Shopaholics- the shopping mall culture in India

My friend  who is living in Bangalore in India often says that whenever he makes a visit to the nearby “MALL” for shopping he ends up paying for the ‘unplanned expenditure’, draining his so called monthly budget!

  I asked him hi what this is. I don’t understand why it is so and asked him whether he was joking.

He replied that normally he goes to malls for shopping at least two times in a month with his family to enjoy air-conditioned comfort and as well as to get the feeling of one stop family entertainment arena.

In that process his kids and other family members over the days have emerged as family shopping “robots” in finding things that they want without difficulty because they are most familiar with every nook and corner of the malls landscape.

 Often my friend expresses that he engages in forceful purchase of things which aren’t required and he faithfully acknowledges that this might be the reason for his unplanned expenditure.

 Tallying the purchase details in the computer bar code generated long bills issued at the time of making the payment is really painful to my friend. Normally he assigns this small task to his beloved wife. His wife is teaching mathematics in a reputed school in Bangalore. She goes crazy when it comes to verifying the MALL bills. The task she acknowledged was tougher than teaching calculus to the students!

My friend’s experience is the tip of the iceberg. Many families who visit big malls end up overspending like my friend.

The malls are equally popular among all ages. But, the true lovers of multiplexes, eating joints and so on are the youngsters for whom malls are the ultimate place to be. In short, malls have become concrete entertainment and meeting park for the youngsters.

 In India the introduction of” MALLS” has definitely added an adventure to one’s shopping experience although the malls have not been able to replace traditional markets, which are still popular among the pocket conscious people like me because it saves me from the peculiar type of headaches narrated by my  Bangalore friend.

The moot question I want to touch here is how to deal with the emergence of a different shopping culture and the changing attitude of the masses towards retail shopping.

 I read somewhere that the “Q” of popularity of a person, product, place, event or thing has a profound effect upon the human brain to those who are easily susceptible to such advertisement and hype in the mall environment.

 These so called commercial havens or malls not only serve as battlegrounds for the international brands but conquer the temptations of the consumer( both young and the old) and force them to wrestle with their own psyche and value system.

 In other words disorders like compulsive buying are emerging and are very serious matter to deal with although shopping is considered to be a normal behavior.

India is a country where emotional tendencies occupy the top portion of one’s psyche. Therefore the approach in dealing with shopaholics in India should be unique and suited to Indian social and economic environment.

 Here I recall what German psychologist Emil Kraepelin classified this habitual syndrome of excess shopping as a disorder, terming it “Oniomania”.  Research findings and surveys on the impact of shopaholics in the given socio economic environment in India are very less or non existent.

 However there cannot be any second opinion on issues relating to Images for shopaholic.

This has assumed serious dimensions in India in the context of changing landscape of the retail shopping.

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