Yes, you read that title right. A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that people buy less when they’re shopping with attractive peoplein the same store. Apparently, our low self-esteem and body image problems manifest themselves not only when we’re at home getting dressed, but when we’re out shopping too.
The logic follows that, when a shopper sees a cute dress in a store that no one else is wearing or has tried on, when she tries it on herself and it looks cute, she says to herself “Oh, this dress looks so cute on me!”
However, when said shopper tries on a dress that someone — anyone — is wearing or also trying on, she says to herself, “Oh, this dress looks so much cuter on that girl. There’s no way I can pull it off like she can!” and, consequently, doesn’t buy the dress. It’s not that she doesn’t think she looks bad in it, she just looks worse when compared to another shopper or *gasp* sales associate.
Personally, having worked in retail for the past 3 years, I’ve learned that people are more likely to try on something when I’m (or another coworker of mine is) wearing something from the store. It’s like free advertising and pretty often, a customer will buy the item, especially when helped accessorize.
I’m not quite sure how this study figured out what they did, but I’m not sure it reflects my own experience working in retail. Perhaps I don’t get a lot of customers with low self-esteem or, probably more likely, perhaps no one is comparing themselves to me because I’m 19 and most people who are shopping in the store I work at are in their 30′s and don’t expect to look like me.
When I’m out shopping with friends, even, and we try on the same clothes, I don’t find myself always being so negative. In fact, a lot of times things look similar on me and my best friends, regardless of body type. But who knows? Again, maybe I’m in an unrealistic world of confident young women.
Lovelies, does this reflect your experiences shopping or working in retail?