6 rules for the perfect shopping trip
According to a new survey, 72% of us enjoy a shopping trip. But Lush cosmetics, who commissioned the research, found that there’s a formula for the perfect experience – so as summer wardrobe shopping beckons, if you want to end the day feeling giddy with delight and not a disappointed, exhausted husk… read on
The perfect spend: £131
Enough to accumulate a few lovely things from the high street or shopping mall, without causing debt Armageddon, £131 is the majority’s ideal amount to splash out. (Though in pricey London, it rises to £146.)
The perfect number of purchases
Six, apparently – which means, with a spend of £131, they should cost £21.80 each on average. Six things is enough to feel satisfied and offers the excitement of a whole new look for you or your home, without feeling sick with guilt.
The perfect length of trip
Four hours, four times a year. That’s a mere 16 hours of relentless browsing and buying per annum, with a total of 24 new things to show for it. However, while women are prepared to put the time in properly, 16% of men prefer an SAS-style hit – in and out in an hour.
The perfect shopping break
A cup of tea and a flapjack in a nice cafe, say 57% of shoppers. There was little support for eating on the move, or bringing snacks along – if a shopping day is to be a good experience, it’s essential to build in a small hit of total relaxation in between shops.
The perfect number of shops
Eight. According to the research, more than that is too overwhelming, and less means too little choice. Women will try on eight items on the trip and reject two, which seems a pretty good hit rate to us. Things that ruin a shopping trip include queuing for over eight minutes – more than that, shoppers simply put back their purchases and give up. Worst still is not finding anything they want. For 62% the worst-case scenario is returning home empty handed.
For 20%, their partner is the ideal shopping companion – the rest opt for friends, mums, sisters or going it alone. But those who didn’t have a ready outfit-assessor on hand admitted to taking pictures of their new outfit and canvassing opinion via text or social media.
5 key rules for a great shopping trip:
- Comfy shoes. Never think it’ll be fine if you just run out in whatever heeled sandal you have on. You need trainers, and if you’re shopping for a posh do, take high heels in your bag to try with frocks.
- Regular breaks. Artificial lights, recycled air and jostling crowds are dehydrating and exhausting. If your blood sugar drops too, you’ll get a headache, and your decision-making capacity will be dramatically affected. Aim for a rest every couple of hours at least.
- Try things on. It may seem a hassle, but you’ll never get round to taking back things that don’t fit, so wear your most flattering underwear and take a pile of things into the changing room.
- Don’t ignore staff – part of their job is to help and advise, so if you need a different size, ask them to get it for you, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion if you’re unsure.
- Buy small things first. It seems obvious, but it’s easy to be seduced by a great pair of boots, or heavy electrical equipment in a sale, and spend the next four hours crimson faced, with aching arms and no hands left to pick things up.
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The perfect shopping trip involves a four hour trawl around stores, a cup of posh coffee and a flapjack – and a modest £131 dent in the bank balance, it emerged yesterday.
Researchers who polled 2,000 Brits who shop regularly also found the ideal shopping expedition would include leaving home at 10am for a 14 mile drive to a mall or High Street, ending in a purchase of six items.
And finding a coveted item in a sale and fitting comfortably into a smaller size than usual were seen as essential when it came to successful retail therapy.
Stores with a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and staff and being able to try or test things before buying them also help make a shopping trip perfect.
But its bad news for the men – while almost four in ten guys placed their partner as their ideal shopping companion, women would rather go with a friend or alone.
A spokesperson for cosmetics brand, Lush, which commissioned the study to understand what shoppers wanted for the opening of its largest store on Oxford Street on Friday (today), said: “From this survey we learnt a lot about what customers really want.