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Commentary: Retail therapy won’t repair your damaged sense of self-worth

Why precisely do consumers buy products that they don’t really need? And if shopping is supposed to be therapeutic, to what degree is such consumption helping them to deal with their insecurities? Most importantly, once they buy the product, does that purchase actually make them feel better? HEC Paris Marketing Professor L.J. Shrum and former HEC Paris PhD student Nimish Rustagi have discovered that certain marketing tactics, associated with forms of consumption, including the ones we see around Christmas time, might adversely impact consumer well-being.