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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

“Drunk Shopping” On the Rise

By Brianne Moore

You’ve probably heard of drunk dialing—but drunk shopping? Apparently shopping under the influence is now on the rise, thanks to the ease of online purchasing and the rise in popularity of smartphones. You no longer have to stumble to a computer to make a beer goggle-aided purchase: now all you need to do is whip out your phone. And according to behavioral scientists, those particular goggles are likely to make items you wouldn’t otherwise purchase look more attractive.

“In a shopping context, alcohol would lift people’s moods and make them feel more relaxed,” Nancy Puccinelli, an associate fellow at the Oxford Said Business School told the New York Times. “If we see a product and we feel good, we will evaluate the product more positively.”

As one might expect, retailers are taking notice and altering their practices to take advantage of their customers’ potential inebriation. Many of them are now launching more promotions later in the evening and very early in the morning, when they notice traffic and impulse buys on their sites spike.

As is usually the case with drunken behavior, drunk shopping can lead to serious regrets. One man interviewed for the NYT article reported purchasing a $10,000 vacation while under the influence, and since alcohol inhibits working memory, buyers are more likely to purchase something in the wrong size or style than they would if they were thinking clearly.

Share your Thoughts: Have you ever shopped while intoxicated? Did you end up buying something you later regretted?

Posted by: Brianne Moore at 7:19 pm

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