guilt has really increased in the last year.”
This Wall Street Journal article discussed how luxury brands might absolve that guilt, including: “touting a special justification for splurging—profits are channelled to a charity, for instance—or offering novel shopping experiences that can make people forget their guilt.”
Internet shopping was also promoted as a way of reducing guilt. As was the use of pop-up stores -boutiques that exist for a few weeks or months - in unexpected places that aren’t traditional luxury shopping districts. “The idea is that pop-ups may not activate the psychological barriers that prevent shoppers from entering traditional stores.”
Another strategy is that companies are putting more emphasis on the "guilt-free shopping" that is said to come with buying environmentally safe products.
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