retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Taste has an excellent piece called "The Case for the Supermarket Supershopper," in which it analyzes the unique allure of the grocery shopping experience.

An excerpt:

"The word 'ritual' is thrown around colloquially today, but sometimes it still carries the weight of religious ceremony. For supermarket supershoppers, as we might call them, these stores themselves, with their floor-to-ceiling shelves and flickering freezers brimming with food that’s available for purchase, are a sanctuary that transcends faith, race, and economic status. Grocery shopping is an intimately personal act - deciding what to put in your body and what to feed the people you love - performed in public. And like altar boys shuffling through the aisles in quiet unison, we’re all carrying it out together.

"It’s well-studied to the point of cliché that shopping offers a high—the brain releasing dopamine, the same chemical that signals love. It’s why we’ve coined (somewhat contradictory) phrases like 'shopping addiction' and 'retail therapy' over the last several consumerist decades. A great deal of reports on this phenomenon suggest or flat-out scold that this physiological reaction to shopping is unnatural and not in our best interests - a survival instinct gone haywire. But when the bulk of these purchases are food and household goods like almond milk, garbage bags, and Pine-Sol, things you have probably purchased hundreds of times in your life, the allure becomes more complicated, or perhaps more boring. Strip away the satisfaction of providing for others, and grocery shopping approaches something like self-care."

You can read the entire piece here.