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SENSELESS SHOPPING?

In honor of Valentine’s Day 2013, Americans will spend $815 million on gifts and treats… for their pets. Crazy?
Not really. We often buy out of “need” but there are many forms of need. You need food to live; you buy food. You feel tired but not thirsty so you grab some Starbucks. “My friends and I NEED some retail therapy!”
Stores help shoppers both explore and satisfy their various needs. Online shopping’s growth notwithstanding, most shopping remains a richly sensual experience. We employ our sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch as we troll aisles and try products. And we often do it automatically, sometimes without being fully aware that we’re doing it.
So here’s a challenge for you. Next time you’re in a store, shop with your hands in your pockets. Touch nothing until you’ve decided to buy it. Do not feel those sheets you’re considering or the blouse you covet or heft the cantaloupe. Do not squeeze the Charmin.
Then do something similar by writing down what you smell as you shop. Is that fresh bread in the bakery? “Boy, that roasted chicken smells good?” What do good leather gloves or ripe bananas smell like? The perfume bar at Macy’s isn’t the only place that you’re being led around by your nose.
Or ears. What do you hear while shopping? To hear it, you almost have to stop, sit and listen. In-store radio? Muted conversations? The rustle of packages or the squeak of wheels and the harsh tones bouncing off linoleum?
For this Valentine’s Day weekend, recognize shopping for the sensual experience that it is. And indulge.