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The meaning and self-significance of recreational shopping

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The meaning and self-significance of recreational shopping
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Guiry, Michael
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Clothing ( jstor )
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Materialism ( jstor )
Recreation ( jstor )
Retail stores ( jstor )
Self esteem ( jstor )
Shoes ( jstor )
Shopping ( jstor )
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Spontaneity ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Marketing -- UF ( lcsh )
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 1999.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 330-339).
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Typescript.
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Vita.
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by Michael Guiry.

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THE MEANING AND SELF-SIGNIFICANCE OF RECREATIONAL SHOPPING


By

MICHAEL GUIRY















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1999































Copyright 1999

by

Michael Guiry














ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Special thanks to my dissertation chair, Rich Lutz, for his never-ending help,

support, encouragement, patience, and guidance throughout my dissertation journey.

Rich, I am eternally grateful. I also thank my committee members, Joe Alba, Bart Weitz,

and Rich Romano, for their helpful comments and advice. Finally, thanks for the music,

Jerry, Jimi, and Jim. Oh, what a long strange trip it's been.














TABLE OF CONTENTS



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS................... ................... ..................... ii

A B STR A C T .......................................................... ....................... vii

CHAPTERS

1 INTRODUCTION.................................................. ................. 1

Cultural Significance of Shopping............................................. 1
Personal Significance of Shopping............................................... 4
R research Purpose...................................................................... 5

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE................................................... 8

Recreational Shopping............................................................... 8
Recreational Shopping Motives................................................... 12
Types of Recreational Shoppers............................................... 13
Other Types of Market Participants............................................... 20
Mall Inhabitants................................................................... 23
"Non-Traditional" Retail Market Participants............................... 25

3 A PRIORI THEMES, RESEARCH QUESTIONS, AND,
PROPOSITIONS................................................................ 27

Dimensions of Recreational Shopping............................................ 28
Importance of Leisure Dimensions in Recreational Shopping................ 32
Shopping Mall Activities and Leisure Dimensions.............................. 33
Social Dimension of Recreational Shopping ..................................... 33
Fantasy Dimension of Recreational Shopping .................................. 35
Enduring Involvement in Recreational Shopping............................... 35
Enduring Involvement and Shopping Activity Participation................... 36
Enduring Involvement and Meaning of Shopping............................... 40
Recreational Shopper Identity..................................................... 42









page

CHAPTERS

4 METHODOLOGY................................................................ ..... 46

Study 1............................... ............ ...... ........ .................... 46
Study 2 ..................................................... ..................... ....... 49

5 SURVEY RESULTS.............................................................. 56

Recreational Shopper Identity and Leisure Dimensions of Recreational
Shopping ......................... ............... ....... ... ........... ... 56
Profile of the Recreational Shopper.............................................. 76
Relationships Among Recreational Shopper Identity and
Leisure/Shopping Dimensions................................................ 91
Shopping Mall Activities and Dimensions of Recreational Shopping........ 94
Social Dimension of Recreational Shopping ...................... .... ...... 103
Fantasy Dimension of Recreational Shopping............................... 111
Enduring Involvement in Recreational Shopping.............................. 111
Enduring Involvement and the Meaning of Recreational Shopping......... 122
Sum m ary ................. ...... .... ...... ............ .............. ..... ...... 124

6 QUALITATIVE DATA RESULTS................................................... 135

Types of Shopping Trips.......................................................... 137
A Priori Themes and Research Questions....................................... 155
Em ergent Them es................................................................... 234
Sum m ary ....................................................... ........ ...... ........ 277

7 CON CLU SION ..................................................................... .... 289

Theoretical Implications............................................................ 295
Managerial Implications................................................... ....... 296
Lim stations ......... ............... ....... ... ............. .. ............ ..... ....... 297
Future R esearch...................................................................... 299

APPENDICES

1 INTERVIEW PROTOCOL......................................................... 302

2 SURVEY DATA COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS.......................... 304

3 COVER LETTER AND SURVEY........................................... 306









page


APPENDICES

4 SHOPPING MALL ACTIVITIES SCALE.................................... 324

5 M ATERIALISM SCALE......................................................... 325

6 COMPULSIVE BUYING SCALE............................................... 326

7 SELF-ESTEEM SCALE........................................................... 327

8 SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC MEASURES......................................... 328

REFERENCES..................... ................................ .................... 330

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH........................................................ ..... 340














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

THE MEANING AND SELF-SIGNIFICANCE OF RECREATIONAL SHOPPING

By

Michael Guiry

May 1999


Chairman: Richard J. Lutz
Major Department: Marketing


Although shopping is a very popular recreational activity in a consumer culture,

consumer research has given little attention to studying recreational shopping beyond

recognizing the existence of recreational shoppers and identifying some of their market

behaviors, personality traits, and demographics. Far less is known about the lived

experience of the activity, its personal meaning and self-significance, and the role it plays

in consumers' lives. Furthermore, although recreational shopping is considered a form of

leisure, consumer research has not sufficiently combed the activity to understand this

perspective and its influence on the nature of recreational shopping and its participants.

Thus, this dissertation was undertaken to provide a richer and deeper

understanding of the recreational shopper's experience in the marketplace, as well as in

the larger context of life. To reach this goal, recreational shopping was conceptualized








and measured as a leisure experience in the context of a multi-method study, combining

in-depth interviews and a survey.

Results indicate that recreational shoppers have a higher level of involvement in

and identification with the activity of shopping than nonrecreational shoppers do. In

addition, they are more social, product-focused, materialistic, have higher compulsive

buying tendencies, and lower self-esteem than nonrecreational shoppers.

Recreational shoppers' shopping experiences are comprised of four dimensions of

leisure. While shopping, recreational shoppers experience higher levels of intrinsic

satisfaction, mastery, spontaneity, and fantasy than nonrecreational shoppers do. The

extent to which recreational shoppers experience the different leisure dimensions seems

to be influenced by the type of shopping trip, i.e., mission shopping, window shopping, or

mood shopping, they engage in. Intrinsic satisfaction and mastery are present in all three

types of trips, while spontaneity and fantasy seem to be more closely associated with

window shopping and mood shopping.

The research also found that recreational shoppers exist on a continuum of

shopping involvement. Compared to low involvement recreational shoppers, high

involvement recreational shoppers, labeled recreational shopping enthusiasts, have

stronger recreational shopper identities and realize higher levels of enjoyment, as well as

stronger feelings of mastery and spontaneity from shopping. The differences in levels of

enjoyment, spontaneity, and mastery between the two groups suggest that there is a

progression of meaning and evolution of motives as recreational shoppers become more

involved in, committed to, and enthusiastic about shopping. For recreational shopping

enthusiasts, the shopping experience becomes more meaning laden and self fulfilling,








forging a recreational shopper identity that enables them to become one with the activity

of shopping. Low involvement recreational shoppers appear to participate in recreational

shopping primarily because of their interest in the activity and enjoyment realized from it,

whereas recreational shopping enthusiasts seem to participate in recreational shopping

primarily because the activity is a means of self-expression and central to their lifestyle.

For recreational shopping enthusiasts, shopping has symbolic value and mood-altering

properties, along with instrumental benefits--it is part of their extended selves.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


Come on you miner (shopper) for truth and delusion, and shine (shop)! (Pink
Floyd 1975)

Cultural Significance of Shopping

Shopping is a way of life in contemporary consumer society. Its cultural

significance is evidenced by the considerable time and energy consumers devote to the

endeavor (Graham 1988; International Council of Shopping Centers 1990; Robinson

1989), not only to procure necessary or desired products, but also to participate in a wide

range of experiential activities in order to satisfy various personal and social motives

(Morris 1987; Tauber 1972). Thus, shopping may range from a utilitarian task to a form

of recreation and entertainment, as well as being an individual or group event.

The site of most shopping activity is the shopping mall, which stands as a

monument to shopping's prominent position in consumer culture by offering a multitude

of products and services to satisfy consumer needs and desires. Consumers of all ages

spend more time in shopping malls than anywhere else except home, work, and school

(Kowinski 1985; Stoffel 1988), leading some to suggest that malls have become modern

day community centers and society's new town squares (Glaberson 1992a; Zepp 1986),

where the shopping experience is ritualized within a community of consumption (Chaney

1990; Featherstone 1991; Zepp 1986).







2
Since the first malls were built, increasing attention has been given to fostering

the experiential aspects of consumers' shopping trips by extending mall offerings beyond

tangible goods, to include a vast array of services and other pursuits (Bloch, Ridgway,

and Nelson 1991; Stoffel 1988), such as fast-food courts, restaurants, video arcades,

movie theaters, hair salons, health clubs, medical offices, and specially orchestrated

holiday events. Mega-malls, like West Edmonton and Mall of America, have gone even

further by providing such extravagances as swimming pools, ice skating rinks, theme

parks, and miniature golf courses that have made these malls giant entertainment centers

and vacation destinations (Belsky 1992).

For teenagers, who make regular after school and weekend visits to the mall to

engage in a host of purchase and experiential consumption activities, the mall serves as

the ceremonial grounds for their rites of passage to become full-fledged members of

consumer culture. For some perpetual visitors, known as "Mall Rats," this social mecca

becomes the center of their existence (Glaberson 1992b; Kowinski 1985).

Despite the recent increase in shopping disenchantment (Hall 1990; Reitman

1992a) following the height of shopping popularity and consumption indulgence during

the 1980s (Shames 1989), most malls continue to teem with consumer activity

(Glaberson 1992a). Furthermore, outlet malls and flea markets have grown in popularity,

providing new shopping venues for those in search of bargains and adventure.

Consumers' participation in the shopping experience is not limited to the mall and

other brick and mortar retail markets, for consumers can shop twenty-four hours a day

from the endless array of catalogue "wish books" (Schroeder 1970) that arrive regularly

in the mail, filled with ever changing consumption dreams and desires. In addition, QVC








and Home Shopping Network fantasy channels display an endless stream of enticing

goods and pleasures (Underwood 1993). Both media urge consumers to dial SHOP ALL

DAY to satisfy their cravings, and transform consumption dreams and fantasies into

reality. More recently, an increasing number of consumers are riding the waves of online

shopping not only to search for information, but also to procure their goods from Web-

based stores (Beck 1998; Berman and Evans 1998; Green 1999).

Dreams really do come true for young shoppers in training, who can play with

Cool Shoppin' Barbie and her no-limit MasterCard and then turn to shopping games like

Mall Madness, to experience the thrill of spending a day at the mall on an unlimited

fantasy shopping spree. The fantasy may continue on regular trips to the mall, where

trying on clothes is often a game of dress-up and make believe (Teen 1988).

As further evidence of shopping's cultural impact, new airport terminals have

been built in Denver, New York, and Pittsburgh that include not only passenger gates, but

also full service shopping malls (Berman and Evans 1998; Reitman 1992b). Once

travelers arrive at their destinations, their vacations often include shopping sprees, and

may even be tailored as specially designed shopping tours (Del Rosso 1988; Erlick 1995;

Lincoln 1992). Shopping has even been sanctified under the cover of religious theme

parks, where the center of visitors' attention is not the church, but the community

shopping mall (O'Guinn and Belk 1989).

With regards to popular culture, shopping is a significant theme in the life of

Cathy, a well-known comic strip character. Similarly, a number of television show

personalities (e.g., Donna, Kelly, and Valerie of 90210 fame) are known for their

shopping prowess. In Needful Things, a novel by the horror writer Stephen King, the








residents of Castle Rock, Maine were drawn into Leland Gaunt's wonderful new store

that promised to fulfill their heart's secret desire only to find evil on a shopping spree.

Even our language is filled with aphorisms, such as "Born to shop," "Shop 'til you drop,"

"I shop, therefore I am," and "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping" that

reflect the prominent position shopping plays in consumer culture, as well as its potential

self-significance.

Personal Significance of Shopping

Shopping's cultural pervasiveness touches consumers' lives in a variety of ways.

Certainly, for some consumers, shopping serves a strictly utilitarian purpose, being no

more than a means to product acquisition. It is viewed as an occupation that requires

mandatory time and thus, is considered a necessary evil (Fram 1991; Hopkins 1986; Stem

1989). Under this pretense, shopping may evolve into an unpleasant task filled with

frustration and anxiety (Tatzel 1982, 1991). These negative feelings may be magnified

when consumers are caught in a struggle between having a strong desire to acquire and

consume, together with their aversion to shop.

In contrast to those who dislike to shop, many consumers truly enjoy being in the

marketplace to make a product purchase and/or engage in experiential consumption

(Bloch et. al. 1991; Prus and Dawson 1991; Solomon 1996). For these consumers,

shopping is a form of recreation and entertainment that may even be one of their favorite

pastimes and a preferred activity of choice (Gonzales 1988; Hughes 1989). Moreover, it

has been suggested that for some consumers being a shopper is an authentic and vital

identity, with the shopping experience serving as the unifying principle by which they

structure their lives (Hopkins 1986). Thus, shopping may be a vital part of a consumer's








extended self(Belk 1988) when it contains significant symbolic meaning and serves as a

means of self-communication, enhancement, affirmation, and cultivation.

At times, however, shopping may evolve into a quest for consumers to find

themselves as they endlessly look for an identity to catch their eyes (Shames 1989). Such

experiences may represent a darker side of shopping, symptomatic of uncontrollable

impulses and compulsions, with potentially negative implications for the self (O'Guinn

and Faber 1989; Rook 1987).

Research Purpose

Despite shopping's popularity as a recreational activity and its apparent

significance in many consumers' lives, consumer research has given little attention to

studying recreational shopping beyond recognizing the existence of recreational shoppers

and identifying some of their market behaviors, personality traits, and demographics. Far

less is known about the lived experience of the activity, its personal meaning and self-

significance, and the role it plays in consumers' lives. In addition, although recreational

shopping is considered a form of leisure, consumer research has not sufficiently combed

the activity to understand this perspective and its influence on the nature of recreational

shopping and its participants.

Given that recreational shoppers represent a potentially important market segment

for retailers and mall managers to attract and maintain as customers, it seems prudent to

advance the knowledge of recreational shopping to enable these parties to design and

implement more effective atmospheric, merchandising, and service quality strategies to

manage the recreational shopping experience. Furthermore, research on recreational

shopping may enhance the understanding of consumer socialization into a highly








involved and enthusiastic shopping culture. But even more importantly, from the

standpoint of social welfare, the study of recreational shopping may offer insight into the

genesis of a darker side of recreational shopping, i.e., when consumers become obsessed

with shopping to the point that it becomes a compulsive and addictive behavior

(Hirschman 1992; O'Guinn and Faber 1989) and/or serves as a remedy for an empty self

(Cushman 1990).

Thus, the objective of this dissertation is to provide a richer and deeper

understanding of the recreational shopper's experience in the marketplace, as well as in

the larger context of life, through an iterative and emergent multi-method study,

including in-depth interviews and a survey. Of particular interest, is the in-depth

examination of recreational shopping enthusiasts', i.e., those consumers who are highly

involved in the experiential and product focused activities of shopping, and view

shopping as a central part of their lives. In essence, these consumers have a powerful

recreational shopper identity, and use shopping as a means of self-affirmation and self-

enhancement.

The research will compare the shopping experiences of two groups of consumers-

-1) recreational shoppers and 2) nonrecreational shoppers--with the group of recreational

shoppers being further divided into four subgroups: 1) those who prefer to shop alone, 2)

those who prefer to shop with a companionss, 3) high involvement recreational shoppers,

referred to as recreational shopping enthusiasts, and 4) low involvement recreational

shoppers, those consumers who consider shopping an enjoyable activity, but are less


'The labeling of highly involved recreational shoppers as recreational shopping
enthusiasts stems from Bloch (1986), who developed the concept of product enthusiasm to
reflect the highest end of product involvement.








involved in and committed to the activity. The first means of comparison will be the

different themes that emerge from the in-depth interviews with informants from four

recreational shopping subgroups. Subsequently, the survey data will be analyzed to

examine the relationship between a number of shopping related variables, including

product and experiential marketplace activities, leisure-based dimensions of shopping,

social aspects of shopping, recreational shopping identity, materialism, compulsive

buying, and self-esteem.

Before detailing the study's specific a priori themes, research questions,

propositions, and methodology, in the next section of the paper literature pertaining to

recreational shopping will be reviewed to ground the proposed research.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE


Recreational Shopping

Three studies have specifically investigated recreational shopping. In a survey

study of 261 females, examining consumers' shopping center patronage motives,

Bellenger, Robertson, and Greenberg (1977) developed a simple two shopper typology,

i.e., convenience and recreational shoppers, based on the relationship between the

importance of shopping center features, interest in leisure activities, including shopping,

and demographics. The difference in the level of interest in shopping was the most

discriminating personal characteristic between the two types of shoppers.2

Convenience shoppers desired convenient shopping center locations and low

prices. They had a very low interest in shopping as a leisure time activity, and tended to

be well-educated housewives, who preferred to engage in private pursuits.

In contrast, recreational shoppers wanted a high quality center with extensive

variety and a large number of related services. They had a very high interest in shopping

as a leisure activity, and tended to be single, less well educated, and have lower incomes.




2The percentage of respondents classified as convenience or recreational shoppers was not
reported in the study.








In subsequent research, Bellenger and Korgaonkar (1980) provided a more

detailed description of recreational and convenience shoppers by comparing their

shopping and information seeking behavior, demographics, enjoyment of leisure

activities, and store patronage factors. Three hundred twenty-four survey respondents

were classified as convenience or recreational shoppers on the basis of their reported

level of shopping enjoyment, measured on a single-item scale.

Convenience shoppers, comprising 31% of the sample, disliked shopping or were

neutral toward it. Their store visits were driven by a specific purchase need rather than a

desire to partake in the shopping process. They wanted to minimize the expenditure of

time and effort in shopping for goods. Thus, they considered store location to be an

important patronage factor.

In contrast, recreational shoppers enjoyed shopping as a leisure time activity.

They preferred to shop at department stores with a pleasant atmosphere and a large

variety of high quality merchandise. Compared with convenience shoppers, recreational

shoppers spent more time shopping per trip, were less likely to have an idea of what they

were going to buy when shopping, were more likely to shop with others, and were more

likely to continue to shop after making a purchase. Furthermore, they were more likely

to be socially active females, who were less traditional, more innovative, and more

actively engaged in information seeking behavior.

These two studies represent the crux of consumer research's knowledge of

recreational shopping. Although this work is important for recognizing the existence of

recreational shoppers and for profiling some of their personality characteristics,

demographics, and market behaviors, the end result is a very cursory view of recreational








shopping. Three major concerns with the research are: 1) the use of a single-item

measure to classify recreational shoppers, 2) defining recreational shopping solely in

terms of enjoyment, and 3) the analysis of recreational shoppers as a homogeneous

group, i.e., not accounting for differences in sources of shopping enjoyment, level of

recreational shopping involvement, and product versus experiential activity participation.

To more fully understand recreational shopping, additional research is needed to

provide a broader, multi-dimensional perspective of the experience, while accounting for

variations in recreational shoppers' market behaviors and preferences. In light of these

objectives, it would be both fruitful and enlightening to gain a first-person (i.e., emic)

perspective of the recreational shopping experience, rather than relying on the typical

researcher-driven (i.e., etic) approach, endemic to consumer research (see Sherry 1991).

Rather than classifying shoppers as recreational or nonrecreational to profile their

market behaviors and personal characteristics, Prus and Dawson (1991) took a more emic

approach by examining consumers' definitions of shopping situations and how they

involved themselves in the experience. Using open-ended interviews with 95 consumers,

they identified two definitions of shopping that reflected informants' views of the

activity: shopping as recreation and shopping as work.

Shopping as recreation portrayed the activity as an interesting, enjoyable,

entertaining, and leisurely pursuit. In contrast, shopping as work depicted the endeavor

as ambiguous, unavoidable, and boring. To provide further descriptive insight on

shopping situations, Prus and Dawson delineated three themes within each definition of

shopping.








When shopping was a recreational pursuit consumers: 1) fit themselves into

shopping settings by filling free time and/or socializing with shopping companions; 2)

incorporated products into the self (e.g., sensory stimulation from browsing, high

involvement in purchase process, and making gift purchases); and/or 3) found the process

of making buying decisions to be entertaining and exciting.

In contrast, shopping was viewed as work when consumers: 1) faced undesired

ambiguity (e.g., lack of product knowledge, salesperson assistance, and fitting problems);

2) experienced closure (e.g., time pressures, money constraints, and unavailable

products); and/or 3) became bored with making routine or uninteresting purchases and/or

shopping with a companion at a slower than desired pace.

Although Prus and Dawson's research added descriptive insight to the

understanding of recreational shopping by identifying three different situational themes,

it stopped short of delving deeply into informants' experiences to provide a "thick

description" and rich interpretation (Denzin 1989; Geertz 1973) of recreational shopping.

For example, it would have been beneficial to consider the three shopping themes as

different types of recreational shopping situations, and then examine similarities and

differences among them. In addition, a richer definition of shopping would have resulted

from delineating themes across different types of shoppers.

Beyond these three studies on recreational shopping, research on consumer

shopping motives and shopping typologies provides some insight on the possible

experiential characteristics of a recreational shopping trip. This research suggests that

recreational shopping may vary in its character.








Recreational Shopping Motives

Looking first at research on shopping motives, a study by the Chicago Tribune

(1955) investigated the basic motives and underlying feelings involved in shopping apart

from making a required product acquisition. Interviews with female department store

shoppers uncovered five shopping motives: 1) realizing an achievement by boosting

morale with a product purchase or completing the shopping task; 2) attaining importance

from shopping in high status stores or being catered to by salespeople; 3) doing

something very different by making shopping an outing or all day affair to socialize with

friends and go to a multitude of stores; 4) gaining freedom from everyday routine by

fantasizing in the marketplace; and 5) having an enjoyable adventure by wandering

around stores and looking at the merchandise.

Downs (1961) proposed that, in addition to the functional value consumers

received from purchasing products and gathering information to improve their ability to

make future purchases, consumers received a number of experiential benefits from

shopping that were similar to those found by the Chicago Tribune. These benefits

included the enjoyment received from looking at merchandise, making a trip away from

home, socializing with friends encountered at stores, and feelings of status derived from

shopping in quality stores.

In an exploratory study of why people shop, Tauber (1972) found that they do so

for many reasons other than the need for products or services. He identified a series of

personal and social motives for shopping, some of which bear similarity to those

described in the previous two studies, that go beyond those related to product acquisition.








The primary personal satisfactions obtained from shopping were: 1) the

opportunity to enact culturally prescribed roles; 2) diversion from the daily routine

through a form of recreation; 3) providing self-gratification; 4) learning about new trends;

5) engaging in physical exercise; and 6) receiving sensory stimulation from the retail

environment. The principal social satisfactions realized in the marketplace while

shopping were: 1) having social experiences outside the home; 2) communicating with

others having similar interests; 3) affiliating with peer groups or aspired reference groups;

4) obtaining an increase in social status and authority from being served by sales

personnel; and 5) receiving pleasure from bargaining, comparison shopping, or hunting

for sales to make the best buys.

The shopping motives proposed in the literature are listed in Table 1. Although

these motives are often presumed to be associated with recreational shopping (Bloch et

al. 1991; Solomon 1996; Westbrook and Black 1985), empirical research has not been

conducted to establish the relationship between shopping motives and recreational

shopping. Typically, the motives have been treated as separate entities, rather than

interrelated characteristics of a consumer's shopping experience. Examining the

interrelationship among these motives would yield a broader conceptualization of

recreational shopping, comprised of multiple dimensions, rather than a single measure of

enjoyment.

Types of Recreational Shoppers

In addition to recreational and convenience shoppers (Bellenger et al. 1977;

Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980), a number of different types of shoppers have been

identified in the shopping typology literature. Some of these shopper types appear to








Table 1
Possible Dimensions of Recreational Shopping
(Based on Shopping Motives and Shopping Typologies)


Personal Social Product

Achievement Shopping Companions Involvement

Adventure Sales Personnel Knowledge/Information

Enjoyment/Pleasure Other Shoppers Sensory stimulation from
retail environment
Escape
Enjoyment/pleasure from
Fantasy browsing, bargaining,
comparison shopping, and
Freedom hunting for sales

Identity Construction

Physical Exercise

Role Enactment

Self-gratification

Status


have similar characteristics and market behaviors to recreational or nonrecreational, i.e.,

convenience shoppers.

In Table 2, extant shopper types are categorized as recreational, nonrecreational,

or other shoppers according to the following criteria. Shoppers who enjoyed shopping

and/or pursued experiential benefits from the market were classified as recreational

shoppers, while those shoppers who disliked shopping and/or participated in the

marketplace to satisfy purely functional needs were classified as nonrecreational

shoppers. Finally, a number of shopper types were not classified as either recreational or









Table 2
Types of Recreational and Nonrecreational Shoppers


Study Recreational Nonrecreational Other Shoppers

Stone (1954) Personalizing Economic Ethical
Apathetic
Chicago Tribune (1955) Dependent Compulsive (cleanliness/ Indecisive
Independent orderliness)
Individualistic

Stephenson and Willett (1969) Compulsive/Recreational Convenience Store-Loyal
Price Bargain

Darden and Reynolds (1971) Small Store Personalizing Economic Ethical
Chain Store Personalizing Apathetic
Darden and Ashton (1974) Apathetic Demanding
Convenient Location Quality
Fastidious
Stamp Preferrers
Stamp Haters

Moschis (1976) Special Brand-Loyal
Problem-solving Store-Loyal
Psychosocializing
Name-Conscious

Crask and Reynolds (1978) Frequent Non-frequent









Table 2--continued


Study Recreational Nonrecreational Other Shoppers

Williams, Painter, and Nichols Apathetic Involved
(1978) Convenience
Price
Tatzel (1982) Fashion Conscious Independent
Apathetic
Anxious
Westbrook and Black (1985) Shopping-Process Shopping-Process Shopping-Process
Involved Apathetic Economic
Choice Optimizing Average
Pure Economic








nonrecreational shoppers since it was difficult to discern the nature of their shopping

experience from the reported research results. In light of the present research interest in

recreational shopping, in the next section of the paper the discussion will focus

specifically on the types of shoppers who appear to be most similar to recreational

shoppers.

As suggested by the research on shopping motives and the research by Prus and

Dawson (1991), social interaction appears to be an important experiential characteristic

of recreational shopping. Similarly, specific shopper types have been identified who

value this aspect of the marketplace. Personalizing shoppers (Stone 1954; Darden and

Reynolds 1971) defined shopping as an essential and positive interpersonal experience.

They personalized and individualized the customer role in the store, forming strong

personal attachments with store personnel. Their in-store experience was a highly valued

part of life, perhaps filling a relationship void and the need for social interaction.

Recently, Forman and Sriram (1991) studied a group of consumers, labeled lonely

consumers, who also use the marketplace as a remedy for personal difficulties by

interacting and forming relationships with sales personnel. Lonely consumers' shopping

satisfaction and enjoyment were significantly influenced by the extent to which they

viewed shopping as a social experience and their perceptions of a retail environment's

depersonalization.

Another type of shopper who obtained social benefits from the marketplace is the

dependent shopper (Chicago Tribune 1955). Similar to personalizing shoppers,

dependent shoppers wanted to shop in stores where the salespeople were warm,

interested, courteous, and provided individual attention. In addition, these shoppers liked







18
to go shopping with their friends to have someone rationalize and reassure their product

choices and self-indulgence.

The study by the Chicago Tribune (1955) identified two additional types of

shoppers with characteristics of recreational shoppers: independent and individualistic

shoppers. Independent shoppers enjoyed shopping, even though they viewed it as a task.

They approached shopping with a great deal of confidence, being certain of their tastes

and what merchandise to buy, perhaps indicating that they had high product involvement

and knowledge.

Individualistic shoppers liked to express themselves in shopping by finding

unusual and individualistic merchandise. Shopping allowed them to be creative when

putting outfits together, accessorizing, or home decorating. In addition, they liked to

daydream and think about purchase possibilities, as well as imagining owning desired

merchandise.

Stephenson and Willett (1969) developed a shopping typology based on

consumers' actual purchase, search, and patronage behaviors for apparel and toy products.

They labeled consumers with low purchase activity, high store patronage concentration,

and a high number of stores searched as compulsive and recreational shoppers. The

market behavior of these consumers appears to be characteristic of browsing without an

intent to buy (Bloch and Richins 1983; Bloch, Ridgway, and Sherrell 1989).

According to the results of a study by Crask and Reynolds (1978), recreational

shoppers may be frequent shoppers. Using a measure of shopping frequency to classify

department store shoppers, Crask and Reynolds identified a group of frequent shoppers








who have some of the same personal characteristics and shopping behaviors as

recreational shoppers.

Compared to infrequent shoppers, frequent shoppers were more likely to plan

their shopping trips, were more deliberate when making major purchases, were not as

likely to feel that shopping was no longer fun, and were very price conscious. They

tended to be younger, better educated, and have higher incomes, as well as being more

active and sociable than nonfrequent shoppers. They had a strong interest in fashion, and

besides being frequent department store shoppers, were also frequent patrons of discount

stores.

Tatzel (1982) proposed a type of shopper, labeled fashion conscious, who viewed

shopping as an essential and highly enjoyable part of life. They were very interested in

fashion, had innovative and stylish tastes, and were socially active. She hypothesized

that fashion conscious shoppers were similar to recreational shoppers (Bellenger and

Korgaonkar 1980), but did not empirically examine their existence in the marketplace.

In the most recent research on shopping typologies, Westbrook and Black (1985)

developed a typology of shoppers based on consumers' shopping motivations. They

identified one group of shoppers, i.e., shopping-process involved, who were considered to

be similar to recreational shoppers. These shoppers appeared to be motivated by both

functional and instrumental concerns since they were highly involved in virtually all

aspects of the shopping process, i.e., role enactment, choice optimization, power and

authority, affiliation, sensory stimulation, and negotiation. In contrast to the other

shopper types identified in the study, this group of shoppers seemed to derive relatively







20
more satisfaction from the process of shopping than the anticipated utility of the product

acquisition.

Emerging from the research on shopping typologies is a vast array of

"recreational" shopper types. This diversity is not surprising given the wide variations in

empirical approaches and research contexts across studies. Similar to the research on

shopping motives, the shopping typology research has not been integrated into the study

of recreational shopping. The key behavioral and market characteristics of each shopper

type are suggestive of potential aspects of recreational shopping. Therefore, rather than

continuing to develop shopping typologies, it would be beneficial to compare shoppers'

marketplace experiences according to their level of involvement in the activity and the

meaning they ascribe to it.

Other Types of Market Participants

In addition to the shoppers identified in the shopping typology literature, four

other types of market participants--1) browsers, 2) market mavens, 3) materialists, and 4)

compulsive buyers--who could be considered recreational shoppers since they enjoy

being in the marketplace, have been examined in independent streams of research. These

consumers have unique personality characteristics and/or different retail market

relationships than the previously described shoppers. Hence, considering their market

experiences provides additional insight into the possible characteristics of recreational

shopping.

Browsers

Browsing for information and/or entertainment without an immediate intent to

buy, typifies one form of recreational shopping (Bloch and Richins 1983; Bloch et al.







21
1989). Research on browsing indicates that consumers who are more likely to engage in

browsing have a high level of product involvement and knowledge. In addition, they

view stores as comfortable, friendly, and exciting places to shop, with novel and

stimulating merchandise and environments.

Market Mavens

Another group of market participants who enjoy shopping and browsing are

market mavens. Market mavens are marketplace influencers whose influence is based

not on knowledge or expertise in particular product categories, but rather on more general

knowledge and experience with markets (Feick and Price 1987). The focus of their

shopping and market activity was the acquisition and dissemination of market

information rather than a product purchase or experiential motives.

Materialists

Given that high product involvement may be associated with recreational

shopping (Bloch and Richins 1983; Bloch et al. 1989; Crask and Reynolds 1978; Tatzel

1982), another group of consumers who may be avid recreational shoppers are

materialists. While extant research on materialism has been devoted to defining and

measuring the construct, as well as identifying materialistic traits (Belk 1985; Fournier

and Richins 1991; Richins and Dawson 1992), the centrality of the pursuit of possessions

among materialists suggests that the shopping and buying process may be an important

part of being a materialist.

Although consumer research has not directly explored the materialist's shopping

experience, Fournier and Richins (1991) proposed that materialists engaged regularly in

behaviors such as search and shopping in preparation for future acquisitions. Their








research on consumers' perceptions of materialists offered insight into the potential

significance of shopping and marketplace activity for materialists.

They found that materialists' purchase experiences were accompanied by hedonic

and emotional responses, described as being highly emotional, thrilling, and sensational.

The results also showed that the materialist experience entailed much more than simply

getting and buying goods, since materialists were perceived as continual information

gatherers, constantly scanning the environment for new material offerings. In

anticipation of future purchases, they frequently read catalogs and magazines, observed

what others had acquired, and looked through stores to see what merchandise was

available.

Compulsive Buyers

The final group of consumers for whom shopping appears to be an extremely

important, but harmful, recreational activity is compulsive buyers. Compulsive buyers

engage in "chronic, repetitive purchasing that becomes a primary response to negative

events or feelings" (O'Guinn and Faber 1989, p. 155). While the activity may provide

short-term benefits, it becomes very difficult to stop and ultimately results in harmful

consequences.

Research by O'Guinn and Faber (1989) which examined the personality

characteristics and market behaviors of compulsive buyers showed that compared to

normal consumers, compulsive buyers were more likely to have compulsivity as a

personality trait, had lower self-esteem, a higher propensity for fantasy, and received a

greater emotional lift from the buying process. In addition, their primary motivations for

shopping appeared to be the stimulation received from personal interactions with








salespeople and enhanced self-esteem, rather than a desire to own products. Thus, the

shopping experience served an important compensatory function for those consumers

needing to be liked, and who received little positive attention in their lives.

Although compulsive buying represents a type of abnormal consumer behavior, it

has the potential to further the understanding of recreational shopping in light of the

nature of compulsive buyers' market experiences. The enhancement of self-esteem,

social interaction, fantasy, and emotions have been described as possible dimensions of

recreational shopping. Hence, compulsive buying may represent an extreme form of

recreational shopping, i.e., when recreational shopping becomes the center of one's

existence and can not be controlled (Hirschman 1992).

Mall Inhabitants

While the research on shopping motives and shopper typologies has primarily

focused on the patrons of department stores, Bloch, Ridgway, and Dawson (1994) took a

broader view of consumers' shopping experiences by investigating the type of consumers

who inhabit shopping malls. Using a survey study, they identified four groups of mall

inhabitants, i.e., minimalists, mall enthusiasts, grazers, and traditionalists, according to

different patterns of mall behaviors (e.g., browsing, eating, going to a movie, walking for

exercise, shopping to buy, and socializing) and consumption benefits (e.g., aesthetics,

escape, exploration, flow, epistemic, and social).

Minimalists had a purely functional view of the mall as their mall visits were

largely driven by the need to make a specific product purchase. They spent the least

amount of time in the mall, and were less likely to engage in experiential activities than







24
the other three groups. Thus, they appear to be similar to nonrecreational or convenience

shoppers (Bellenger et al. 1977; Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980).

In contrast, the other three groups of mall inhabitants seem to represent different

types of recreational shoppers as each group actively engaged in various experiential and

purchase driven mall activities. Mall Enthusiasts were the most active mall patrons,

participating in a wide range of behaviors, including product purchasing, usage of the

mall, and experiential consumption. In light of their high mall involvement, they

received the greatest benefits from the mall by satisfying escape, flow, epistemic, and

social motives.

Grazers, who viewed the mall as a place for escape, were distinguished by their

high participation in eating and browsing activities, while traditionalists primarily went to

the mall to socialize, engage in mall-focused activities, and make product purchases.

Traditionalists were considered purposive visitors since they realized much lower escape

benefits from a mall than mall enthusiasts and grazers.

This research is important for providing preliminary information on the types of

consumers who patronize shopping malls. In doing so, it takes a more encompassing

view of shopping, than previously observed in the literature, by measuring consumers'

motives and behaviors beyond product acquisition and outside a retail store setting.

Similar to research on shopping motives and typologies, however, this research did not

investigate the relationship between consumers' marketplace motives and

satisfaction/enjoyment from the experience. In addition, to provide a more complete

picture of mall inhabitants, research should be undertaken to examine similarities and

differences among mall inhabitant groups, regarding their level of marketplace








involvement, as well as the importance of different activities and motives to the overall

meaning of their mall experience.

"Non-Traditional" Retail Market Participants

Recent ethnographic studies of non-traditional retail settings, i.e., flea markets

(Belk, Sherry, and Wallendorf 1988; Sherry 1990) and gift stores (McGrath 1989; Sherry

and McGrath 1989), have yielded a "thick description" (Denzin 1989; Geertz 1973) of the

experiential aspects of consumers' shopping experiences. These markets were primarily

patronized by shoppers looking for fun and recreation through such activities as

browsing, searching, socializing, bargaining, sight-seeing, fantasizing, and experiencing

freedom. Engaging in these behaviors often transcended specific purchase needs and

desires, as exemplified by a number of gift store customers who derived great pleasure

from simply wanting merchandise rather than having it (Sherry and McGrath 1989).

The sentiment of this research seems to be that shopping in flea markets and gift

stores is a unique and special experience, markedly different from and transcending

shopping in traditional settings. While it is granted that certain aspects of these markets

may be particular to these settings, such as the active role of sellers and store owners in

customers' shopping experiences, eclectic array of merchandise, community spirit,

informal structure, and adventurous image, a number of important characteristics of the

flea market/gift store experience have been considered possible aspects of recreational

shopping in traditional venues. This suggests that the nature and tone of these

dimensions may vary according to the function and structure of the market. For example,

in contrast to the flea market, where sacred possessions were transformed into profane

commercial merchandise (Belk et al. 1988), traditional markets may be the grounds







26
where profane commercial merchandise begins to be transformed into sacred possessions

during search, trying-on, and companion approval rituals.

While traditional marketplaces may not be as alluring and adventurous as flea

markets, they do offer their own mystique and personality, nurtured by the growing

emphasis on making shopping a consumption experience. Furthermore, malls hold a

more profound position in consumer culture as evidenced by the vast number of

consumers who flock through their doors. Nevertheless, consumer research has given

little attention to the shopping mall (Bloch et al. 1994; Feinberg and Meoli 1991), leaving

open the door for a richer, deeper, and more complete investigation and understanding of

consumers' recreational shopping experiences.














CHAPTER 3
A PRIORI THEMES, RESEARCH QUESTIONS, AND PROPOSITIONS


The preceding literature review supports the central thesis of this paper that

consumer research has given little attention to studying recreational shopping beyond

profiling some of the personal characteristics, demographics, and market behaviors of

recreational shoppers. Separate streams of research on shopping motives, different types

of shoppers, and other market participants suggest a number of possible characteristics of

the recreational shopping experience, but these characteristics have not been empirically

examined within the context of recreational shopping. Hence, in the next section of the

paper, specific a priori themes will be identified and research questions and propositions

will be raised regarding recreational shoppers and the recreational shopping experience.

These three forms of inquiry were used in light of the limited past research on

recreational shoppers, the researcher's plan to study recreational shopping from a

new/different perspective, i.e., as a leisure activity, and the multi-method (survey and in-

depth interviews) approach used for data collection. The propositions and a priori themes

were generated from previous research on recreational shoppers, shopping motives and

typologies, shopping related consumer behavior, and leisure. The propositions, which

were tested through the survey data, were designed to examine the relationships among

pertinent shopping and leisure variables as well as differences between recreational

shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers and high involvement recreational shoppers and








low involvement recreational shoppers. In concert with the propositions, the a priori

themes were constructed to support and explain the results from testing the propositions,

while yielding a first-person perspective about recreational shoppers and their shopping

experiences. Support for the a priori themes came from the qualitative data. The

research questions were formulated to explore issues pertaining to recreational shoppers

that lacked theoretical underpinnings. These questions were answered by analyzing both

types of data.

Dimensions of Recreational Shopping

To more fully understand recreational shopping, it is necessary to broaden

consumer research's definition of the experience. Typically, recreational shopping has

been conceptualized as enjoyment from shopping (Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980; Prus

and Dawson 1991; Solomon 1996). Given that shopping may be a form of leisure

(Bellenger et al. 1977; Jackson 1991; Shaw 1985), however, this is a narrow view, since

in addition to enjoyment, the leisure literature discusses a number of other dimensions

(e.g., intrinsic motivation, perceived freedom, escape, and adventure) that constitute a

leisure experience (Jackson 1991; Kelly 1987). A number of these dimensions appear to

be part of recreational shopping, capturing the experiential aspects of the trip, rather than

its tangible product acquisition features.3

Unger and Keman (1983) identified six major determinants of leisure discussed in

the literature: 1) intrinsic satisfaction (e.g., pleasure and enjoyment), 2) perceived

freedom, 3) involvement (e.g., absorption and escape), 4) arousal (e.g. novelty-seeking


3Similar to consumer research, leisure research has virtually ignored the study of
shopping as a leisure activity (Jackson 1991).








and exploration), 5) mastery, and 6) spontaneity. They found that three of these

dimensions--intrinsic satisfaction, perceived freedom, and involvement--were present

across a variety of situational contexts, while the remaining three determinants were more

activity specific. Although shopping was not specifically included as a situational

context in this research, other researchers (e.g., McKechnie 1974; Unger 1984) have

classified it under one of the situations, i.e., "easy/social" used by Unger and Kernan.

In a study of the meaning of leisure in everyday life, Shaw (1985) found that five

dimensions--freedom of choice, intrinsic motivation, enjoyment, relaxation, and lack of

evaluation--were strongly associated with everyday leisure experiences. These factors

were the best discriminators between the leisure and work activities reported by

respondents in a two-day time diary. Although shopping was one of the activities

reported in this study, Shaw did not detail activity-specific dimensions of leisure.

The results of this study are comparable to Unger and Kernan's work. Intrinsic

motivation and enjoyment are similar to the dimension of intrinsic satisfaction, while lack

of evaluation may reflect a facet of involvement and absorption in a leisure activity.

Relaxation, however, appears to be negatively related to arousal. Shaw did not measure

the other two dimensions, i.e., involvement and mastery, identified by Unger and Kernan.

In the most recent study examining the dimensions of leisure, Gunter (1987)

analyzed the self-report essays of two types of leisure experiences: 1) the single, most

memorable leisure experience respondents had ever had and 2) the most common and

meaningful type of leisure normally experienced in their daily lives. The analysis

revealed eight dimensions of leisure: 1) sense of separation, 2) pleasure and enjoyment,







30
3) freedom of choice, 4) spontaneity, 5) timelessness, 6) fantasy or creative imagination,

7) adventure and exploration, and 8) self-realization.

The results from this study are also similar to the findings by Unger and Kernan

(1983). Sense of separation, timelessness, and fantasy/creative imagination are most

closely related to their concept of involvement. The only dimension that does not seem

to directly correspond to any of their dimensions is self-realization. Its occurrence is not

surprising given that in addition to examining common leisure activities, which were the

focus of Unger and Keran's work, Gunter also investigated respondents' most

memorable or peak leisure experiences. Although he did recognize that the two types of

experiences were different, he did not examine the dimensional differences between

them. Instead, he indicated that the differences between these experiences were largely

due to intensity rather than dimension type.

In general, the research by Shaw (1985) and Gunter (1987) confirms the existence

of the six dimensions of leisure identified by Unger and Kernan (1983). Thus, for the

purposes of the present research, these dimensions--intrinsic satisfaction, perceived

freedom, involvement, arousal, mastery, and spontaneity--will be used as a starting point

for capturing the experience of recreational shopping.

In Table 3, each of the previously discussed possible characteristics of

recreational shopping is classified under the most closely related leisure dimension.4



4The social dimension of recreational shopping (e.g., shopping companions and sales
people) is not included in Table 3 since it is considered a situational variable rather than a
defining characteristic of leisure (Unger and Keran 1983). Instead, given its presumed
importance to many recreational shoppers' market experiences, it is expected to influence
the nature of the leisure dimensions experienced while shopping.









Table 3
Classification of Recreational Shopping Characteristics as Leisure Dimensions

Intrinsic Satisfaction Perceived Freedom Involvement


Achievement
(Chicago Tribun 1955)


Enjoyment/Pleasure
(Belk et al. 1989; Bloch
and Richins 1983; Bloch et
al. 1989; Chicago Tribune
1955; Downs 1961;
McGrath 1989; Prus and
Dawson 1991; Sherry
1990; Sherry and McGrath
1989)
Role Enactment
(Tauber 1972; Westbrook
and Black 1985)



Self-gratification
(O'Guinn and Faber 1989;
Tauber 1972)
Status
(Chicago Tribun 1955;
Downs 1961; Tauber 1972;
Westbrook and Black
1985)


Freedom
(Belk et al. 1989; Chicago
Tribune 1955; Sherry
1990)


Creativity
(Chicago Tribune 1955)



Escape
(Bloch et al. 1994;
Chicago Tribune 1955;
Downs 1961; Tauber
1972)


Fantasy
(Chicago Tribune 1955;
McGrath 1989; O'Guinn
and Faber 1989; Sherry
and McGrath 1989)
Flow
(Bloch et al. 1994)


Comparing these characteristics with the leisure dimensions, suggests that recreational

shopping may be comprised of similar dimensions.


A Priori Theme 1:


Recreational shopping is characterized by the same
dimensions as a leisure experience.


Research Question 1: Which dimensions of leisure discriminate recreational
shopping from nonrecreational shopping?








Table 3--continued


Arousal Mastery Spontaneity

Adventure Knowledge
(Belk et al. 1989; Chicago (Bloch and Richins 1983;
Tribune 1955; Sherry Bloch et al. 1989; Bloch et
1990) al. 1994; Chicago Tribune
1955; Feick and Price
1987; Tauber 1972)
Exploration Materialism
(Belk et al. 1989; Bloch et (Foumier and Richins
al. 1994; McGrath 1989; 1991)
Sherry 1990; Sherry and
McGrath 1989)
Sensory Stimulation Product Involvement
(Tauber 1972; Westbrook (Bloch and Richins 1983;
and Black 1985) Bloch et al. 1989; Crask
and Reynolds 1978; Tatzel
1982)


Importance of Leisure Dimensions in Recreational Shopping

In addition to identifying the dimensions of recreational shopping, it is necessary

to discern the relationship between the dimensions, i.e., which dimensions are most

important to recreational shoppers in defining their marketplace experiences. Of the

dimensions identified in the leisure literature, intrinsic satisfaction seems to most closely

represent the "essence" of leisure (Unger and Kernan 1983). While some empirical

research supports this notion, having shown that the other dimensions of leisure are

determinants of intrinsic satisfaction (Hawes 1978; London, Crandall, and Fitzgibbons

1977), other research proposes that perceived freedom is an equally or more prominent

leisure dimension (Kelly 1982; Neulinger 1974).








Hence, Unger and Kernan argued that the exact relationship between intrinsic

satisfaction and the other leisure dimensions was uncertain. Their research did not clarify

this issue, leading them to suggest that the relationship between the leisure dimensions

needed further investigation. Therefore, one of the objectives of this research is to

examine the relationships among the identified dimensions of recreational shopping.

Research Question 2: What is the relationship between the dimensions of
recreational shopping and intrinsic satisfaction?

Shopping Mall Activities and Leisure Dimensions

Up to this point, the discussion has centered on defining the recreational shopping

experience as a whole in terms of the major dimensions of leisure, without accounting for

the nature of consumers' shopping experiences, i.e., what activities are engaged in during

the course of a shopping trip. Although previously discussed research by Bloch et al.

(1992) and Westbrook and Black (1985) suggests that recreational shopping is comprised

of both product-focused and experiential activities, the structure and importance of these

activities in creating the meaning of the experience has not been ascertained, leading to

the following research question:

Research Question 3: What activities do recreational shoppers participate in to
experience the different dimensions of recreational
shopping?

Social Dimension of Recreational Shopping

For a number of recreational shoppers an especially important part of the

shopping experience is being in the marketplace with a special shopping companions)

(Guiry 1992; Teen 1988). Despite the popularity of group shopping (International

Council of Shopping Centers 1990), however, consumer research has virtually ignored








this aspect of the recreational shopping experience, beyond recognizing that socializing

with friends and family is an important shopping motive (Tauber 1972; Solomon 1996)

and describing some potential positive and negative influences of a shopping companion

(Prus 1991). Given that social interaction may be the most important benefit of leisure

participation (Iso-Ahola 1989), the social dimension of recreational shopping demands

attention.

Research by Guiry (1992) suggests that when favorite shopping companions shop

together, the shopping experience becomes a special affair, moving from a product-

focused activity to a full-fledged consumption event, replete with experiential activities

(e.g., browsing, socializing, eating, advising, and fantasizing). In support of this

proposition, Unger (1984) found that leisure situations that offered companionship

enhanced the experience compared to participating alone, while Unger and Kernan

(1983) found that the nature of a leisure activity's social situation affected the leisure

dimensions experienced.

Thus, two research questions of particular interest in the present study are:

Research Question 4: How does the meaning of recreational shopping differ
between those who prefer to shop alone and those who
prefer to shop with a favorite companion?

Research Question 5: How does the presence of a shopping companion influence
the nature and importance of leisure dimensions
experienced while recreational shopping?

For other consumers the satisfaction of social needs may be met through

interacting with the salespeople in a retail store (Forman and Sriram 1991; O'Guinn and

Faber 1989). Hence, the role of the salespeople in a recreational shopper's shopping

experience needs to be addressed.








Research Question 6: What role does a salesperson play in a recreational
shopper's shopping experience?

Fantasy Dimension of Recreational Shopping

Previous research by O'Guinn and Faber (1989) and Foumier and Guiry (1993)

suggests that recreational shoppers may engage in fantasy behaviors while shopping.

O'Guinn and Faber found that compulsive buyers had a higher propensity for fantasy

than normal consumers while Foumier and Guiry found that materialism was positively

related to the frequency of consumption dreaming, both in general and for specific

planful and entertainment-driven forms of dreaming as well. Given that compulsive

buyers and materialists are active marketplace participants and enjoy shopping,

recreational shoppers maybe prone to engaging in fantasy behaviors as well.

Proposition 1: Recreational shoppers are more likely to engage in fantasy
behavior than nonrecreational shoppers.

Enduring Involvement in Recreational Shopping

The dimensions of recreational shopping symbolize the essence of the experience

at a broad level of understanding. To more fully appreciate the nature of a consumer's

recreational shopping experience, it is necessary to delve into the personal meaning

attached to the event. In light of recreational shopping being a product-related leisure

experience, a fruitful avenue to pursue to meet this end, is to consider the level of

consumer enduring involvement with recreational shopping. In both consumer research

(Bloch 1982; Bloch and Bruce 1984a) and leisure research (Bryan 1977; Bloch and Bruce

1984b; Mclntyre 1989), involvement has been used to understand a person's attachment

and interest with products and recreational pursuits, thus deeming it an appropriate

construct to study within the context of recreational shopping. Furthermore, involvement








provides the basis for examining a consumer's recreational shopper identity, as well as

recreational shopping enthusiasts.

A consumer's level of product involvement is commonly believed to be a major

moderating variable in consumer behavior (Kapferer and Laurent 1985; Laurent and

Kapferer 1985; Zaichkowsky 1985). While a number of different definitions have been

proposed in the consumer literature, in this study product involvement is defined as the

amount of interest, arousal, or emotional attachment evoked by a product in a consumer

(Bloch 1982).

In general, two forms of product involvement have been advanced in the

literature, i.e., situational involvement and enduring involvement (Bloch 1982; Kapferer

and Laurent 1985; Laurent and Kapferer 1985). Situational involvement refers to the

temporary level of concern a consumer has with a product in a purchase situation when

there are important goals or high risks associated with the purchase outcome. In contrast,

enduring involvement reflects a consumer's ongoing relationship with a product as a

consequence of it being related to his/her needs, values, or self-concept (Bloch 1982;

Bloch and Bruce 1984a). At very high levels, enduring involvement is exhibited as

product enthusiasm (Bloch 1986; Bloch and Bruce 1984a). Since the interest of this

research is the nature of consumers' interest and attachment to recreational shopping as a

leisure activity and part of life, rather than a situational event, enduring involvement is

the more relevant concept to integrate with recreational shopping.

Enduring Involvement and Shopping Activity Participation

As noted in the literature review, although research on shopping motives and

typologies has recognized that shopping activity may be primarily product-oriented,








experientially focused, or a combination of the two types, recreational shoppers have

been studied as a homogeneous group, with variations among different types of shoppers

remaining largely unexplored. Previous research, on involvement with products (Bloch

and Bruce 1984a, 1984b) and leisure activities (Bryan 1977; McIntyre 1989), suggests

that the level of a consumer's recreational shopping involvement will influence the extent

and type of his/her activity participation and the personal meaning of the experience.

In a study of trout fishermen, Bryan (1977) investigated variations in the level of

involvement in the context of recreational specialization, defined as "a continuum of

behavior from the general to the particular, reflected by equipment and skills used in the

sport and activity setting preferences" (p. 175). On the basis of in-depth interviews and

participant observation, he found that fishermen could be arranged along a continuum of

experience and commitment to the sport, from the beginning recreationist to the

specialist. Each group was associated with distinctively different meanings, preferences,

and behaviors regarding the sport. With increasing specialization, the emphasis changed

from catching fish at the lower end of the continuum to concerns with the nature and

setting of the activity at the highest levels. In essence, "for the most specialized

fishermen the fish are not so much the object as the experience of fishing as an end in

itself' (Bryan 1977, p. 186).

Extending Bryan's research to recreational shopping leads to the following

proposition and a priori theme:

Proposition 2: Consumer involvement with recreational shopping varies
along a continuum from low involvement to high
involvement.








A Priori Theme 2: Recreational shopping involvement influences the nature
and personal meaning of consumers' shopping experiences.

Bloch and Bruce (1984a, 1984b) referred to Bryan's research when proposing that

enduring involvement with products is a leisure experience, entailing a number of

ancillary activities. They found that the level of recreational involvement with a product

was positively related to the degree of satisfaction realized from both product usage

activity and being involved with the product (Bloch and Bruce 1984b). This result, taken

together with Bryan's research, suggests that the nature and type of activities consumers

participate in that make shopping a satisfying experience will be related to their level of

recreational shopping involvement.

At lower levels of involvement, similar to beginning recreational fisherman,

recreational shoppers' enjoyment and satisfaction from being in the marketplace will

revolve around product acquisition. Hence, low involvement recreational shoppers will

consider product-related activities (e.g., browsing, buying, product usage), rather than

experiential activities to be of prime importance in their experience.

In contrast, at higher levels of involvement, consumers will be more involved in

the marketplace as a whole, engaging in both product and experiential activities. Product

acquisition may represent just one part of the recreational shopping experience, and may

not even be a necessary condition to realize enjoyment and satisfaction. Similar to

specialized fishermen, high involvement recreational shoppers will also place increased

emphasis on the nature and setting of their recreational activity, i.e., specific merchandise

and store preferences, store atmosphere, mall environment and activities, relationships

with shopping companions and store personnel, and the shopping process. Moreover, the







39
flavor of Bryan's work suggests that at a high level of involvement recreational shopping

will become a more meaningful and personalized event. In sum, the shopping experience

will become an end in itself.

Accordingly, Bryan's research suggests the following propositions regarding the

relationship between recreational shopping involvement and market activity participation.

Proposition 3: At low levels of recreational shopping involvement the
focus of consumers' shopping experiences is product
acquisition, while at high levels of recreational shopping
the focus of consumers' shopping experiences is the
experience in itself.

Proposition 4: Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher
levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from product
acquisition than from experiential activities; in contrast
high involvement recreational shoppers realize higher
levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from the shopping
experience as a whole than from product acquisition.

Proposition 5: Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher
levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from product
acquisition than high involvement recreational shoppers; in
contrast high involvement recreational shoppers realize
higher levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from
experiential activities than low involvement recreational
shoppers.

The proposed differences in the market experiences of high involvement and low

involvement recreational shoppers suggests that each group may define the experience in

terms of different leisure dimensions, as well as ascribe different levels of importance

with each dimension. Since this issue has not been addressed in the leisure literature, it

will be addressed as an additional research question.

Research Question 7: How does the level of recreational shopping involvement
influence the nature and importance of the leisure
dimensions experienced while shopping?







40
The movement of recreational shopping from a product focused activity to a full-

fledged consumption event implies that high involvement recreational shoppers will

exhibit a lower degree of attachment and possessiveness towards their purchased

products than low involvement recreational shoppers. This relationship is likely to be

tempered when a recreational shopper is a materialist, however, since by definition the

acquisition and possession of products is a central part of a materialist's life (Belk 1985).

Proposition 6: High involvement recreational shoppers exhibit lower
levels of attachment to and possessiveness of purchased
products than low involvement recreational shoppers.

Enduring Involvement and Meaning of Shopping

In addition to influencing consumers' activity participation in the marketplace,

research by McIntyre (1989), on the role of enduring involvement in beach camping,

suggests that the level of enduring involvement in recreational shopping may affect the

personal meaning of the experience. Drawing on the research of Kapferer and Laurent

(1985), on the multi-dimensional nature of enduring involvement, McIntyre proposed that

enduring involvement encompassed four elements: 1) importance of the activity; 2)

enjoyment or pleasure derived from it; 3) perception of self-expression through the

activity; and 4) centrality to lifestyle. He argued that as an individual became more

involved in a recreational activity, the meaning of participation would move from interest

and enjoyment to self-expression and centrality. Thus, higher levels of involvement

would be associated with higher levels of self-expression and centrality, with interest and

enjoyment increasing to a lesser extent.

In McIntyre's empirical work at three different types of camp areas, believed to

attract campers with different levels of enduring involvement, three dimensions of







41
involvement were isolated: 1) attraction (e.g., interest and enjoyment), 2) self-expression,

and 3) centrality. A comparison of the camp areas showed that higher levels of camping

involvement were associated with increasing levels of all three components of

involvement. Furthermore, as expected, self-expression and centrality increased to a

greater degree than attraction.

McIntyre's finding of a positive relationship between enduring involvement and

self-expression parallels the results of a study by Bloch (1982) on enduring involvement

with automobiles and clothing, in which he found that highly involved consumers used

these products as a means of self-expression. In addition, the progression of meaning

associated with higher levels of camping involvement is similar to the evolution of

motives described by Celsi, Rose, and Leigh (1993) that explained initial and continuing

participation in skydiving. They found that skydivers' motives evolved from experiment

and thrill, through mastery and identity, to community and self-fulfillment.

Taken together, the research by McIntyre, Bloch, and Celsi et al. suggests that as

recreational shoppers become more involved with shopping other dimensions of leisure

(e.g., fantasy, mastery, perceived freedom, and spontaneity), in addition to enjoyment,

will be become part of the recreational shopper's shopping experience. Thus, as

recreational shoppers become more involved in the marketplace the experience will

become more complex and meaning laden, as indicated in the following a priori themes

and propositions.

A Priori Theme 3: High involvement recreational shoppers participate in
recreational shopping primarily because the activity is a
means of self-expression and central to their lifestyle.








A Priori Theme 4: Low involvement recreational shoppers participate in
recreational shopping primarily because of their interest in
the activity and enjoyment realized from it.

Proposition 7: High involvement recreational shoppers realize higher
levels of enjoyment from shopping than low involvement
recreational shoppers.

Proposition 8: High involvement recreational shoppers have higher mean
scores on the measures of the other dimensions of leisure
than low involvement recreational shoppers.

Recreational Shopper Identity

For some consumers, high involvement with a beloved product or activity reaches

a heightened state of total commitment and attachment in which the product/activity is

incorporated into their self-concept and becomes a (the) central part of their lives (Belk

1988; Bloch 1986; Buchanan 1985). At this highest level of involvement, referred to in

the consumer behavior literature as the extended self (Belk 1988) or product enthusiasm

(Bloch 1986), and in leisure research as a leisure identity (Haggard and Williams 1992;

Shamir 1992), a consumer defines him/herself in terms of a singular product or activity,

recognizing the product/activity's function as the primary means self-enhancement and

self-definition.

In the context of recreational shopping, this type of special consumer-object bond

appears to be exhibited when consumers explicitly define themselves as being

recreational shoppers, reflected in such statements as "I shop, therefore I am" or "Born to

shop" that affirm a unique recreational shopper identity. Although the idea of consumers

having a recreational shopper identity has not previously been explored in consumer

research, its viability and potential role in life appears to be demonstrated in research on








consumer-object relations (Belk 1988; Bloch 1986) and leisure activity participation

(Shamir 1992).

Bloch (1986) proposed that the high end of the product involvement continuum

was anchored by a group of consumers, referred to as product enthusiasts, for whom the

consumption and possession of highly involving products play an important role in life.

Although Bloch did not empirically examine the characteristics of product enthusiasts, he

speculated that a highly involved state satisfied enthusiasts' needs for uniqueness,

mastery, and/or affiliation. If so, enthusiastic product involvement may serve a self-

enhancing and self-defining role.

Research that more fully captures the notion of consumers being totally involved

with recreational shopping to the point of having a recreational shopper identity is Belk's

(1988) conceptualization of the extended self, in which consumers incorporate their most

meaningful and treasured possessions, including experiences (e.g., shopping) and places

(e.g., retail marketplace), into the self. These possessions, being most central to the self,

function to create, enhance, and maintain a sense of self-identification, while providing

meaning in life.

In the leisure literature, the degree to which an individual defines him/her self in

terms of a leisure pursuit, is referred to as leisure identity salience (Shamir 1992).

Shamir (1992) suggested that a leisure identity may become salient and incorporated into

the self-concept for three reasons: "1) it expresses and affirms the individual's talents or

capabilities, 2) it endows the person with social recognition, and/or 3) it affirms the

individual's central values" (p. 302). This proposition is consistent with research by

Haggard and Williams (1992), who found that individuals affirmed the nature of their








identities through participation in leisure activities that symbolized desirable character

traits and identity images, supporting the idea that a highly salient leisure identity will act

in the service of self-enhancement and self-identification.

Extending these three different streams of research to the recreational shopping

domain suggests that some highly involved recreational shoppers will define themselves

as recreational shoppers, leading to the incorporation of a recreational shopper identity

into their self-concept. Borrowing Bloch's (1986) terminology, these shoppers are

designated recreational shopping enthusiasts, for whom the marketplace and shopping

activity are central facets of life. In this regard, the meaning of their recreational

shopping experiences transcends enjoyment and other possible dimensions of leisure, as

self-enhancement and self-identification become paramount.

Thus, two a priori themes regarding recreational shopping enthusiasts are:

A Priori Theme 5: At the highest level of involvement, recreational shopping
may be incorporated into consumers' self-concept as a
recreational shopper identity.

A Priori Theme 6: Recreational shopping enthusiasts engage in recreational
shopping as a means of self-enhancement and self-
identification.

Turning to the self-enhancement motive of recreational shopping, research on the

self-concept (see Gecas 1982; Markus and Wurf 1987) suggests that having a prominent

recreational shopper identity will inspire recreational shopping enthusiasts to participate

in the marketplace to maintain/nourish positive feelings about the self, as well as alleviate

negative self-feeling. This dual self-enhancement role ascribed to recreational shopping

differentiates recreational shopping enthusiasts from compulsive buyers, who venture

into the marketplace primarily in response to low self-esteem (O'Guinn and Faber 1989).








At the same time, it suggests that the nature and importance of a recreational shopping

enthusiast's shopping activities may differ depending on the type of emotional nutrition

he/she is seeking. Given that compulsive buyers derive more satisfaction from the

shopping process than product acquisition and possession, it is expected that a product

purchase will hold only short-term meaning when recreational shopping enthusiasts are

seeking emotional uplift. In contrast, in response to a need for positive self-regard, both

experiential activities and product acquisition will be significant to the shopping

experience, however, the purchased product is likely to be paramount, serving as a

tangible reminder of the positive experience.

The final two propositions and a priori themes with respect to the self-enhancing

role of recreational shopping are:

Proposition 9: Recreational shoppers have lower self-esteem than
nonrecreational shoppers.

Proposition 10: High involvement recreational shoppers have lower self-
esteem than low involvement recreational shoppers.

A Priori Theme 7: Recreational shopping enthusiasts engage in shopping as a
means of bolstering positive self-feelings and reducing
negative self-regard.

A Priori Theme 8: The shopping experience as a whole becomes more
meaningful when recreational shopping enthusiasts'
marketplace presence is inspired by positive self-feelings.

In the following chapter, the methods used to investigate the preceding research

questions, a priori themes, and propositions will be described.














CHAPTER 4
METHODOLOGY


In light of the discovery-oriented spirit of this research, an emergent two-phase

multi-method study was conducted, consisting of in-depth interviews and a survey.

Following the sentiment of previous multi-method consumer research (Amould and Price

1993; O'Guinn and Faber 1989), qualitative and quantitative methods were blended in the

present study as complementary partners, rather than opposing forces, to advance the

knowledge and understanding of recreational shopping. Through the survey data,

relationships among pertinent shopping and leisure variables were examined to build a

structure for defining the recreational shopping experience. In complement, the interview

data provided substance and personal meaning to the survey-based structure by yielding a

phenomenological account of recreational shopping that enriched the content of the

survey questions, as well as illustrating, contextualizing, and interpreting survey results

(Arnould and Price 1993; O'Guinn and Faber 1989).

Study 1

In the first phase of the research, in-depth interviews were conducted with 15

female consumers, who enjoy shopping for clothing. The number of informants is based

on the recommendations of McCracken (1988) and Spradley (1979), while the reason for

limiting the group of informants to females is Bellenger and Korgaonkar's (1980) finding

that recreational shoppers were more likely to be female than male. In addition, research







47
by Guiry (1992), suggests that females are more likely to consider shopping an important

social event.

The informants were recruited through a university newspaper advertisement and

each informant received $25 for participating in the study. Each interview was conducted

by the author and lasted between 60 and 90 minutes. The interviews were tape recorded

and transcribed verbatim by the author.

Characteristics of Informants

The informants ranged in age from 19 to 42. Eleven of the informants were

students while the other four were working full-time. Eight of the students were working

part-time while attending school. Finally, with regards to their ethnic/racial background,

five of the informants were African-American, two were Hispanic American, and the

remaining eight were white.

Interview Format

The interviews were conducted in a loose format to develop rapport, enable

informants to describe their shopping experiences in detail, and allow them the freedom

to introduce topics on their own. At the beginning of the interview, informants were

asked to discuss a recent experience shopping for clothing at a shopping mall, framed

within the context of a "grand tour" question (McCracken 1988; Spradley 1979). From

this initial question, the interview moved towards discussing informants' clothes

shopping experience in more detail, other shopping experiences, informants' definition of

shopping, the meaning they ascribe to the experience, and the role of shopping in the

larger context of their lives. Specific interview questions were raised when necessary to

investigate such issues as how is shopping used as a recreational activity, types of







48
activities engaged in while shopping, types of products that informants enjoyed shopping

for and those that they did not like shopping for, role of shopping companions and sales

personnel in their shopping experiences, meaning of the experience, identification with

shopping, which aspects of shopping are most important, when informants went clothes

shopping, gift shopping, catalog shopping, positive and negative consequences of

shopping, etc.

The protocol used to guide, but not drive, the interviews is provided in Appendix

1. Each informant was not asked every question from the protocol since more often than

not key issues would arise without prompting during the course of the informant's

discussion of her clothes shopping experiences. The goal was to have an in-depth

conversation about shopping for clothing from a first-person perspective, rather than a

question and answer session, that would yield a "thick description" (Denzin 1989; Geertz

1973) of informants' shopping experiences.

The interviews were used to examine a priori themes and identify and analyze

emergent themes to gain a first-person understanding of consumers' lived shopping

experiences (McCracken 1988; Spradley 1979; Thompson, Locander, and Pollio 1989).

To meet this end, the research uses the constant comparative method of analysis (Glaser

and Strauss 1967; Strauss and Corbin 1990) to examine the similarities and differences in

the shopping experiences of the informants.

The verbatim interview transcripts were the data from which the thematic

descriptions of informants' shopping experiences unfolded through an interpretive

process. Thematic descriptions required careful readings of each transcript to understand

the individual informant's shopping experiences from a first-person perspective. After








the interviews were analyzed individually, the separate interviews were related to each

other and common patterns or themes were identified emerging from informants'

discussions of their shopping experiences. An emic approach to interpretation was

followed that attempted to describe the recorded experiences from within the informant

by using her own terms rather than the researcher's.

Study 2

In the second phase of the research, survey questionnaires were distributed to a

quota-convenience sample of consumers by undergraduate and MBA students in the

author's marketing classes at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In return for extra course

credit and the opportunity to participate in a cash raffle, each student was asked to secure

up to ten respondents. Student participation was voluntary and each student was

permitted to complete a survey him/herself. Firm guidelines on respondent eligibility

were established to try to ensure a reasonable diversity of individuals and backgrounds.

The instructions and guidelines provided to the students are shown in Appendix 2.

Respondents drawn from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers were encouraged to

increase participation and conscientiousness in completing the survey. As a trade-off,

however, it was recognized that such encouragement would likely restrict the range of

socioeconomic classes represented in the final survey.

Before being administered, the survey was pre-tested by ten adult consumers, in

addition to being reviewed by the author's dissertation chairman. Based on their

feedback, the original questionnaire was revised.

Each questionnaire was accompanied by a blank envelope and cover letter

describing the project as a study of consumer clothes shopping behavior. Anonymity was








guaranteed by instructing the respondent to seal the completed questionnaire in the

envelope before returning it to the student and by assuring the respondent that the

professor directing the project would be responsible for opening the envelope. To

encourage respondent participation, respondents were eligible to participate in a raffle

with cash prizes. A copy of the cover letter and questionnaire is included in Appendix 3.

The final sample consisted of 561 respondents. A detailed profile of the

respondents is given in Table 4. Ages ranged from less than 19 to over 60 and 54.8%

were between the ages of 20 and 29. Regarding gender, 56.7% were female and 61.2%

of the sample had never been married. Caucasians made up 46.1% of the respondents

and 72.8% of the sample were U. S. citizens. Educationally, 53.2% of the sample were

currently attending high school or college, 26.9% had a college degree and 11.4% had a

graduate degree. Regarding annual household income, 15.6% were below $20,000,

25.2% between $20,000 and $39,999, 26.0% between $40,00 and $59,999, 16.2%

between $60,000 and $79,999, and 17.1% were at or above $80,000.

Survey Measures

The questionnaire consisted of a series of scales and questions that were used to

answer the study's specific research questions, investigate the propositions, and explore

relationships among shopping and leisure variables.

Recreational shopper identity and leisure-based dimensions of recreational
shopping

The survey consisted of 84 items designed to measure recreational shopper

identity (level of involvement) and leisure-based dimensions of the recreational shopping

experience. The items designed to measure recreational shopping identity (level of








Table 4
Sociodemographic Variables
Descriptive Statistics

Gender Percent
Male 43.3
Female 56.7

Ag=
19 or younger 8.8
20 29 54.8
30-39 15.4
40-49 10.2
50-59 3.8
60 or older 7.2

Race/Ethnic Group
African-American 15.2
Asian 26.3
Caucasian 46.1
Hispanic 5.7
Other 6.8

Marital Status
Never Married 61.2
Married 29.5
Living Together 3.6
Separated 1.1
Divorced 3.0
Widowed 1.6

Number of Children
None 63.6
One 15.7
Two 10.9
Three 6.7
Four or More 3.1

Education
High School 2.7
High School Graduate 15.2
College 34.9
College Degree 26.9
Graduate School 8.9
Graduate Degree 11.4








Table 4--continued

Student Percent
Yes 53.2
No 46.8

U.S. Citizen
Yes 72.8
No 27.2

Annual Household Income
Less than $20,000 15.6
$20,000 $39,999 25.2
$40,000 $59,999 26.0
$60,000 $79,999 16.2
$80,000 $99,999 7.4
$100,000 or more 9.7



involvement) were drawn from Shamir's (1992) 12-item leisure identity scale and

Bloch's (1981) research on product involvement, while the leisure-based dimensions

were based on the 26-item scale developed by Unger and Kernan (1983) to measure the

six dimensions of a leisure experience. Additional items were added to these scales

based on the shopping and consumer behavior literature, interview data, and the author's

imagination. In addition, items were included to measure the following dimensions:

social, including the role of shopping companions and salespeople, fantasy, and the

importance of clothing. All 84 items were worded to fit a retail store clothes shopping

context. Using 5-point scales anchored by "Strongly Agree" and "Strongly Disagree,"

respondents indicated their level of agreement with each item as it pertained to shopping

for clothing for themselves in a retail store.

A principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation resulted in eight

interpretable factors, accounting for 72 of the original 84 items, labeled: recreational








shopper identity (a = .9593), intrinsic satisfaction (a = .9073), spontaneity (a = .8641),

mastery (a = .8416), fantasy (a = .8494), social (a = .8056), salesperson (a = .7164), and

clothing-focused (a = .5733). The eight scales are presented in detail in the Survey

Results chapter immediately following this one.

Shopping mall activities

The measures of the frequency of consumer participation in mall activities were

primarily drawn from Bloch et al.'s (1994) research on mall inhabitants. The 13 items

from their research were modified and augmented by the author to capture a range of

product and service purchase activities, experiential activities, and consumption of the

mall itself. The final inventory containing 20 items (a = .8479) is included in Appendix

4. Using 5-point scales anchored by "Very Often" and "Never," respondents indicated

how often they participated in 20 different mall activities when at a shopping mall

shopping for clothing.

Shopping behavior

Respondents were asked to indicate their frequency of shopping for clothing for

themselves in a retail store (whether a purchase was made or not), how much time they

spent shopping for clothing on a shopping trip for themselves (whether a purchase was

made or not), their frequency of shopping for clothing for themselves from a catalog, TV

home shopping channel, and the Internet (whether a purchase was made or not). The

frequency of shopping for clothing in a retail store was measured using a 9-point scale (1

= More than once a week, 2 = Once a week, 3 = Three times a month, 4 = Twice a month,

5 = Once a month, 6 = Every other month, 7 = 4 5 times a year, 8 = 2 3 times a year,

9 = Once a year). The time spent shopping for clothing was assessed using an 8-point







54
scale (1 = Less than 1 hour, 2 = 1 hour, 3 = 2 hours, 4 = 3 hour, 5 = 4 hours, 6 = 5 hours,

7 = 6 hours, 8 = More than 6 hours). Respondents' frequency of shopping for clothing

from a catalog, TV home shopping channel, and the Internet were each measured using

10-point scales (1 = More than once a week, 2 = Once a week, 3 = Three times a month,

4 = Twice a month, 5 = Once a month, 6 = Every other month, 7 = 4 5 times a year, 8 =

2 3 times a year, 9 = Once a year, 10 = Never).

Materialism, compulsive buying, and self-esteem

Materialism was measured by the summation of Richins and Dawson's (1992) 18-

item Likert scale (a = .8164). Compulsive buying was assessed by Faber and O'Guinn's

(1992) Likert scale (a = .7958) and scoring equation. Self-esteem was measured by the

summation of Rosenberg's (1965) 10-item Likert scale (a = .8740). These scales are

shown in Appendices 5, 6, and 7 respectively.

Opened-ended questions

The survey included two opened-ended questions for respondents to answer. The

questions were: What does shopping for clothing mean to you? and Compared to other

forms of shopping (i.e., catalogs, TV home shopping channels, or Internet), what do you

like best about shopping for clothing for yourself in retail store?

Sociodemographic variables

Respondents were asked to indicate their age, gender, race/ethnic group, marital

status, number of children living in their household, highest level of education completed,

student status, U. S. citizenship status, how long they have lived in the U. S., if not a U.

S. citizen, annual household income before taxes, and the percentage of income spent on







55
buying clothing for themselves. The scales used to measure respondents'

sociodemographic characteristics are presented in Appendix 8.

Since a quantitative and qualitative methods were used to conduct this research,

the dissertation results will be presented in two chapters. First, the survey results will be

discussed in Chapter 5 and then, in Chapter 6, the qualitative results will be described.

The order used to present the results is consistent with the complementary role of the

interview data that was described earlier in this chapter.














CHAPTER 5
SURVEY RESULTS


In this chapter, the research questions and propositions that were investigated by

analyzing the survey data will be discussed. For reference, these research questions and

propositions are summarized in Table 5. During the discussion of the results, additional

insights from the data will be brought to light when these findings are pertinent to the

specific research questions and propositions being addressed.

Recreational Shopper Identity and Leisure Dimensions of Recreational Shopping

Research Question 1

Exploratory factor analysis of the 84 survey items, discussed in Chapter 4, was

used to examine which dimensions of leisure are present in recreational shopping. The

survey items were designed to measure recreational shopper identity and leisure-based

dimensions of the recreational shopping experience.

A principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation of the 84 items

resulted in a sixteen-factor solution explaining 64.3% of the variance in the measures.

The sixteen factors each had eigenvalues greater than one. After rotation, an examination

of each factor's item loadings resulted in eight interpretable factors, explaining 52.9% of

the variance in the full set of 84 items, being retained for further analysis. The factor

matrix of these eight factors, selected from the original 16-factor rotated solution, is

shown in Table 6.








Table 5
Research Questions and Propositions Investigated by the Survey Data


Research Questiol


Research Questiol


Research Questiol


Research Questiol



Research Questior


Proposition 1:


Proposition 2:


Proposition 3:




Proposition 4:





Proposition 5:


n l:


n 2:


n3:


n 5:



n6:


Which dimensions of leisure discriminate recreational
shopping from nonrecreational shopping?

What is the relationship between the dimensions of recreational
shopping and intrinsic satisfaction?

What activities do recreational shoppers participate in to
experience the different dimensions of recreational shopping?

How does the presence of a shopping companion influence the
nature and importance of leisure dimensions experienced while
recreational shopping?

What role does a salesperson play in a recreational shopper's
shopping experience?


Recreational shoppers are more likely to engage in fantasy behavior
than nonrecreational shoppers.

Consumer involvement with recreational shopping varies along a
continuum from low involvement to high involvement.

At low levels of recreational shopping involvement the focus of
consumers' shopping experiences is product acquisition, while at high
levels of recreational shopping the focus of consumers' shopping
experiences is the experience in itself.

Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of
enjoyment and satisfaction from product acquisition than from
experiential activities; in contrast high involvement recreational
shoppers realize higher levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from the
shopping experience as a whole than from product acquisition.

Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of
enjoyment and satisfaction from product acquisition than high
involvement recreational shoppers; in contrast high involvement
recreational shoppers realize higher levels of enjoyment and
satisfaction from experiential activities than low involvement
recreational shoppers.








Table 5--continued


Proposition 6:



Proposition 7:


Proposition 8:



Proposition 9:


Proposition 10:


High involvement recreational shoppers exhibit lower levels of
attachment to and possessiveness of purchased products than low
involvement recreational shoppers.

High involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of
enjoyment from shopping than low involvement recreational shoppers.

High involvement recreational shoppers have higher mean scores on
the measures of the other dimensions of leisure than low involvement
recreational shoppers.

Recreational shoppers have lower self-esteem than nonrecreational
shoppers.

High involvement recreational shoppers have lower self-esteem than
low involvement recreational shoppers.


The boldfaced factor scores in the matrix indicate the items used to define each

factor. Items denoted with a minus sign [-] were reversed scored in subsequent data

analysis. To be retained for factor definition, an item had to have its highest loading on

the factor, have a minimum factor score of .30 (Bernstein, Garbin, and Teng 1988), and

be conceptually related to the other items being used to define the factor. These criteria

resulted in 72 of the original 84 items being included in the 8-factor structure. Each item

not included in the eight-factor solution had its highest loading on one of the eliminated

factors, i.e., Factors 9 16. These factors had been eliminated since they were not

interpretable or had at most a two-item loading.

With regards to the stability of the two leisure scales that were incorporated into

this research, for the most part, Shamir's (1992) leisure identity scale maintained its

original structure in the factor analysis, while Unger and Keman's (1983) dimensions of










Table 6
Factor Loadings of Recreational Shopper Identity and Leisure-Based Dimensions of Recreational Shopping

Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

Shopping for clothing is
central to who I am. .76 .09 .15 .12 .11 .06 .07 .10

Shopping for clothing is what
makes life truly enjoyable. .75 .19 .15 .13 .23 .12 .05 .08

I find that a lot of my life is
organized around shopping
for clothing. .74 .15 .04 .13 .06 .05 .13 -.07

If I was not able to go
shopping for clothing, I
would feel that a part of me is
missing. .74 .29 .09 .07 .11 .05 .05 .05

Shopping for clothing is one
of the most fulfilling things I
do. .73 .26 .16 .06 .17 .12 .04 .16

Shopping for clothing
occupies a special place in
my life .73 .27 .06 .11 .12 .05 .14 .11

Shopping for clothing affirms
my values. .72 -.01 .15 .15 .05 .11 .07 .17

Shopping for clothing enables
me to realize my aspirations. .66 .17 .19 .16 .20 .09 .09 .12

Shopping for clothing is an
extension of myself. .65 .28 .11 .15 .02 .03 .07 .22










Table 6--continued


Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

Shopping for clothing is often
on my mind. .64 .35 .09 .07 .13 .11 .09 .02

Shopping for clothing totally
absorbs me. .64 .20 .03 .17 .14 .03 .03 .05

Shopping for clothing is one
of the most enjoyable things I
do. .62 .48 .14 .05 .17 .14 .08 .17

A central part of my
friendship or relationship
with another person is going
shopping for clothing
together. .60 .01 .10 .13 .08 .28 .09 -.11

Shopping for clothing
contributes to my self-esteem. .56 .22 .17 .20 .09 .06 .05 .28

When I'm with a friend or
family member we often end
up talking about shopping for
clothing. .54 .20 .11 .10 .01 .16 .20 -.02

I get a real high from
shopping for clothing. .53 .43 .10 .27 .29 .13 -.02 .05

I get so involved shopping for
clothing that I forget
everything else. .52 .25 .13 .27 .21 .05 .01 -.04










Table 6--continued


Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

Other people think that
shopping for clothing is
important to me. .51 .31 .07 .11 -.01 .09 .14 .01

Shopping for clothing is its
own reward. .48 .43 .18 .11 .18 .10 .06 .19

Shopping for clothing is
important for my self-
definition. .45 .26 .27 .15 .10 .01 .06 .31

I feel like a real champion
when shopping for clothing. .44 .27 .13 .37 .22 .03 .12 .18

Shopping for clothing is a
social event. .43 .21 -.01 .16 .09 .32 -.09 .15

I find myself going shopping
for clothing often because I
quickly lose interest in the
clothing that I buy. .42 .12 .23 .20 .14 .05 -.04 -.09

Shopping for clothing offers
new experiences. .40 .21 .21 .14 .22 .08 .10 .33

Shopping for clothing is
much more than simply
buying something it is a
whole experience. .38 .37 .06 .30 .10 .11 .10 .25

I love to go shopping for
clothing. .42 .68 .10 .03 .14 .09 -.01 .22










Table 6--continued


Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

To me, shopping for clothing
is pure enjoyment. .39 .66 .21 .06 .18 .07 -.03 .15

I enjoy the process of
shopping for clothing for its
own sake. .24 .64 .15 -.08 .22 .04 .06 .10

Shopping for clothing is a
way to "get away from it all." .31 .62 .22 .32 .06 .00 .10 .02

Shopping for clothing helps
me forget about the day's
problems. .32 .62 .23 .29 .10 .02 .11 .03

I go shopping for clothing
because buying clothing
makes me happy. .38 .62 .23 .17 .14 .03 .03 .15

I was born to shop for
clothing. .33 .59 .18 .18 .06 .06 .10 .00

I need to be looking for a
specific item to go shopping
for clothing. [-] -.13 -.57 -.14 .15 .08 .02 .03 .23

"Not because I have to but
because I want to" would
characterize my shopping for
clothing. .39 .49 .10 .01 .14 .11 -.09 .19

Others do not have to talk me
into shopping for clothing. .11 .45 .09 .02 -.17 -.17 -.05 .16










Table 6--continued


Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

I enjoy walking around the
mall when I am shopping for
clothing. .21 .43 .08 .02 .15 .18 .06 .20

I enjoy discussing shopping
for clothing with my family
and/or friends. .29 .41 .04 .14 .08 .30 .16 .18

For me, shopping for clothing
is a "spur-of-the-moment"
thing. .18 .11 .82 .05 .02 .01 -.02 .11

For me, shopping for clothing
happens "out of the blue." .19 .16 .82 .06 .08 .01 .04 .09

For me, shopping for clothing
happens without warning or
pre-thought. .19 .27 .73 .03 .03 .09 .06 -.02

For me, shopping for clothing
is a spontaneous occurrence. .22 .25 .72 .11 .04 .08 .01 .15

I don't know the day before
that I am going to go
shopping for clothing. .08 .08 .69 .06 .04 -.01 -.02 -.10

I feel like I'm being
thoroughly tested when
shopping for clothing. .20 .02 .01 .73 .03 .12 .10 .09










Table 6--continued


Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

When I am shopping for
clothing I feel like I am in
another world. .28 .13 .07 .70 .18 .01 .12 .08

I feel like I'm exploring new
worlds when shopping for
clothing. .34 .24 .13 .61 .21 .02 .12 .16

I feel like I'm at risk when
shopping for clothing. .30 -.11 .09 .52 .02 .11 .04 -.07

I get a sense of adventure
when shopping for clothing. .30 .42 .14 .44 .14 -.00 .07 .16

In a sense, I feel like I'm
conquering the world when
shopping for clothing. .33 .37 .09 .41 .06 .12 -.06 -.09

Shopping for clothing
satisfies my sense of
curiosity. .36 .31 .22 .39 .21 .07 .06 .08

I enjoy trying on clothes just
for fun when I go shopping
for clothing. .19 .20 .08 .16 .74 .01 .11 -.01

When I go shopping for
clothing I like to try on
clothes that I can not afford to
buy. .22 .12 .02 .05 .73 .06 .11 .05










Table 6--continued


Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

When I go shopping for
clothing I like to try on
clothes that I wish I could
wear. .39 .06 .05 .09 .63 .15 .08 .05

When I am shopping for
clothing I often imagine
myself living another life. .39 .07 .11 .40 .51 .02 .13 -.02

Trying on clothes is part of
the fun of shopping for
clothing. .35 .25 .03 .06 .43 .26 .05 .13

When I go shopping for
clothing trying on clothes
makes me feel good. .38 .22 .04 .14 .41 .18 .10 .15

I like to look through stores
and just imagine owning
some of the clothing. .27 .19 .11 .34 .40 .18 -.01 .12

Shopping for clothing is most
enjoyable when I go with
another person. .15 .11 .05 .11 .07 .80 .06 .10

Shopping for clothing is most
enjoyable when I go by
myself. [-] .07 .10 .12 .14 .09 -.72 .04 .12










Table 6--continued


Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

The best part of going
shopping for clothing is being
with my family and /or
friends. .19 .00 .09 .03 .13 .67 .08 .11

I have a favorite shopping
companion when I go
shopping for clothing. .35 .03 .08 .18 .10 .59 .13 .05

I enjoy going shopping for
clothing with other people
even if I do not plan to buy
something. .13 .22 .13 .10 .21 .53 .05 .06

I enjoy helping a shopping
companion while he/she is
shopping for clothing. .23 .32 .07 .07 .02 .47 .04 .18

I enjoy being complimented
by a shopping companion
when I am shopping for
clothing. .09 .19 .08 .17 .12 .38 .30 .29

When shopping for clothing I
enjoy talking to salespeople. .07 .09 .09 .06 .13 .08 .75 .01

I like to be waited on by a
helpful salesperson when I
am shopping for clothing. .13 -.10 -.12 .12 -.04 -.03 .72 .11











Table 6--continued


Factor I
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

I like when salespeople know
my name when I am shopping
for clothing. .34 .01 -.03 .10 .11 .07 .61 .05

I enjoy being complimented
by a salesperson when I am
shopping for clothing. .10 .11 .16 .08 .15 .13 .56 .12

I am friendly and talkative to
others when I am shopping
for clothing. .00 .34 .06 .03 .17 .13 .49 .07

I feel very strongly about the
clothing that I buy. .27 .09 .12 .08 .08 .09 .07 .72

The clothing that I buy is
special to me. .27 .14 .06 .11 .02 .10 .23 .61

I have strong feelings about
shopping for clothing. .28 .23 -.00 .27 .08 .06 .09 .42

When I go shopping for
clothing I don't really care
what I buy. [-] .35 -.17 .13 .22 .10 -.07 .17 -.41

Shopping for clothing is fun
when I am just looking
around in a store with no
intention to buy. .15 .24 .12 .17 .26 .13 .09 .04










Table 6--continued


Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

When I go shopping for
clothing I'm often not sure
why I buy the things that I do. .30 .07 .22 .14 .15 .03 .01 -.14

Shopping for clothing is not
fun ifI don't buy something. .26 .08 .07 .12 -.04 .13 .11 .04

When I go shopping for
clothing I have to buy
something. .36 .23 .19 .02 .08 .04 .11 -.00

I do not feel forced to shop
for clothing. [-] .09 -.01 -.09 -.03 .04 .12 -.09 .05

I do not feel obligated to shop
for clothing. [-] .08 -.08 -.08 .07 .00 -.01 .04 .02

Many people know how I feel
about shopping for clothing. .16 -.01 .05 .06 -.00 .05 .08 .07

Shopping for clothing is
unique. .29 .24 .09 .16 .11 -.00 .04 .16

I like to stop and get
something to eat or drink
when I am shopping for
clothing. .01 .11 .11 -.02 .15 .12 .04 .07

Shopping for clothing is not
completely voluntary for me.
[-] -.07 -.12 .08 .19 .00 .00 .08 .08










Table 6--continued


Factor I
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused

Shopping for clothing allows
me to express myself. .33 .36 .25 .26 .10 .09 .11 .21

I never get as much out of
owning the clothing I buy as I
thought I would. .26 -.09 .04 .19 .11 .04 -.00 -.11

Eigenvalues 26.49 3.87 3.16 2.62 2.46 2.23 1.87 1.72

Percentage of Variance
Explained 31.50 4.60 3.80 3.10 2.90 2.70 2.20 2.00








leisure scale was not stable. A number of items from their scale exhibited different

loading patterns than the ones reported in their research.

The first factor, shown in Table 6, was labeled recreational shopper identity.

This factor encompassed 25 items pertaining to how one defines or identifies him/herself

in terms of shopping for clothing and the incorporation of the activity into the self. Nine

of the eleven items from Shamir's leisure identity scale loaded on Factor 1, while Unger

and Kernan's scale contributed five items, i.e., one item each from the intrinsic

satisfaction, arousal, and mastery dimensions, and two items from the involvement

dimension, to this factor. This factor was used to differentiate recreational shoppers from

nonrecreational shoppers in this research.

The second factor was labeled intrinsic satisfaction. The 12 items loading on this

factor, shown in Table 6, captured the personal enjoyment realized from shopping for

clothing. This dimension tapped not only the joy received from product acquisition and

participating in the activity, but also the mood enhancing benefits of shopping. Intrinsic

satisfaction and enjoyment have been identified as a dimension of leisure (Gunter 1987;

Shaw 1985; Unger and Kernan 1983). Six items from Unger and Kemran's scale loaded

on this factor: two items each from the intrinsic satisfaction, perceived freedom, and

involvement dimensions.

The third factor, labeled spontaneity, captured the spontaneous or unplanned

nature of shopping for clothing. Spontaneity has been identified as a dimension of leisure

(Gunter 1987; Unger and Kernan 1983). All five items from Unger and Kernan's

spontaneity dimension loaded on this factor. The loadings for these five items are shown

in Table 6.








In Factor 4, feelings of mastering the activity of shopping for clothing were

represented. The twelve items, exhibited in Table 6, loading on this factor referred to the

opportunity one has to test one's self or conquer the clothing shopping environment in

some way (e.g., find a unique item or get a very good deal on a purchase). Mastery has

been identified as a leisure dimension (Unger and Kernan 1983). All the items that loaded

on this dimension were from Unger and Kernan's scale: four items from the mastery

dimension, two items from the arousal dimension, and one item from the involvement

dimension. The loading of the arousal items on this factor is not surprising given that

mastery appears to be closely linked to arousal seeking in leisure (Unger and Kernan

1983).

The fifth factor, shown in Table 6, focused on Fantasy behaviors engaged in

while shopping for clothing. The seven items tapped playful daydreaming and fanciful

activities that may provide enjoyment to participants, as well as serving positive adaptive

functions such as motivation, exploration, compensation, delay of gratification, and

escape (Foumier and Guiry 1993). Although Unger and Keman did not include a

measure of fantasy in their scale, fantasy has been identified as a dimension of leisure in

the leisure literature (Gunter 1987), in addition to being an aspect of consumer culture

(Fournier and Guiry 1993; O'Guinn and Faber 1989).

The sixth factor reflected the social aspects of shopping for clothing. The seven

items loading on this dimension centered on the benefits provided by the presence of a

shopping companion while a consumer shops for clothing. (See Table 6.) Although not

considered a dimension of leisure, as previously discussed in Chapter 3, companionship

may enhance the leisure experience compared to participating alone.








Rather than representing dimensions of leisure, the last two factors presented in

Table 6 focused on other aspects of shopping for clothing, i.e., interacting with

salespeople and the importance of the clothing purchased while shopping. In Factor 7,

five items addressed the social benefits provided by a salesperson in a consumer's

shopping experience. Factor 8 was labeled clothing-focused as the four items loading on

this dimension encompassed feelings of importance or attachment to the clothing

purchased while shopping.

In addition to delineating a measure of recreational shopper identity salience, the

factor analysis confirmed the existence of four dimensions of leisure in recreational

shopping, i.e., intrinsic satisfaction, spontaneity, mastery, and fantasy. Three of the six

leisure dimensions (perceived freedom, arousal, and involvement) measured by Unger

and Kernan's scale and theorized to be present in all leisure did not emerge as

independent factors. As discussed earlier, Unger and Kernan's scale was found to be

unstable in this research. Two of their five perceived freedom items loaded on the

intrinsic satisfaction factor; the other three items did not have a loading of at least .30 on

any of the eight factors. Two of the four arousal items loaded on the mastery factor. As

previously indicated, mastery and arousal are theorized to be closely related dimensions.

One arousal item loaded on the recreational shopper identity factor, while the final item

did not load on any of the eight factors. With regards to the involvement subscale, two

items each loaded on the recreational shopper identity and intrinsic satisfaction factors;

the last item loaded on the mastery factor.

To further investigate the stability of Unger and Kernan's leisure scale, the 26

items in their scale were subjected to a principal components factor analysis with varimax








rotation. In contrast to the 6-component matrix reported by Unger and Keman, four

factors, with eigenvalues greater than one, were extracted from the present principal

components analysis. The rotated factor structure is shown in Table 7. The boldfaced

factor scores indicate the highest loading for each item across the four factors. In column

one, the items from Unger and Keman's scale are grouped together according to their

original subscale leisure dimension label.

As can be seen in Table 7, the only subscale that held its original structure was the

spontaneity factor (Factor 2). As discussed earlier in this chapter, the same result

occurred when the 84 survey items, from the present research, were factor analyzed. All

the arousal and mastery items from Unger and Kernan's scale loaded together, along with

three involvement items, on Factor 1. The three intrinsic satisfaction items did load

together on Factor 1, but they were joined by three perceived freedom items and two

involvement items. Finally, two perceived freedom items loaded on Factor 4. In sum,

Unger and Kernan's scale appears to be unstable when applied to the leisure activity of

shopping for clothing. The scale's instability seems to have accounted for the lack of

evidence that perceived freedom, arousal, and involvement are separate dimensions of the

shopping for clothing experience.

Returning to the factor analysis results in Table 6, in addition to the four leisure

dimensions that were uncovered, three other dimensions of recreational shopping were

also identified: social, salesperson, and clothing-focused. These dimensions which

pertain to the experiential and product acquisition aspects of shopping in a retail store

setting have been identified as shopping motives as well as defining characteristics of







74
Table 7
Factor Loadings of Unger and Keman (1983) Leisure Scale


Item Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4

Intrinsic Satisfaction
I enjoy the process of shopping for
clothing for its own sake. .25 .22 .67 -.02

To me, shopping for clothing is
pure enjoyment. .39 .27 .69 -.06

Shopping for clothing is its own
reward. .50 .22 .52 .02

Perceived Freedom
I do not feel forced to shop for
clothing. [-] -.01 .08 .10 .81

Shopping for clothing is not
completely voluntary for me. [-] .26 .13 -.45 -.12

I do not feel obligated to shop for
clothing. [-] -.04 .08 .09 .77

Others do not have to talk me into
shopping for clothing. .06 .12 .54 .23

"Not because I have to but because
I want to" would characterize my
shopping for clothing. .29 .18 .66 .11

Arousal
Shopping for clothing is unique. .45 .07 .34 .19

Shopping for clothing satisfies my
sense of curiosity. .62 .24 .27 -.02

Shopping for clothing offers new
experiences. .52 .23 .32 .12

I feel like I'm exploring new
worlds when shopping for .81 .16 .12 .09
clothing.








Table 7--continued


Item Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4

Master
In a sense, I feel like I'm
conquering the world when
shopping for clothing. .57 .10 .29 -.13

I get a sense of adventure when
shopping for clothing. .66 .17 .36 .08

I feel like a real champion when
shopping for clothing. .68 .15 .26 -.02

I feel like I'm being thoroughly
tested when shopping for clothing. .75 .05 -.20 -.04

Involvement
Shopping for clothing helps me
forget about the day's problems. .44 .28 .51 -.12

Shopping for clothing totally
absorbs me. .53 .09 .32 -.26

Shopping for clothing is a way to
"get away from it all." .45 .28 .51 -.06

When I am shopping for clothing I
feel like I am in another world. .80 .10 -.06 -.04

I get so involved shopping for
clothing that I forget everything
else. .55 .18 .30 -.19

Spontaneity
For me, shopping for clothing
happens without warning or pre-
thought. .22 .74 .17 .06

For me, shopping for clothing is a
spontaneous occurrence. .24 .76 .21 .04

For me, shopping for clothing
happens "out of the blue." .20 .84 .11 07


.








Table 7--continued


Item Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3 Factor 4

For me, shopping for clothing is a
"spur-of-the-moment" thing. .13 .85 .09 .02

I don't know the day before that I
am going to go shopping for .03 .70 .12 .08
clothing.

Eigenvalues 8.99 2.42 1.79 1.31

Percentage of Variance Explained 34.60 9.30 6.90 5.10



certain types of shoppers. (See Chapter 2's discussion of shopping motives and shopper

typologies.)

Before discussing the rest of the study's research questions and propositions, in

the next section of this chapter, a profile of the recreational shopper will be provided by

comparing recreational shoppers with nonrecreational shoppers along sociodemographic

and shopping behavior variables, compulsive buying, materialism, self-esteem, and the

leisure and shopping dimensions extracted from the factor analysis.

Profile of the Recreational Shopper

The recreational shopper identity scale was used to classify survey respondents as

recreational shoppers or nonrecreational shoppers. Respondents' scores on the 25 items,

comprising the scale, were summed and those respondents whose total score was at least

76 were classified as recreational shoppers. This method of classification was used since

the neutral point on the recreational shopper identity scale was a score of 75. Classifying

respondents in this manner resulted in 119 recreational shoppers being identified, while







77
the total number of nonrecreational shoppers was 404. Thirty-eight respondents were not

classified one way or the other because of missing values in their responses on the

recreational shopper identity scale. The percentage of recreational shoppers (22.8%) and

nonrecreational shoppers (77.2%) in this research stands in sharp contrast to Bellenger

and Korgaonkar's (1980) results. Using a single-item measure of the level of shopping

enjoyment to classify survey respondents, they reported that 69% of their sample were

recreational shoppers, while 31% were convenience (i.e., nonrecreational shoppers).

Descriptive Statistics

Table 8 shows the means and standard deviations for the main variables in the

dissertation according to the recreational shopper and nonrecreational shopper subgroups.

The items and scales used to measure the main variables, i.e., recreational shopper

identity, leisure and shopping dimensions, shopping mall activities, shopping behavior,

and materialism, compulsive buying, and self-esteem, were described in Chapter 4. The

scales used to assess recreational shopper identity, as well as the leisure and shopping

dimensions will be discussed in detail in the next section of this chapter. For each multi-

item scale, the number of items in the scale and the scale's reliability, measured by

coefficient alpha across all survey respondents, is also provided.

Independent-samples t-tests were used to compare the mean scores of recreational

shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers on each main variable. The t-test results will be

reported in this chapter following the discussion of the descriptive statistics.

Higher scores on the recreational shopper identity scale mean a stronger

recreational shopper identity, while higher numbers on the leisure and shopping

dimension scales mean greater perceived benefits from each dimension. The 20 shopping








Table 8
Descriptive Statistics for the Main Variables by
Recreational Shopper and Nonrecreational Shopper Subgroups


Recreational Shoppers Nonrecreational Shoppers
Variable Mean SD -Range Mean SD Range


Recreational Shopper
Identity
(25 items, a = .9593)
Leisure/Shopping
Dimensions
Intrinsic Satisfaction (12
items, a = .9073)
Spontaneity (5 items, a =
.8641)
Mastery (7 items, a =
.8416)
Fantasy (7 items, a =
.8494)
Social (7 items, a = .8056)
Salesperson (5 items, a =
.7164)
Clothing-Focused (4
items, a = .5733)
Shopping Mall Activities
(20 items, a =.8479)
Play a video game
Have something to drink
Make an unplanned
clothing purchase
Walk for exercise
Browse without planning
to buy
Talk with other shoppers
See a movie
Have a snack
Buy nonclothing product
Walk around for fun
Browse to buy something
in future
Socialize with friends or
family


87.34 8.80 76 -117 53.79 13.77 25 75



45.77 5.96 33 59 33.24 9.11 12 56


17.30


3.31 10 -25 13.87 4.44 5 25


22.43 3.72 12 32 15.96 4.50 7 28


22.39
24.26


4.79
4.45


9-33
13-34


15.71
19.89


5.01
5.20


16.48 3.40 7 25 13.58 3.66 5 23

15.54 2.14 11 20 13.68 2.47 5 20


1.66
3.61

3.71
2.41

3.22
2.35
2.00
3.20
3.28
2.91

3.30


1.02
1.06

1.01
1.32

1.03
.99
1.00
1.11
.95
1.12


1-5
1-5

1-5
1-5


1.46
3.49

3.06
1.82

2.95
2.13
1.92
3.25
3.23
2.42


.99 1-5 2.87


.86
1.00

.96
1.01

1.10
.91
1.05
.98
.86
1.15

1.01


1-5
1-5

1-5
1-5

1-5
1-5
1-5
1-5
1-5
1-5

1-5


3.14 1.07 1-5 2.45


1.15 1 -5








Table 8--continued

Recreational Shoppers Nonrecreational Shoppers
Variable Mean SD Range Mean SD Range
Go on carousel ride 1.67 .96 1 5 1.36 .75 1 5
Have lunch 3.28 .95 1-5 2.99 1.07 1-5
Get a haircut 1.38 .75 1 4 1.35 .73 1- 5
Try on clothing for fun 2.68 1.24 1 5 1.75 .94 1 5
Have conversation with
sales clerk 2.52 1.03 1 5 2.15 .95 1- 5
Look at mall exhibits 2.72 1.05 1 5 2.48 1.02 1- 5
Have dinner 2.48 1.08 1 -5 2.20 1.10 1- 5
Watch other people 2.71 1.28 1 5 2.58 1.20 1 -5
Shopping Behaviors
Freuency of shopping for
clothing in retail stores 6.22 1.84 2-9 4.96 2.03 1- 9
Time spent shopping for
clothing per trip 3.58 1.49 1 -8 2.88 1.27 1-8
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from catalogs 2.85 2.28 1 10 3.01 2.32 1 10
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from TV home
shopping channels 1.47 1.64 1 -10 1.25 .99 1 10
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from Internet 1.22 .95 1 7 1.11 .72 1 8
Materialism (18 items, a =
.8164) 57.05 7.47 39 -77 49.77 8.76 21 -81
Compulsive Buying (7 -3.61 -3.61-
items, a = .7958) .24 2.12 6.27 -1.50 1.43 5.20
Self-Esteem (10 items, a
=.8740) 38.88 6.67 25 -50 41.57 5.75 23 50


mall activity variables were single-item measures, assessed using 5-point scales. Higher

scores on these items indicate more frequent participation in the mall activity.

For the single-item shopping behavior variables, in the order the measures are

listed, a higher score means more frequent shopping activity in retail stores, more time

spent shopping per trip, or more frequent shopping from the three different nonstore sites.







80
The items used to measure the frequency of shopping for clothing for one's self (whether

a purchase was made or not) in a retail store, from a catalog, TV home shopping channel,

and the Internet were reversed scored prior to data analysis.

The reliability of Richins and Dawson's (1992) materialism scale (a = .8164) falls

within the range of .80 to .88 reported in their research, while the reliability of

Rosenberg's (1965) self-esteem scale (a = .8740) is comparable to other studies (e.g.,

Richins and Dawson (1992)). Higher numbers on the materialism scale mean a stronger

materialistic tendency, while lower scores on the self-esteem scale mean lower self-

esteem. Using the midpoint of the 18-item materialism scale and the 10-item self-esteem

scale as cutoff points respectively, 39.2% of the survey respondents were considered

materialistic and 6.0% had low self-esteem.

For Faber and O'Guinn's (1992) compulsive buying scale, the calculated alpha

coefficient of.7958 was lower than their reported Cronbach's alpha of.95. A principal

components factor analysis with varimax rotation of the seven items did extract one

factor, matching the factor analysis results of Faber and O'Guinn. The eigenvalue of

3.23 and proportion of variance of .46, however, were lower than their results (eigenvalue

= 4.45 and proportion of variance of .64). Using Faber and O'Guinn's (1992)

recommended cutoff point of-1.34 in the use of their clinical assessment equation, 10.8%

of the survey sample would be classified as compulsive buyers or at risk of becoming

compulsive buyers. For data analysis purposes, including the means shown in Table 8,

compulsive buying was computed according to Faber and O'Guinn's scoring equation

and then multiplied by -1 so that higher numbers mean a greater compulsive buying

tendency.







81
In Table 9, the frequency distributions for the sociodemographic variables by the

recreational shopper and nonrecreational shopper subgroups are provided. The use of a

quota-convenience sample to collect the survey data resulted in each subgroup being

skewed toward younger consumers, i.e., between the ages of 20 and 29, who have never

been married. This method of data collection, however, did result in a fairly balanced

distribution of males and females, different racial and ethnic groups, education levels,

and income brackets.

Independent-Samples T-Tests for Sociodemographic Variables

Recreational shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers were first compared across

the four continuous sociodemographic variables (i.e., age, education, income, and number

of children). The results of the t-test analysis are shown in Table 10. The age and

income levels of recreational shoppers differed significantly from nonrecreational

shoppers. Compared to nonrecreational shoppers, recreational shoppers were more likely

to be younger (M= 20 24) and have lower incomes (M= $30,000 $39,999). In

comparison, the average age and income of nonrecreational shoppers was 30 34 and

$40,000 $49,999 respectively. The significant difference in income levels between the

two groups is consistent with Bellenger et al.'s (1977) research on recreational shoppers.

In contrast to Bellenger et al.'s (1977) finding that recreational shoppers were less well

educated than nonrecreational shoppers, in the present study no significant differences

were found in the education levels of recreational shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers.

For the binary and categorical sociodemographic variables, independent-samples

t-tests were conducted to compare the mean recreational shopper identity scores of the

different groups within each variable. The t-test results indicated that females, students,








Table 9
Frequency Statistics for Sociodemographic Variables by
Recreational Shopper and Nonrecreational Shopper Subgroups

Recreational Nonrecreational
Shoppers Shoppers
Variable Percent Percent

Gender
Male 37.0 44.6
Female 63.0 55.4

Age
19 or younger 8.4 9.2
20 29 72.3 48.5
30-39 15.2 15.9
40-49 1.6 13.2
50 59 0.8 5.0
60 or older 1.6 8.2

Race/Ethnic Group
African-American 19.0 14.4
Asian 50.8 19.1
Caucasian 18.1 54.7
Hispanic 7.8 4.7
Other 4.3 7.1

Marital taatus
Never Married 79.0 55.7
Married 15.1 33.8
Living Together 4.2 3.5
Separated 0.8 1.0
Divorced 0.0 4.2
Widowed 0.8 1.7

Number of Children
None 68.1 62.9
One 16.4 14.9
Two 6.0 11.3
Three 7.8 7.1
Four 0.9 2.5
Five or More 0.9 1.3








Table 9--continued

Recreational Nonrecreational
Shoppers Shoppers
Variable Percent Percent

Education
High School 2.5 2.7
High School Graduate 16.8 14.9
College 34.5 34.4
College Degree 28.6 27.0
Graduate School 6.7 9.4
Graduate Degree 10.9 11.6

Student
Yes 70.6 47.6
No 29.4 52.4

U.S. Citizen
Yes 51.3 79.4
No 48.7 20.6

Annual Household Income
Less than $10,000 11.1 6.4
$10,000- $19,999 9.3 7.8
$20,000 $29,999 13.9 11.5
$30,000 $39,999 14.8 12.6
$40,000 $49,999 17.6 11.2
$50,000 $59,999 4.6 16.2
$60,000 $69,999 8.3 9.8
$70,000 $79,999 10.2 5.3
$80,000 $89,999 3.7 4.2
$90,000 $99,999 0.0 4.7
$100,000 or more 6.5 10.3



those who had never been married, non-U. S. citizens, and Asians had a significantly

stronger recreational shopper identity tendency than the counterpart groups they were

compared with.

Females had a stronger recreational shopper identity (M = 63.37) than males (M=

58.82; t = -2.72,p < .01). This result is compatible with Bellenger and Korgaonkar's








Table 10
Comparison of Recreational Shoppers and Nonrecreational Shoppers
(Continuous Sociodemographic Variables)

Mean Mean
Recreational Nonrecreational
Variable Shoppers Shoppers t-value p (<)

Age 2.77 4.15 -6.92 .0001

Education 3.53 3.60 -.57 n.s.

Income 4.91 5.70 -2.50 .05

Number of
Children 1.59 1.75 -1.29 n.s.



(1980) finding that recreational shoppers were more likely to be female than male.

Students had significantly higher recreational shopper identity scores (M= 65.07) than

nonstudents (M= 57.31; t = 4.74, p < .0001). Respondents who had never been married

had a stronger recreational shopper identity (M = 65.54) than married respondents (M=

54.77; t = 5.99, p < .0001). Bellenger et al. (1977) reported a similar result, i.e.,

recreational shoppers were more likely to be single than married. Non-U. S. citizens had

significantly higher recreational shopper identity scores (M = 71.87) than U. S. citizens

(M= 57.53; t = -8.08,p < .0001).

Interestingly, the t-test comparisons showed significant differences in the mean

recreational shopper identity scores among the different race and ethnic groups. Asians

had a stronger recreational shopper identity (M = 72.12) than whites (M= 53.42; t =

10.26,p < .0001), African-Americans (M= 64.76; t = -3.10,p < .01), and Hispanics (M=

64.39; t = 2.18, p < .05), while, similar to Asians, both African-Americans (M = 64.76; t








= 5.02,p < .0001) and Hispanics (M= 64.39; t = 3.10,p < .01) also had higher

recreational shopper identity scores than whites (M = 53.42).

Independent-Samples T-Tests for Shopping Behavior, Compulsive Buying,
Materialism, and Self-Esteem

The next basis for comparison was to analyze differences in clothing shopping

behavior, compulsive buying, materialism, and self-esteem. The results of the t-test

analysis are shown in Table 11. Recreational shoppers went shopping for clothing for

themselves in a retail store more often than nonrecreational shoppers and spent more time

shopping on a shopping trip. The latter result is consistent with Bellenger and

Korgaonkar's (1980) work. On average, recreational shoppers went shopping for

clothing in a retail store between two and three times a month and spent between two and

three hours per trip. In contrast, on average, nonrecreational shoppers shopped for

clothing in a retail store between one and two times a month and spent between one and

two hours shopping each trip.

Significant differences between recreational shoppers and nonrecreational

shoppers also existed on the measures of compulsive buying, materialism, and self-

esteem. Recreational shoppers were more likely to be compulsive buyers and

materialists, and had lower self-esteem than nonrecreational shoppers. These results are

not surprising given that compulsive buyers and materialists are active shopping

participants. Furthermore, research has shown that compulsive buyers are more

materialistic and have lower self-esteem than the general population (O'Guinn and Faber

1989) and materialism is negatively correlated with self-esteem (Richins and Dawson

1992).








Table 11
Comparison of Recreational Shoppers and Nonrecreational Shoppers

Mean Mean
Recreational Nonrecreational
Measure Shoppers Shoppers t-value p (<)


Shopping
Frequency

Time Spent
Shopping

Frequency of
Catalog Shopping

Frequency of TV
Home Shopping

Frequency of
Internet Shopping

Compulsive
Buying

Materialism

Self-Esteem


6.22


3.58


2.85


1.47


1.22


.24

57.05

38.88


4.96


2.88


3.01


1.25


1.11


-1.50

48.77

41.56


-6.06


4.70


.67


-1.40


-1.13


-8.30

8.09

-3.92


.0001


.0001


n.s.


n.s.


n.s.


.0001

.0001

.001


Relationships Among Recreational Shopper Identity, Compulsive Buying,
Materialism, and Self-Esteem

The correlations among recreational shopper identity, compulsive buying,

materialism, and self-esteem in this study were all significant atp < .0001 and in light of

past research, were in the direction that would be expected. (See Table 12.) Recreational

shopper identity, compulsive buying, and materialism are strongly positively interrelated,

while self-esteem is negatively related to the other three measures. The number of

materialists (n = 212), recreational shoppers (n = 119), and compulsive buyers (n = 59),















Compulsive Buyii

Materialism

Self-Esteem


Table 12
Correlations Between Recreational Shopper Identity,
Compulsive Buying, Materialism, and Self-Esteem

Recreational Compulsive
Shopper Identity Buying Mat4

ig .49 (p<.0001)

.44 (p < .0001) .40 (p <.0001)

-.24 (p <.0001) -.43 (p < .0001) -.24


erialism





(p <.0001)


identified among the survey respondents suggests that recreational shoppers may be a

subgroup of materialists and compulsive buyers may be a subgroup of recreational

shoppers.1

To further examine the relationship among these four measures, a multiple

regression model was estimated with recreational shopper identity as the dependent

variable regressed on compulsive buying, materialism, and self-esteem. (See Table 13.)

The results showed that compulsive buying (3 = .36, p < .0001) and materialism (P = .30,

p < .0001) were strong predictors of recreational shopper identity, while the influence of

self-esteem on recreational shopper identity was non-significant.

In a follow-up regression model shown in Table 13, an interaction term between

compulsive buying and materialism was added to the above model. The analysis of this

model yielded only one significant independent variable, namely materialism (p = .35, p

< .0001), suggesting that materialism is a stronger predictor of recreational shopper

identity than compulsive buying.


S68.3% of recreational shoppers were materialists, while 26.3% of recreational shoppers
were compulsive buyers.








Table 13
Regression Models for Recreational Shopper Identity and Compulsive Buying
(Beta Coefficients)

Dependent Variables

Recreational Recreational
Shopper Shopper Compulsive Compulsive Compulsive
Independent Variables Identity Identity Buying Buying Buying


Recreational Shopper
Identity

Compulsive Buying

Materialism

Self-Esteem

Compulsive Buying x
Materialism

Recreational Shopper
Identity x Materialism

Recreational Shopper
Identity x Self-Esteem

Materialism x Self-
Esteem

Recreational Shopper
Identity x Materialism x
Self-Esteem


.34**** .38*


.36**** .02


.17**** .20*

-.29**** -.26**


R .31**** .32**** .35**** .35**** .38****

*p <.05
**p <.01
***p <.001
****p < .0001


.80*


-.46

-.04








In light of the previous results, additional regression models were analyzed to

provide further insight about the relationship among recreational shopper identity,

compulsive buying, materialism and self-esteem. (See Table 13.) First, a multiple

regression model was estimated with compulsive buying as the dependent variable

regressed on recreational shopper identity, materialism, and self-esteem. The results

showed that all three independent variables were strong predictors of compulsive buying,

with recreational shopper identity having the strongest influence: recreational shopper

identity (p = .34, p < .0001), materialism (p = .17,p < .0001), and self-esteem (p =-.29, p

< .0001).

In a subsequent regression analysis, when an interaction term among the three

independent variables was added to the previous model, the three original variables

remained significant, while the interaction term was non-significant. Recreational

shopper identity (p = .38, p < .05) and materialism (p = .20, p < .05) were positively

related to compulsive buying, while self-esteem (p = -.26, p < .01) had a negative

influence on the dependent variable.

In the final regression model, compulsive buying was regressed on recreational

shopper identity, materialism, self-esteem, and three interaction variables: identity and

materialism, identity and self-esteem, and materialism and self-esteem. This model

yielded three significant variables. Recreational shopper identity (p = .80, p < .05) and

the interaction term between recreational shopper identity and materialism (p = .80, p <

.01) were positive predictors of compulsive buying, while the interaction term between

recreational shopper identity and self-esteem (P = -1.09, p < .001) was negatively related

to the dependent variable. These results indicate that recreational shopper identity had a








moderating effect on materialism and self-esteem in predicting compulsive buying

behavior.

In summary, the multiple regression results in Table 13 support the notion that

recreational shoppers are a subgroup of materialists and compulsive buyers are a

subgroup of recreational shoppers. Materialism positively affects the strength of a

consumer's recreational shopper identity which in turn has a direct positive influence on

compulsive buying behavior, while at the same time moderates the effects of materialism

and self-esteem on the tendency to be a compulsive buyer.

Independent-Samples T-Tests for Leisure and Shopping Dimensions

The last set of comparisons between recreational shoppers and nonrecreational

shoppers was to compare each group's mean scores on the leisure and shopping

dimensions discussed earlier in this chapter. The results of the t-test analysis are shown

in Table 14. Recreational shoppers differed significantly from nonrecreational shoppers

on all seven dimensions. Compared to nonrecreational shoppers, they realized higher

intrinsic satisfaction from shopping for clothing and were more likely to view shopping

for clothing as a spontaneous activity, have feelings of mastery while participating in the

activity, engage in fantasy behaviors while shopping, go shopping with someone else

(Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980) and value the presence of the shopping companion

while shopping (Guiry 1992), realize positive benefits from interacting with salespeople,

and have greater attachment to the clothing they purchased.

The significant differences between the mean scores of recreational shoppers and

nonrecreational shoppers on the four dimensions of leisure (intrinsic satisfaction,

spontaneity, mastery, and fantasy) provides stronger support for previous findings that








Table 14
Comparison of Recreational Shoppers and Nonrecreational Shoppers

Mean Mean
Recreational Nonrecreational
Measure Shoppers Shoppers t-value p (<)


Intrinsic
Satisfaction

Spontaneity

Mastery

Fantasy

Social

Salesperson

Clothing-Focused


45.77

17.30

22.43

22.39

24.26

16.48

15.54


33.24

13.87

15.96

15.71

19.89

13.58

13.37


17.36

9.01

15.67

12.84

8.98

7.69

8.66


.0001

.0001

.0001

.0001

.0001

.0001

.0001


recreational shoppers view shopping as a leisure activity (Bellenger and Korgaonkar

1980; Bellenger et al. 1977). Furthermore, the higher levels of mastery and social

interaction, together with the stronger product attachment perceived by recreational

shoppers support Bloch's (1986) speculation that higher levels of product involvement

satisfy consumer needs for mastery and affiliation.

Relationships Among Recreational Shopper Identity and
Leisure/Shopping Dimensions

Research Question 2

To explore Research Question 2, correlations between recreational shopper

identity and the leisure and shopping dimensions were calculated. The results are shown

in Table 15. The highly significant positive correlations among the eight dimensions

suggests a possible halo effect in the survey responses. Among the leisure and shopping




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THE MEANING AND SELF-SIGNIFICANCE OF RECREATIONAL SHOPPING
By
MICHAEL GUIRY
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULLFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
\
1999

Copyright 1999
by
Michael Guiry

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Special thanks to my dissertation chair, Rich Lutz, for his never-ending help,
support, encouragement, patience, and guidance throughout my dissertation journey.
Rich, I am eternally grateful. I also thank my committee members, Joe Alba, Bart Weitz,
and Rich Romano, for their helpful comments and advice. Finally, thanks for the music,
Jerry, Jimi, and Jim. Oh, what a long strange trip it’s been.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii
ABSTRACT vii
CHAPTERS
1 INTRODUCTION 1
Cultural Significance of Shopping 1
Personal Significance of Shopping 4
Research Purpose 5
2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE 8
Recreational Shopping 8
Recreational Shopping Motives 12
Types of Recreational Shoppers 13
Other Types of Market Participants 20
Mall Inhabitants 23
“Non-Traditional” Retail Market Participants 25
3 A PRIORI THEMES, RESEARCH QUESTIONS, AND,
PROPOSITIONS 27
Dimensions of Recreational Shopping 28
Importance of Leisure Dimensions in Recreational Shopping 32
Shopping Mall Activities and Leisure Dimensions 33
Social Dimension of Recreational Shopping 33
Fantasy Dimension of Recreational Shopping 35
Enduring Involvement in Recreational Shopping 35
Enduring Involvement and Shopping Activity Participation 36
Enduring Involvement and Meaning of Shopping 40
Recreational Shopper Identity 42
IV

page
CHAPTERS
4 METHODOLOGY 46
Study 1 46
Study 2 49
5 SURVEY RESULTS 56
Recreational Shopper Identity and Leisure Dimensions of Recreational
Shopping 56
Profile of the Recreational Shopper 76
Relationships Among Recreational Shopper Identity and
Leisure/Shopping Dimensions 91
Shopping Mall Activities and Dimensions of Recreational Shopping 94
Social Dimension of Recreational Shopping 103
Fantasy Dimension of Recreational Shopping 111
Enduring Involvement in Recreational Shopping Ill
Enduring Involvement and the Meaning of Recreational Shopping 122
Summary 124
6 QUALITATIVE DATA RESULTS 135
Types of Shopping Trips 137
A Priori Themes and Research Questions 155
Emergent Themes 234
Summary 277
7 CONCLUSION 289
Theoretical Implications 295
Managerial Implications 296
Limitations 297
Future Research 299
APPENDICES
1 INTERVIEW PROTOCOL 302
2 SURVEY DATA COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS 304
3 COVER LETTER AND SURVEY 306
v

page
APPENDICES
4 SHOPPING MALL ACTIVITIES SCALE 324
5 MATERIALISM SCALE 325
6 COMPULSIVE BUYING SCALE 326
7 SELF-ESTEEM SCALE 327
8 SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC MEASURES 328
REFERENCES 330
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 340
vi

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
THE MEANING AND SELF-SIGNIFICANCE OF RECREATIONAL SHOPPING
By
Michael Guiry
May 1999
Chairman: Richard J. Lutz
Major Department: Marketing
Although shopping is a very popular recreational activity in a consumer culture,
consumer research has given little attention to studying recreational shopping beyond
recognizing the existence of recreational shoppers and identifying some of their market
behaviors, personality traits, and demographics. Far less is known about the lived
experience of the activity, its personal meaning and self-significance, and the role it plays
in consumers' lives. Furthermore, although recreational shopping is considered a form of
leisure, consumer research has not sufficiently combed the activity to understand this
perspective and its influence on the nature of recreational shopping and its participants.
Thus, this dissertation was undertaken to provide a richer and deeper
understanding of the recreational shopper's experience in the marketplace, as well as in
the larger context of life. To reach this goal, recreational shopping was conceptualized

and measured as a leisure experience in the context of a multi-method study, combining
in-depth interviews and a survey.
Results indicate that recreational shoppers have a higher level of involvement in
and identification with the activity of shopping than nonrecreational shoppers do. In
addition, they are more social, product-focused, materialistic, have higher compulsive
buying tendencies, and lower self-esteem than nonrecreational shoppers.
Recreational shoppers’ shopping experiences are comprised of four dimensions of
leisure. While shopping, recreational shoppers experience higher levels of intrinsic
satisfaction, mastery, spontaneity, and fantasy than nonrecreational shoppers do. The
extent to which recreational shoppers experience the different leisure dimensions seems
to be influenced by the type of shopping trip, i.e., mission shopping, window shopping, or
mood shopping, they engage in. Intrinsic satisfaction and mastery are present in all three
types of trips, while spontaneity and fantasy seem to be more closely associated with
window shopping and mood shopping.
The research also found that recreational shoppers exist on a continuum of
shopping involvement. Compared to low involvement recreational shoppers, high
involvement recreational shoppers, labeled recreational shopping enthusiasts, have
stronger recreational shopper identities and realize higher levels of enjoyment, as well as
stronger feelings of mastery and spontaneity from shopping. The differences in levels of
enjoyment, spontaneity, and mastery between the two groups suggest that there is a
progression of meaning and evolution of motives as recreational shoppers become more
involved in, committed to, and enthusiastic about shopping. For recreational shopping
enthusiasts, the shopping experience becomes more meaning laden and self fulfilling,

forging a recreational shopper identity that enables them to become one with the activity
of shopping. Low involvement recreational shoppers appear to participate in recreational
shopping primarily because of their interest in the activity and enjoyment realized from it,
whereas recreational shopping enthusiasts seem to participate in recreational shopping
primarily because the activity is a means of self-expression and central to their lifestyle.
For recreational shopping enthusiasts, shopping has symbolic value and mood-altering
properties, along with instrumental benefits—it is part of their extended selves.
IX

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Come on you miner (shopper) for truth and delusion, and shine (shop)! (Pink
Floyd 1975)
Cultural Significance of Shopping
Shopping is a way of life in contemporary consumer society. Its cultural
significance is evidenced by the considerable time and energy consumers devote to the
endeavor (Graham 1988; International Council of Shopping Centers 1990; Robinson
1989), not only to procure necessary or desired products, but also to participate in a wide
range of experiential activities in order to satisfy various personal and social motives
(Morris 1987; Tauber 1972). Thus, shopping may range from a utilitarian task to a form
of recreation and entertainment, as well as being an individual or group event.
The site of most shopping activity is the shopping mall, which stands as a
monument to shopping's prominent position in consumer culture by offering a multitude
of products and services to satisfy consumer needs and desires. Consumers of all ages
spend more time in shopping malls than anywhere else except home, work, and school
(Kowinski 1985; Stoffel 1988), leading some to suggest that malls have become modem
day community centers and society's new town squares (Glaberson 1992a; Zepp 1986),
where the shopping experience is ritualized within a community of consumption (Chaney
1990; Featherstone 1991; Zepp 1986).
1

2
Since the first malls were built, increasing attention has been given to fostering
the experiential aspects of consumers' shopping trips by extending mall offerings beyond
tangible goods, to include a vast array of services and other pursuits (Bloch, Ridgway,
and Nelson 1991; Stoffel 1988), such as fast-food courts, restaurants, video arcades,
movie theaters, hair salons, health clubs, medical offices, and specially orchestrated
holiday events. Mega-malls, like West Edmonton and Mall of America, have gone even
further by providing such extravagances as swimming pools, ice skating rinks, theme
parks, and miniature golf courses that have made these malls giant entertainment centers
and vacation destinations (Belsky 1992).
For teenagers, who make regular after school and weekend visits to the mall to
engage in a host of purchase and experiential consumption activities, the mall serves as
the ceremonial grounds for their rites of passage to become full-fledged members of
consumer culture. For some perpetual visitors, known as "Mall Rats," this social mecca
becomes the center of their existence (Glaberson 1992b; Kowinski 1985).
Despite the recent increase in shopping disenchantment (Hall 1990; Reitman
1992a) following the height of shopping popularity and consumption indulgence during
the 1980s (Shames 1989), most malls continue to teem with consumer activity
(Glaberson 1992a). Furthermore, outlet malls and flea markets have grown in popularity,
providing new shopping venues for those in search of bargains and adventure.
Consumers' participation in the shopping experience is not limited to the mall and
other brick and mortar retail markets, for consumers can shop twenty-four hours a day
from the endless array of catalogue "wish books" (Schroeder 1970) that arrive regularly
in the mail, filled with ever changing consumption dreams and desires. In addition, QVC

3
and Home Shopping Network fantasy channels display an endless stream of enticing
goods and pleasures (Underwood 1993). Both media urge consumers to dial SHOP ALL
DAY to satisfy their cravings, and transform consumption dreams and fantasies into
reality. More recently, an increasing number of consumers are riding the waves of online
shopping not only to search for information, but also to procure their goods from Web-
based stores (Beck 1998; Berman and Evans 1998; Green 1999).
Dreams really do come true for young shoppers in training, who can play with
Cool Shoppin’ Barbie and her no-limit MasterCard and then turn to shopping games like
Mall Madness, to experience the thrill of spending a day at the mall on an unlimited
fantasy shopping spree. The fantasy may continue on regular trips to the mall, where
trying on clothes is often a game of dress-up and make believe (Teen 1988).
As further evidence of shopping's cultural impact, new airport terminals have
been built in Denver, New York, and Pittsburgh that include not only passenger gates, but
also full service shopping malls (Berman and Evans 1998; Reitman 1992b). Once
travelers arrive at their destinations, their vacations often include shopping sprees, and
may even be tailored as specially designed shopping tours (Del Rosso 1988; Erlick 1995;
Lincoln 1992). Shopping has even been sanctified under the cover of religious theme
parks, where the center of visitors' attention is not the church, but the community
shopping mall (O'Guinn and Belk 1989).
With regards to popular culture, shopping is a significant theme in the life of
Cathy, a well-known comic strip character. Similarly, a number of television show
personalities (e.g., Donna, Kelly, and Valerie of 90210 fame) are known for their
shopping prowess. In Needful Things, a novel by the horror writer Stephen King, the

4
residents of Castle Rock, Maine were drawn into Leland Gaunt’s wonderful new store
that promised to fulfill their heart’s secret desire only to find evil on a shopping spree.
Even our language is filled with aphorisms, such as "Bom to shop," "Shop 'til you drop,"
"I shop, therefore I am," and "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping" that
reflect the prominent position shopping plays in consumer culture, as well as its potential
self-significance.
Personal Significance of Shopping
Shopping's cultural pervasiveness touches consumers' lives in a variety of ways.
Certainly, for some consumers, shopping serves a strictly utilitarian purpose, being no
more than a means to product acquisition. It is viewed as an occupation that requires
mandatory time and thus, is considered a necessary evil (Fram 1991; Hopkins 1986; Stem
1989). Under this pretense, shopping may evolve into an unpleasant task filled with
frustration and anxiety (Tatzel 1982, 1991). These negative feelings may be magnified
when consumers are caught in a struggle between having a strong desire to acquire and
consume, together with their aversion to shop.
In contrast to those who dislike to shop, many consumers truly enjoy being in the
marketplace to make a product purchase and/or engage in experiential consumption
(Bloch et. al. 1991; Prus and Dawson 1991; Solomon 1996). For these consumers,
shopping is a form of recreation and entertainment that may even be one of their favorite
pastimes and a preferred activity of choice (Gonzales 1988; Hughes 1989). Moreover, it
has been suggested that for some consumers being a shopper is an authentic and vital
identity, with the shopping experience serving as the unifying principle by which they
structure their lives (Hopkins 1986). Thus, shopping may be a vital part of a consumer's

5
extended self (Belk 1988) when it contains significant symbolic meaning and serves as a
means of self-communication, enhancement, affirmation, and cultivation.
At times, however, shopping may evolve into a quest for consumers to find
themselves as they endlessly look for an identity to catch their eyes (Shames 1989). Such
experiences may represent a darker side of shopping, symptomatic of uncontrollable
impulses and compulsions, with potentially negative implications for the self (O'Guinn
and Faber 1989; Rook 1987).
Research Purpose
Despite shopping's popularity as a recreational activity and its apparent
significance in many consumers' lives, consumer research has given little attention to
studying recreational shopping beyond recognizing the existence of recreational shoppers
and identifying some of their market behaviors, personality traits, and demographics. Far
less is known about the lived experience of the activity, its personal meaning and self-
significance, and the role it plays in consumers' lives. In addition, although recreational
shopping is considered a form of leisure, consumer research has not sufficiently combed
the activity to understand this perspective and its influence on the nature of recreational
shopping and its participants.
Given that recreational shoppers represent a potentially important market segment
for retailers and mall managers to attract and maintain as customers, it seems prudent to
advance the knowledge of recreational shopping to enable these parties to design and
implement more effective atmospheric, merchandising, and service quality strategies to
manage the recreational shopping experience. Furthermore, research on recreational
shopping may enhance the understanding of consumer socialization into a highly

6
involved and enthusiastic shopping culture. But even more importantly, from the
standpoint of social welfare, the study of recreational shopping may offer insight into the
genesis of a darker side of recreational shopping, i.e., when consumers become obsessed
with shopping to the point that it becomes a compulsive and addictive behavior
(Hirschman 1992; O’Guinn and Faber 1989) and/or serves as a remedy for an empty self
(Cushman 1990).
Thus, the objective of this dissertation is to provide a richer and deeper
understanding of the recreational shopper's experience in the marketplace, as well as in
the larger context of life, through an iterative and emergent multi-method study,
including in-depth interviews and a survey. Of particular interest, is the in-depth
examination of recreational shopping enthusiasts', i.e., those consumers who are highly
involved in the experiential and product focused activities of shopping, and view
shopping as a central part of their lives. In essence, these consumers have a powerful
recreational shopper identity, and use shopping as a means of self-affirmation and self¬
enhancement.
The research will compare the shopping experiences of two groups of consumers-
-1) recreational shoppers and 2) nonrecreational shoppers—with the group of recreational
shoppers being further divided into four subgroups: 1) those who prefer to shop alone, 2)
those who prefer to shop with a companion(s), 3) high involvement recreational shoppers,
referred to as recreational shopping enthusiasts, and 4) low involvement recreational
shoppers, those consumers who consider shopping an enjoyable activity, but are less
'The labeling of highly involved recreational shoppers as recreational shopping
enthusiasts stems from Bloch (1986), who developed the concept of product enthusiasm to
reflect the highest end of product involvement.

7
involved in and committed to the activity. The first means of comparison will be the
different themes that emerge from the in-depth interviews with informants from four
recreational shopping subgroups. Subsequently, the survey data will be analyzed to
examine the relationship between a number of shopping related variables, including
product and experiential marketplace activities, leisure-based dimensions of shopping,
social aspects of shopping, recreational shopping identity, materialism, compulsive
buying, and self-esteem.
Before detailing the study's specific a priori themes, research questions,
propositions, and methodology, in the next section of the paper literature pertaining to
recreational shopping will be reviewed to ground the proposed research.

CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Recreational Shopping
Three studies have specifically investigated recreational shopping. In a survey
study of 261 females, examining consumers' shopping center patronage motives,
Bellenger, Robertson, and Greenberg (1977) developed a simple two shopper typology,
i.e., convenience and recreational shoppers, based on the relationship between the
importance of shopping center features, interest in leisure activities, including shopping,
and demographics. The difference in the level of interest in shopping was the most
discriminating personal characteristic between the two types of shoppers.
Convenience shoppers desired convenient shopping center locations and low
prices. They had a very low interest in shopping as a leisure time activity, and tended to
be well-educated housewives, who preferred to engage in private pursuits.
In contrast, recreational shoppers wanted a high quality center with extensive
variety and a large number of related services. They had a very high interest in shopping
as a leisure activity, and tended to be single, less well educated, and have lower incomes.
2
The percentage of respondents classified as convenience or recreational shoppers was not
reported in the study.
8

9
In subsequent research, Bellenger and Korgaonkar (1980) provided a more
detailed description of recreational and convenience shoppers by comparing their
shopping and information seeking behavior, demographics, enjoyment of leisure
activities, and store patronage factors. Three hundred twenty-four survey respondents
were classified as convenience or recreational shoppers on the basis of their reported
level of shopping enjoyment, measured on a single-item scale.
Convenience shoppers, comprising 31% of the sample, disliked shopping or were
neutral toward it. Their store visits were driven by a specific purchase need rather than a
desire to partake in the shopping process. They wanted to minimize the expenditure of
time and effort in shopping for goods. Thus, they considered store location to be an
important patronage factor.
In contrast, recreational shoppers enjoyed shopping as a leisure time activity.
They preferred to shop at department stores with a pleasant atmosphere and a large
variety of high quality merchandise. Compared with convenience shoppers, recreational
shoppers spent more time shopping per trip, were less likely to have an idea of what they
were going to buy when shopping, were more likely to shop with others, and were more
likely to continue to shop after making a purchase. Furthermore, they were more likely
to be socially active females, who were less traditional, more innovative, and more
actively engaged in information seeking behavior.
These two studies represent the crux of consumer research's knowledge of
recreational shopping. Although this work is important for recognizing the existence of
recreational shoppers and for profiling some of their personality characteristics,
demographics, and market behaviors, the end result is a very cursory view of recreational

10
shopping. Three major concerns with the research are: 1) the use of a single-item
measure to classify recreational shoppers, 2) defining recreational shopping solely in
terms of enjoyment, and 3) the analysis of recreational shoppers as a homogeneous
group, i.e., not accounting for differences in sources of shopping enjoyment, level of
recreational shopping involvement, and product versus experiential activity participation.
To more fully understand recreational shopping, additional research is needed to
provide a broader, multi-dimensional perspective of the experience, while accounting for
variations in recreational shoppers' market behaviors and preferences. In light of these
objectives, it would be both fruitful and enlightening to gain a first-person (i.e., emic)
perspective of the recreational shopping experience, rather than relying on the typical
researcher-driven (i.e., eticT approach, endemic to consumer research (see Sherry 1991).
Rather than classifying shoppers as recreational or nonrecreational to profile their
market behaviors and personal characteristics, Prus and Dawson (1991) took a more emic
approach by examining consumers' definitions of shopping situations and how they
involved themselves in the experience. Using open-ended interviews with 95 consumers,
they identified two definitions of shopping that reflected informants' views of the
activity: shopping as recreation and shopping as work.
Shopping as recreation portrayed the activity as an interesting, enjoyable,
entertaining, and leisurely pursuit. In contrast, shopping as work depicted the endeavor
as ambiguous, unavoidable, and boring. To provide further descriptive insight on
shopping situations, Prus and Dawson delineated three themes within each definition of
shopping.

11
When shopping was a recreational pursuit consumers: 1) fit themselves into
shopping settings by filling free time and/or socializing with shopping companions; 2)
incorporated products into the self (e.g., sensory stimulation from browsing, high
involvement in purchase process, and making gift purchases); and/or 3) found the process
of making buying decisions to be entertaining and exciting.
In contrast, shopping was viewed as work when consumers: 1) faced undesired
ambiguity (e.g., lack of product knowledge, salesperson assistance, and fitting problems);
2) experienced closure (e.g., time pressures, money constraints, and unavailable
products); and/or 3) became bored with making routine or uninteresting purchases and/or
shopping with a companion at a slower than desired pace.
Although Prus and Dawson's research added descriptive insight to the
understanding of recreational shopping by identifying three different situational themes,
it stopped short of delving deeply into informants’ experiences to provide a "thick
description" and rich interpretation (Denzin 1989; Geertz 1973) of recreational shopping.
For example, it would have been beneficial to consider the three shopping themes as
different types of recreational shopping situations, and then examine similarities and
differences among them. In addition, a richer definition of shopping would have resulted
from delineating themes across different types of shoppers.
Beyond these three studies on recreational shopping, research on consumer
shopping motives and shopping typologies provides some insight on the possible
experiential characteristics of a recreational shopping trip. This research suggests that
recreational shopping may vary in its character.

12
Recreational Shopping Motives
Looking first at research on shopping motives, a study by the Chicago Tribune
(1955) investigated the basic motives and underlying feelings involved in shopping apart
from making a required product acquisition. Interviews with female department store
shoppers uncovered five shopping motives: 1) realizing an achievement by boosting
morale with a product purchase or completing the shopping task; 2) attaining importance
from shopping in high status stores or being catered to by salespeople; 3) doing
something very different by making shopping an outing or all day affair to socialize with
friends and go to a multitude of stores; 4) gaining freedom from everyday routine by
fantasizing in the marketplace; and 5) having an enjoyable adventure by wandering
around stores and looking at the merchandise.
Downs (1961) proposed that, in addition to the functional value consumers
received from purchasing products and gathering information to improve their ability to
make future purchases, consumers received a number of experiential benefits from
shopping that were similar to those found by the Chicago Tribune. These benefits
included the enjoyment received from looking at merchandise, making a trip away from
home, socializing with friends encountered at stores, and feelings of status derived from
shopping in quality stores.
In an exploratory study of why people shop, Tauber (1972) found that they do so
for many reasons other than the need for products or services. He identified a series of
personal and social motives for shopping, some of which bear similarity to those
described in the previous two studies, that go beyond those related to product acquisition.

13
The primary personal satisfactions obtained from shopping were: 1) the
opportunity to enact culturally prescribed roles; 2) diversion from the daily routine
through a form of recreation; 3) providing self-gratification; 4) learning about new trends;
5) engaging in physical exercise; and 6) receiving sensory stimulation from the retail
environment. The principal social satisfactions realized in the marketplace while
shopping were: 1) having social experiences outside the home; 2) communicating with
others having similar interests; 3) affiliating with peer groups or aspired reference groups;
4) obtaining an increase in social status and authority from being served by sales
personnel; and 5) receiving pleasure from bargaining, comparison shopping, or hunting
for sales to make the best buys.
The shopping motives proposed in the literature are listed in Table 1. Although
these motives are often presumed to be associated with recreational shopping (Bloch et
al. 1991; Solomon 1996; Westbrook and Black 1985), empirical research has not been
conducted to establish the relationship between shopping motives and recreational
shopping. Typically, the motives have been treated as separate entities, rather than
interrelated characteristics of a consumer's shopping experience. Examining the
interrelationship among these motives would yield a broader conceptualization of
recreational shopping, comprised of multiple dimensions, rather than a single measure of
enjoyment.
Types of Recreational Shoppers
In addition to recreational and convenience shoppers (Bellenger et al. 1977;
Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980), a number of different types of shoppers have been
identified in the shopping typology literature. Some of these shopper types appear to

Table 1
Possible Dimensions of Recreational Shopping
(Based on Shopping Motives and Shopping Typologies)
14
Personal
Social
Product
Achievement
Shopping Companions
Involvement
Adventure
Sales Personnel
Knowledge/Information
Enjoyment/Pleasure
Other Shoppers
Sensory stimulation from
retail environment
Escape
Enjoyment/pleasure from
Fantasy
browsing, bargaining,
comparison shopping, and
Freedom
hunting for sales
Identity Construction
Physical Exercise
Role Enactment
Self-gratification
Status
have similar characteristics and market behaviors to recreational or nonrecreational, i.e.,
convenience shoppers.
In Table 2, extant shopper types are categorized as recreational, nonrecreational,
or other shoppers according to the following criteria. Shoppers who enjoyed shopping
and/or pursued experiential benefits from the market were classified as recreational
shoppers, while those shoppers who disliked shopping and/or participated in the
marketplace to satisfy purely functional needs were classified as nonrecreational
shoppers. Finally, a number of shopper types were not classified as either recreational or

Table 2
Types of Recreational and Nonrecreational Shoppers
Study
Recreational
Nonrecreational
Other Shoppers
Stone(1954)
Personalizing
Economic
Apathetic
Ethical
Chicago Tribune Í19551
Dependent
Independent
Individualistic
Compulsive (cleanliness/
orderliness)
Indecisive
Stephenson and Willett (1969)
Compulsive/Recreational
Convenience
Price Bargain
Store-Loyal
Darden and Reynolds (1971)
Small Store Personalizing
Chain Store Personalizing
Economic
Apathetic
Ethical
Darden and Ashton (1974)
Apathetic
Convenient Location
Demanding
Quality
Fastidious
Stamp Preferrers
Stamp Haters
Moschis (1976)
Special
Problem-solving
Brand-Loyal
Store-Loyal
Psychosocializing
Name-Conscious
Crask and Reynolds (1978)
Frequent
Non-frequent

Table 2—continued
Study
Recreational
Nonrecreational
Other Shoppers
Williams, Painter, and Nichols
(1978)
Apathetic
Convenience
Price
Involved
Tatzel (1982)
Fashion Conscious
Independent
Apathetic
Anxious
Westbrook and Black (1985)
Shopping-Process
Involved
Shopping-Process
Apathetic
Choice Optimizing
Pure Economic
Shopping-Process
Economic
Average

17
nonrecreational shoppers since it was difficult to discern the nature of their shopping
experience from the reported research results. In light of the present research interest in
recreational shopping, in the next section of the paper the discussion will focus
specifically on the types of shoppers who appear to be most similar to recreational
shoppers.
As suggested by the research on shopping motives and the research by Prus and
Dawson (1991), social interaction appears to be an important experiential characteristic
of recreational shopping. Similarly, specific shopper types have been identified who
value this aspect of the marketplace. Personalizing shoppers (Stone 1954; Darden and
Reynolds 1971) defined shopping as an essential and positive interpersonal experience.
They personalized and individualized the customer role in the store, forming strong
personal attachments with store personnel. Their in-store experience was a highly valued
part of life, perhaps filling a relationship void and the need for social interaction.
Recently, Forman and Sriram (1991) studied a group of consumers, labeled lonely
consumers, who also use the marketplace as a remedy for personal difficulties by
interacting and forming relationships with sales personnel. Lonely consumers' shopping
satisfaction and enjoyment were significantly influenced by the extent to which they
viewed shopping as a social experience and their perceptions of a retail environment's
depersonalization.
Another type of shopper who obtained social benefits from the marketplace is the
dependent shopper (Chicago Tribune 1955). Similar to personalizing shoppers,
dependent shoppers wanted to shop in stores where the salespeople were warm,
interested, courteous, and provided individual attention. In addition, these shoppers liked

18
to go shopping with their friends to have someone rationalize and reassure their product
choices and self-indulgence.
The study by the Chicago Tribune (1955) identified two additional types of
shoppers with characteristics of recreational shoppers: independent and individualistic
shoppers. Independent shoppers enjoyed shopping, even though they viewed it as a task.
They approached shopping with a great deal of confidence, being certain of their tastes
and what merchandise to buy, perhaps indicating that they had high product involvement
and knowledge.
Individualistic shoppers liked to express themselves in shopping by finding
unusual and individualistic merchandise. Shopping allowed them to be creative when
putting outfits together, accessorizing, or home decorating. In addition, they liked to
daydream and think about purchase possibilities, as well as imagining owning desired
merchandise.
Stephenson and Willett (1969) developed a shopping typology based on
consumers' actual purchase, search, and patronage behaviors for apparel and toy products.
They labeled consumers with low purchase activity, high store patronage concentration,
and a high number of stores searched as compulsive and recreational shoppers. The
market behavior of these consumers appears to be characteristic of browsing without an
intent to buy (Bloch and Richins 1983; Bloch, Ridgway, and Sherrell 1989).
According to the results of a study by Crask and Reynolds (1978), recreational
shoppers may be frequent shoppers. Using a measure of shopping frequency to classify
department store shoppers, Crask and Reynolds identified a group of frequent shoppers

19
who have some of the same personal characteristics and shopping behaviors as
recreational shoppers.
Compared to infrequent shoppers, frequent shoppers were more likely to plan
their shopping trips, were more deliberate when making major purchases, were not as
likely to feel that shopping was no longer fun, and were very price conscious. They
tended to be younger, better educated, and have higher incomes, as well as being more
active and sociable than nonfrequent shoppers. They had a strong interest in fashion, and
besides being frequent department store shoppers, were also frequent patrons of discount
stores.
Tatzel (1982) proposed a type of shopper, labeled fashion conscious, who viewed
shopping as an essential and highly enjoyable part of life. They were very interested in
fashion, had innovative and stylish tastes, and were socially active. She hypothesized
that fashion conscious shoppers were similar to recreational shoppers (Bellenger and
Korgaonkar 1980), but did not empirically examine their existence in the marketplace.
In the most recent research on shopping typologies, Westbrook and Black (1985)
developed a typology of shoppers based on consumers' shopping motivations. They
identified one group of shoppers, i.e., shopping-process involved, who were considered to
be similar to recreational shoppers. These shoppers appeared to be motivated by both
functional and instrumental concerns since they were highly involved in virtually all
aspects of the shopping process, i.e., role enactment, choice optimization, power and
authority, affiliation, sensory stimulation, and negotiation. In contrast to the other
shopper types identified in the study, this group of shoppers seemed to derive relatively

20
more satisfaction from the process of shopping than the anticipated utility of the product
acquisition.
Emerging from the research on shopping typologies is a vast array of
"recreational" shopper types. This diversity is not surprising given the wide variations in
empirical approaches and research contexts across studies. Similar to the research on
shopping motives, the shopping typology research has not been integrated into the study
of recreational shopping. The key behavioral and market characteristics of each shopper
type are suggestive of potential aspects of recreational shopping. Therefore, rather than
continuing to develop shopping typologies, it would be beneficial to compare shoppers'
marketplace experiences according to their level of involvement in the activity and the
meaning they ascribe to it.
Other Types of Market Participants
In addition to the shoppers identified in the shopping typology literature, four
other types of market participants—1) browsers, 2) market mavens, 3) materialists, and 4)
compulsive buyers—who could be considered recreational shoppers since they enjoy
being in the marketplace, have been examined in independent streams of research. These
consumers have unique personality characteristics and/or different retail market
relationships than the previously described shoppers. Hence, considering their market
experiences provides additional insight into the possible characteristics of recreational
shopping.
Browsers
Browsing for information and/or entertainment without an immediate intent to
buy, typifies one form of recreational shopping (Bloch and Richins 1983; Bloch et al.

21
1989). Research on browsing indicates that consumers who are more likely to engage in
browsing have a high level of product involvement and knowledge. In addition, they
view stores as comfortable, friendly, and exciting places to shop, with novel and
stimulating merchandise and environments.
Market Mavens
Another group of market participants who enjoy shopping and browsing are
market mavens. Market mavens are marketplace influences whose influence is based
not on knowledge or expertise in particular product categories, but rather on more general
knowledge and experience with markets (Feick and Price 1987). The focus of their
shopping and market activity was the acquisition and dissemination of market
information rather than a product purchase or experiential motives.
Materialists
Given that high product involvement may be associated with recreational
shopping (Bloch and Richins 1983; Bloch et al. 1989; Crask and Reynolds 1978; Tatzel
1982), another group of consumers who may be avid recreational shoppers are
materialists. While extant research on materialism has been devoted to defining and
measuring the construct, as well as identifying materialistic traits (Belk 1985; Fournier
and Richins 1991; Richins and Dawson 1992), the centrality of the pursuit of possessions
among materialists suggests that the shopping and buying process may be an important
part of being a materialist.
Although consumer research has not directly explored the materialist's shopping
experience, Fournier and Richins (1991) proposed that materialists engaged regularly in
behaviors such as search and shopping in preparation for future acquisitions. Their

22
research on consumers' perceptions of materialists offered insight into the potential
significance of shopping and marketplace activity for materialists.
They found that materialists' purchase experiences were accompanied by hedonic
and emotional responses, described as being highly emotional, thrilling, and sensational.
The results also showed that the materialist experience entailed much more than simply
getting and buying goods, since materialists were perceived as continual information
gatherers, constantly scanning the environment for new material offerings. In
anticipation of future purchases, they frequently read catalogs and magazines, observed
what others had acquired, and looked through stores to see what merchandise was
available.
Compulsive Buyers
The final group of consumers for whom shopping appears to be an extremely
important, but harmful, recreational activity is compulsive buyers. Compulsive buyers
engage in "chronic, repetitive purchasing that becomes a primary response to negative
events or feelings" (O'Guinn and Faber 1989, p. 155). While the activity may provide
short-term benefits, it becomes very difficult to stop and ultimately results in harmful
consequences.
Research by O'Guinn and Faber (1989) which examined the personality
characteristics and market behaviors of compulsive buyers showed that compared to
normal consumers, compulsive buyers were more likely to have compulsivity as a
personality trait, had lower self-esteem, a higher propensity for fantasy, and received a
greater emotional lift from the buying process. In addition, their primary motivations for
shopping appeared to be the stimulation received from personal interactions with

23
salespeople and enhanced self-esteem, rather than a desire to own products. Thus, the
shopping experience served an important compensatory function for those consumers
needing to be liked, and who received little positive attention in their lives.
Although compulsive buying represents a type of abnormal consumer behavior, it
has the potential to further the understanding of recreational shopping in light of the
nature of compulsive buyers' market experiences. The enhancement of self-esteem,
social interaction, fantasy, and emotions have been described as possible dimensions of
recreational shopping. Hence, compulsive buying may represent an extreme form of
recreational shopping, i.e., when recreational shopping becomes the center of one's
existence and can not be controlled (Hirschman 1992).
Mall Inhabitants
While the research on shopping motives and shopper typologies has primarily
focused on the patrons of department stores, Bloch, Ridgway, and Dawson (1994) took a
broader view of consumers' shopping experiences by investigating the type of consumers
who inhabit shopping malls. Using a survey study, they identified four groups of mall
inhabitants, i.e., minimalists, mall enthusiasts, grazers, and traditionalists, according to
different patterns of mall behaviors (e.g., browsing, eating, going to a movie, walking for
exercise, shopping to buy, and socializing) and consumption benefits (e.g., aesthetics,
escape, exploration, flow, epistemic, and social).
Minimalists had a purely functional view of the mall as their mall visits were
largely driven by the need to make a specific product purchase. They spent the least
amount of time in the mall, and were less likely to engage in experiential activities than

24
the other three groups. Thus, they appear to be similar to nonrecreational or convenience
shoppers (Bellenger et al. 1977; Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980).
In contrast, the other three groups of mall inhabitants seem to represent different
types of recreational shoppers as each group actively engaged in various experiential and
purchase driven mall activities. Mall Enthusiasts were the most active mall patrons,
participating in a wide range of behaviors, including product purchasing, usage of the
mall, and experiential consumption. In light of their high mall involvement, they
received the greatest benefits from the mall by satisfying escape, flow, epistemic, and
social motives.
Grazers, who viewed the mall as a place for escape, were distinguished by their
high participation in eating and browsing activities, while traditionalists primarily went to
the mall to socialize, engage in mall-focused activities, and make product purchases.
Traditionalists were considered purposive visitors since they realized much lower escape
benefits from a mall than mall enthusiasts and grazers.
This research is important for providing preliminary information on the types of
consumers who patronize shopping malls. In doing so, it takes a more encompassing
view of shopping, than previously observed in the literature, by measuring consumers'
motives and behaviors beyond product acquisition and outside a retail store setting.
Similar to research on shopping motives and typologies, however, this research did not
investigate the relationship between consumers' marketplace motives and
satisfaction/enjoyment from the experience. In addition, to provide a more complete
picture of mall inhabitants, research should be undertaken to examine similarities and
differences among mall inhabitant groups, regarding their level of marketplace

25
involvement, as well as the importance of different activities and motives to the overall
meaning of their mall experience.
"Non-Traditional" Retail Market Participants
Recent ethnographic studies of non-traditional retail settings, i.e., flea markets
(Belk, Sherry, and Wallendorf 1988; Sherry 1990) and gift stores (McGrath 1989; Sherry
and McGrath 1989), have yielded a "thick description" (Denzin 1989; Geertz 1973) of the
experiential aspects of consumers' shopping experiences. These markets were primarily
patronized by shoppers looking for fun and recreation through such activities as
browsing, searching, socializing, bargaining, sight-seeing, fantasizing, and experiencing
freedom. Engaging in these behaviors often transcended specific purchase needs and
desires, as exemplified by a number of gift store customers who derived great pleasure
from simply wanting merchandise rather than having it (Sherry and McGrath 1989).
The sentiment of this research seems to be that shopping in flea markets and gift
stores is a unique and special experience, markedly different from and transcending
shopping in traditional settings. While it is granted that certain aspects of these markets
may be particular to these settings, such as the active role of sellers and store owners in
customers' shopping experiences, eclectic array of merchandise, community spirit,
informal structure, and adventurous image, a number of important characteristics of the
flea market/gift store experience have been considered possible aspects of recreational
shopping in traditional venues. This suggests that the nature and tone of these
dimensions may vary according to the function and structure of the market. For example,
in contrast to the flea market, where sacred possessions were transformed into profane
commercial merchandise (Belk et al. 1988), traditional markets may be the grounds

26
where profane commercial merchandise begins to be transformed into sacred possessions
during search, trying-on, and companion approval rituals.
While traditional marketplaces may not be as alluring and adventurous as flea
markets, they do offer their own mystique and personality, nurtured by the growing
emphasis on making shopping a consumption experience. Furthermore, malls hold a
more profound position in consumer culture as evidenced by the vast number of
consumers who flock through their doors. Nevertheless, consumer research has given
little attention to the shopping mall (Bloch et al. 1994; Feinberg and Meoli 1991), leaving
open the door for a richer, deeper, and more complete investigation and understanding of
consumers' recreational shopping experiences.

CHAPTER 3
A PRIORI THEMES, RESEARCH QUESTIONS, AND PROPOSITIONS
The preceding literature review supports the central thesis of this paper that
consumer research has given little attention to studying recreational shopping beyond
profiling some of the personal characteristics, demographics, and market behaviors of
recreational shoppers. Separate streams of research on shopping motives, different types
of shoppers, and other market participants suggest a number of possible characteristics of
the recreational shopping experience, but these characteristics have not been empirically
examined within the context of recreational shopping. Hence, in the next section of the
paper, specific a priori themes will be identified and research questions and propositions
will be raised regarding recreational shoppers and the recreational shopping experience.
These three forms of inquiry were used in light of the limited past research on
recreational shoppers, the researcher’s plan to study recreational shopping from a
new/different perspective, i.e., as a leisure activity, and the multi-method (survey and in-
depth interviews) approach used for data collection. The propositions and a priori themes
were generated from previous research on recreational shoppers, shopping motives and
typologies, shopping related consumer behavior, and leisure. The propositions, which
were tested through the survey data, were designed to examine the relationships among
pertinent shopping and leisure variables as well as differences between recreational
shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers and high involvement recreational shoppers and
27

28
low involvement recreational shoppers. In concert with the propositions, the a priori
themes were constructed to support and explain the results from testing the propositions,
while yielding a first-person perspective about recreational shoppers and their shopping
experiences. Support for the a priori themes came from the qualitative data. The
research questions were formulated to explore issues pertaining to recreational shoppers
that lacked theoretical underpinnings. These questions were answered by analyzing both
types of data.
Dimensions of Recreational Shopping
To more fully understand recreational shopping, it is necessary to broaden
consumer research's definition of the experience. Typically, recreational shopping has
been conceptualized as enjoyment from shopping (Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980; Prus
and Dawson 1991; Solomon 1996). Given that shopping may be a form of leisure
(Bellenger et al. 1977; Jackson 1991; Shaw 1985), however, this is a narrow view, since
in addition to enjoyment, the leisure literature discusses a number of other dimensions
(e.g., intrinsic motivation, perceived freedom, escape, and adventure) that constitute a
leisure experience (Jackson 1991; Kelly 1987). A number of these dimensions appear to
be part of recreational shopping, capturing the experiential aspects of the trip, rather than
its tangible product acquisition features.3
Unger and Keman (1983) identified six major determinants of leisure discussed in
the literature: 1) intrinsic satisfaction (e.g., pleasure and enjoyment), 2) perceived
freedom, 3) involvement (e.g., absorption and escape), 4) arousal (e.g. novelty-seeking
3 Similar to consumer research, leisure research has virtually ignored the study of
shopping as a leisure activity (Jackson 1991).

29
and exploration), 5) mastery, and 6) spontaneity. They found that three of these
dimensions-intrinsic satisfaction, perceived freedom, and involvement—were present
across a variety of situational contexts, while the remaining three determinants were more
activity specific. Although shopping was not specifically included as a situational
context in this research, other researchers (e.g., McKechnie 1974; Unger 1984) have
classified it under one of the situations, i.e., "easy/social" used by Unger and Keman.
In a study of the meaning of leisure in everyday life, Shaw (1985) found that five
dimensions-ffeedom of choice, intrinsic motivation, enjoyment, relaxation, and lack of
evaluation—were strongly associated with everyday leisure experiences. These factors
were the best discriminators between the leisure and work activities reported by
respondents in a two-day time diary. Although shopping was one of the activities
reported in this study, Shaw did not detail activity-specific dimensions of leisure.
The results of this study are comparable to Unger and Keman's work. Intrinsic
motivation and enjoyment are similar to the dimension of intrinsic satisfaction, while lack
of evaluation may reflect a facet of involvement and absorption in a leisure activity.
Relaxation, however, appears to be negatively related to arousal. Shaw did not measure
the other two dimensions, i.e., involvement and mastery, identified by Unger and Keman.
In the most recent study examining the dimensions of leisure, Gunter (1987)
analyzed the self-report essays of two types of leisure experiences: 1) the single, most
memorable leisure experience respondents had ever had and 2) the most common and
meaningful type of leisure normally experienced in their daily lives. The analysis
revealed eight dimensions of leisure: 1) sense of separation, 2) pleasure and enjoyment,

30
3) freedom of choice, 4) spontaneity, 5) timelessness, 6) fantasy or creative imagination,
7) adventure and exploration, and 8) self-realization.
The results from this study are also similar to the findings by Unger and Keman
(1983). Sense of separation, timelessness, and fantasy/creative imagination are most
closely related to their concept of involvement. The only dimension that does not seem
to directly correspond to any of their dimensions is self-realization. Its occurrence is not
surprising given that in addition to examining common leisure activities, which were the
focus of Unger and Keman's work, Gunter also investigated respondents' most
memorable or peak leisure experiences. Although he did recognize that the two types of
experiences were different, he did not examine the dimensional differences between
them. Instead, he indicated that the differences between these experiences were largely
due to intensity rather than dimension type.
In general, the research by Shaw (1985) and Gunter (1987) confirms the existence
of the six dimensions of leisure identified by Unger and Keman (1983). Thus, for the
purposes of the present research, these dimensions—intrinsic satisfaction, perceived
freedom, involvement, arousal, mastery, and spontaneity—will be used as a starting point
for capturing the experience of recreational shopping.
In Table 3, each of the previously discussed possible characteristics of
recreational shopping is classified under the most closely related leisure dimension.4
4The social dimension of recreational shopping (e.g., shopping companions and sales
people) is not included in Table 3 since it is considered a situational variable rather than a
defining characteristic of leisure (Unger and Keman 1983). Instead, given its presumed
importance to many recreational shoppers' market experiences, it is expected to influence
the nature of the leisure dimensions experienced while shopping.

Table 3
Classification of Recreational Shopping Characteristics as Leisure Dimensions
31
Intrinsic Satisfaction
Perceived Freedom
Involvement
Achievement
(Chicago Tribune 1955)
Freedom
(Belk et al. 1989; Chicago
Tribune 1955; Sherry
1990)
Creativity
(Chicago Tribune 1955)
Enjoyment/Pleasure
(Belk et al. 1989; Bloch
and Richins 1983; Bloch et
al. 1989: Chicago Tribune
1955; Downs 1961;
McGrath 1989; Prus and
Dawson 1991; Sherry
1990; Sherry and McGrath
1989)
Escape
(Bloch et al. 1994;
Chicago Tribune 1955;
Downs 1961; Tauber
1972)
Role Enactment
(Tauber 1972; Westbrook
and Black 1985)
Fantasy
(Chicago Tribune 1955;
McGrath 1989; O'Guinn
and Faber 1989; Sherry
and McGrath 1989)
Self-gratification
(O'Guinn and Faber 1989;
Tauber 1972)
Flow
(Bloch et al. 1994)
Status
(Chicago Tribune 1955;
Downs 1961; Tauber 1972;
Westbrook and Black
1985)
Comparing these characteristics with the leisure dimensions, suggests that recreational
shopping may be comprised of similar dimensions.
A Priori Theme 1: Recreational shopping is characterized by the same
dimensions as a leisure experience.
Research Question 1: Which dimensions of leisure discriminate recreational
shopping from nonrecreational shopping?

32
Table 3—continued
Arousal
Mastery
Spontaneity
Adventure
(Belk et al. 1989: Chicago
Tribune 1955: Sherrv
1990)
Knowledge
(Bloch and Richins 1983;
Bloch et al. 1989; Bloch et
al. 1994: Chicago Tribune
1955; Feick and Price
1987; Tauber 1972)
Exploration
(Belk et al. 1989; Bloch et
al. 1994; McGrath 1989;
Sherry 1990; Sherry and
McGrath 1989)
Materialism
(Fournier and Richins
1991)
Sensory Stimulation
(Tauber 1972; Westbrook
and Black 1985)
Product Involvement
(Bloch and Richins 1983;
Bloch et al. 1989; Crask
and Reynolds 1978; Tatzel
1982)
Importance of Leisure Dimensions in Recreational Shopping
In addition to identifying the dimensions of recreational shopping, it is necessary
to discern the relationship between the dimensions, i.e., which dimensions are most
important to recreational shoppers in defining their marketplace experiences. Of the
dimensions identified in the leisure literature, intrinsic satisfaction seems to most closely
represent the "essence" of leisure (Unger and Keman 1983). While some empirical
research supports this notion, having shown that the other dimensions of leisure are
determinants of intrinsic satisfaction (Hawes 1978; London, Crandall, and Fitzgibbons
1977), other research proposes that perceived freedom is an equally or more prominent
leisure dimension (Kelly 1982; Neulinger 1974).

33
Hence, Unger and Keman argued that the exact relationship between intrinsic
satisfaction and the other leisure dimensions was uncertain. Their research did not clarify
this issue, leading them to suggest that the relationship between the leisure dimensions
needed further investigation. Therefore, one of the objectives of this research is to
examine the relationships among the identified dimensions of recreational shopping.
Research Question 2: What is the relationship between the dimensions of
recreational shopping and intrinsic satisfaction?
Shopping Mall Activities and Leisure Dimensions
Up to this point, the discussion has centered on defining the recreational shopping
experience as a whole in terms of the major dimensions of leisure, without accounting for
the nature of consumers' shopping experiences, i.e., what activities are engaged in during
the course of a shopping trip. Although previously discussed research by Bloch et al.
(1992) and Westbrook and Black (1985) suggests that recreational shopping is comprised
of both product-focused and experiential activities, the structure and importance of these
activities in creating the meaning of the experience has not been ascertained, leading to
the following research question:
Research Question 3: What activities do recreational shoppers participate in to
experience the different dimensions of recreational
shopping?
Social Dimension of Recreational Shopping
For a number of recreational shoppers an especially important part of the
shopping experience is being in the marketplace with a special shopping companion(s)
(Guiry 1992; Teen 1988). Despite the popularity of group shopping (International
Council of Shopping Centers 1990), however, consumer research has virtually ignored

34
this aspect of the recreational shopping experience, beyond recognizing that socializing
with friends and family is an important shopping motive (Tauber 1972; Solomon 1996)
and describing some potential positive and negative influences of a shopping companion
(Prus 1991). Given that social interaction may be the most important benefit of leisure
participation (Iso-Ahola 1989), the social dimension of recreational shopping demands
attention.
Research by Guiry (1992) suggests that when favorite shopping companions shop
together, the shopping experience becomes a special affair, moving from a product-
focused activity to a full-fledged consumption event, replete with experiential activities
(e.g., browsing, socializing, eating, advising, and fantasizing). In support of this
proposition, Unger (1984) found that leisure situations that offered companionship
enhanced the experience compared to participating alone, while Unger and Keman
(1983) found that the nature of a leisure activity's social situation affected the leisure
dimensions experienced.
Thus, two research questions of particular interest in the present study are:
Research Question 4: How does the meaning of recreational shopping differ
between those who prefer to shop alone and those who
prefer to shop with a favorite companion?
Research Question 5: How does the presence of a shopping companion influence
the nature and importance of leisure dimensions
experienced while recreational shopping?
For other consumers the satisfaction of social needs may be met through
interacting with the salespeople in a retail store (Forman and Sriram 1991; O’Guinn and
Faber 1989). Hence, the role of the salespeople in a recreational shopper’s shopping
experience needs to be addressed.

35
Research Question 6: What role does a salesperson play in a recreational
shopper’s shopping experience?
Fantasy Dimension of Recreational Shopping
Previous research by O’Guinn and Faber (1989) and Fournier and Guiry (1993)
suggests that recreational shoppers may engage in fantasy behaviors while shopping.
O’Guinn and Faber found that compulsive buyers had a higher propensity for fantasy
than normal consumers while Fournier and Guiry found that materialism was positively
related to the frequency of consumption dreaming, both in general and for specific
planful and entertainment-driven forms of dreaming as well. Given that compulsive
buyers and materialists are active marketplace participants and enjoy shopping,
recreational shoppers maybe prone to engaging in fantasy behaviors as well.
Proposition 1: Recreational shoppers are more likely to engage in fantasy
behavior than nonrecreational shoppers.
Enduring Involvement in Recreational Shopping
The dimensions of recreational shopping symbolize the essence of the experience
at a broad level of understanding. To more fully appreciate the nature of a consumer's
recreational shopping experience, it is necessary to delve into the personal meaning
attached to the event. In light of recreational shopping being a product-related leisure
experience, a fruitful avenue to pursue to meet this end, is to consider the level of
consumer enduring involvement with recreational shopping. In both consumer research
(Bloch 1982; Bloch and Bruce 1984a) and leisure research (Bryan 1977; Bloch and Bruce
1984b; McIntyre 1989), involvement has been used to understand a person's attachment
and interest with products and recreational pursuits, thus deeming it an appropriate
construct to study within the context of recreational shopping. Furthermore, involvement

36
provides the basis for examining a consumer's recreational shopper identity, as well as
recreational shopping enthusiasts.
A consumer's level of product involvement is commonly believed to be a major
moderating variable in consumer behavior (Kapferer and Laurent 1985; Laurent and
Kapferer 1985; Zaichkowsky 1985). While a number of different definitions have been
proposed in the consumer literature, in this study product involvement is defined as the
amount of interest, arousal, or emotional attachment evoked by a product in a consumer
(Bloch 1982).
In general, two forms of product involvement have been advanced in the
literature, i.e., situational involvement and enduring involvement (Bloch 1982; Kapferer
and Laurent 1985; Laurent and Kapferer 1985). Situational involvement refers to the
temporary level of concern a consumer has with a product in a purchase situation when
there are important goals or high risks associated with the purchase outcome. In contrast,
enduring involvement reflects a consumer's ongoing relationship with a product as a
consequence of it being related to his/her needs, values, or self-concept (Bloch 1982;
Bloch and Bruce 1984a). At very high levels, enduring involvement is exhibited as
product enthusiasm (Bloch 1986; Bloch and Bruce 1984a). Since the interest of this
research is the nature of consumers' interest and attachment to recreational shopping as a
leisure activity and part of life, rather than a situational event, enduring involvement is
the more relevant concept to integrate with recreational shopping.
Enduring Involvement and Shopping Activity Participation
As noted in the literature review, although research on shopping motives and
typologies has recognized that shopping activity may be primarily product-oriented,

37
experientially focused, or a combination of the two types, recreational shoppers have
been studied as a homogeneous group, with variations among different types of shoppers
remaining largely unexplored. Previous research, on involvement with products (Bloch
and Bruce 1984a, 1984b) and leisure activities (Bryan 1977; McIntyre 1989), suggests
that the level of a consumer's recreational shopping involvement will influence the extent
and type of his/her activity participation and the personal meaning of the experience.
In a study of trout fishermen, Bryan (1977) investigated variations in the level of
involvement in the context of recreational specialization, defined as "a continuum of
behavior from the general to the particular, reflected by equipment and skills used in the
sport and activity setting preferences" (p. 175). On the basis of in-depth interviews and
participant observation, he found that fishermen could be arranged along a continuum of
experience and commitment to the sport, from the beginning recreationist to the
specialist. Each group was associated with distinctively different meanings, preferences,
and behaviors regarding the sport. With increasing specialization, the emphasis changed
from catching fish at the lower end of the continuum to concerns with the nature and
setting of the activity at the highest levels. In essence, "for the most specialized
fishermen the fish are not so much the object as the experience of fishing as an end in
itself' (Bryan 1977, p. 186).
Extending Bryan's research to recreational shopping leads to the following
proposition and a priori theme:
Proposition 2: Consumer involvement with recreational shopping varies
along a continuum from low involvement to high
involvement.

38
A Priori Theme 2: Recreational shopping involvement influences the nature
and personal meaning of consumers' shopping experiences.
Bloch and Bruce (1984a, 1984b) referred to Bryan's research when proposing that
enduring involvement with products is a leisure experience, entailing a number of
ancillary activities. They found that the level of recreational involvement with a product
was positively related to the degree of satisfaction realized from both product usage
activity and being involved with the product (Bloch and Bruce 1984b). This result, taken
together with Bryan's research, suggests that the nature and type of activities consumers
participate in that make shopping a satisfying experience will be related to their level of
recreational shopping involvement.
At lower levels of involvement, similar to beginning recreational fisherman,
recreational shoppers' enjoyment and satisfaction from being in the marketplace will
revolve around product acquisition. Hence, low involvement recreational shoppers will
consider product-related activities (e.g., browsing, buying, product usage), rather than
experiential activities to be of prime importance in their experience.
In contrast, at higher levels of involvement, consumers will be more involved in
the marketplace as a whole, engaging in both product and experiential activities. Product
acquisition may represent just one part of the recreational shopping experience, and may
not even be a necessary condition to realize enjoyment and satisfaction. Similar to
specialized fishermen, high involvement recreational shoppers will also place increased
emphasis on the nature and setting of their recreational activity, i.e., specific merchandise
and store preferences, store atmosphere, mall environment and activities, relationships
with shopping companions and store personnel, and the shopping process. Moreover, the

39
flavor of Bryan's work suggests that at a high level of involvement recreational shopping
will become a more meaningful and personalized event. In sum, the shopping experience
will become an end in itself.
Accordingly, Bryan's research suggests the following propositions regarding the
relationship between recreational shopping involvement and market activity participation.
Proposition 3:
Proposition 4:
Proposition 5:
At low levels of recreational shopping involvement the
focus of consumers' shopping experiences is product
acquisition, while at high levels of recreational shopping
the focus of consumers' shopping experiences is the
experience in itself.
Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher
levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from product
acquisition than from experiential activities; in contrast
high involvement recreational shoppers realize higher
levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from the shopping
experience as a whole than from product acquisition.
Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher
levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from product
acquisition than high involvement recreational shoppers; in
contrast high involvement recreational shoppers realize
higher levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from
experiential activities than low involvement recreational
shoppers.
The proposed differences in the market experiences of high involvement and low
involvement recreational shoppers suggests that each group may define the experience in
terms of different leisure dimensions, as well as ascribe different levels of importance
with each dimension. Since this issue has not been addressed in the leisure literature, it
will be addressed as an additional research question.
Research Question 7: How does the level of recreational shopping involvement
influence the nature and importance of the leisure
dimensions experienced while shopping?

40
The movement of recreational shopping from a product focused activity to a full-
fledged consumption event implies that high involvement recreational shoppers will
exhibit a lower degree of attachment and possessiveness towards their purchased
products than low involvement recreational shoppers. This relationship is likely to be
tempered when a recreational shopper is a materialist, however, since by definition the
acquisition and possession of products is a central part of a materialist's life (Belk 1985).
Proposition 6: High involvement recreational shoppers exhibit lower
levels of attachment to and possessiveness of purchased
products than low involvement recreational shoppers.
Enduring Involvement and Meaning of Shopping
In addition to influencing consumers’ activity participation in the marketplace,
research by McIntyre (1989), on the role of enduring involvement in beach camping,
suggests that the level of enduring involvement in recreational shopping may affect the
personal meaning of the experience. Drawing on the research of Kapferer and Laurent
(1985), on the multi-dimensional nature of enduring involvement, McIntyre proposed that
enduring involvement encompassed four elements: 1) importance of the activity; 2)
enjoyment or pleasure derived from it; 3) perception of self-expression through the
activity; and 4) centrality to lifestyle. He argued that as an individual became more
involved in a recreational activity, the meaning of participation would move from interest
and enjoyment to self-expression and centrality. Thus, higher levels of involvement
would be associated with higher levels of self-expression and centrality, with interest and
enjoyment increasing to a lesser extent.
In McIntyre's empirical work at three different types of camp areas, believed to
attract campers with different levels of enduring involvement, three dimensions of

41
involvement were isolated: 1) attraction (e.g., interest and enjoyment), 2) self-expression,
and 3) centrality. A comparison of the camp areas showed that higher levels of camping
involvement were associated with increasing levels of all three components of
involvement. Furthermore, as expected, self-expression and centrality increased to a
greater degree than attraction.
McIntyre's finding of a positive relationship between enduring involvement and
self-expression parallels the results of a study by Bloch (1982) on enduring involvement
with automobiles and clothing, in which he found that highly involved consumers used
these products as a means of self-expression. In addition, the progression of meaning
associated with higher levels of camping involvement is similar to the evolution of
motives described by Celsi, Rose, and Leigh (1993) that explained initial and continuing
participation in skydiving. They found that skydivers’ motives evolved from experiment
and thrill, through mastery and identity, to community and self-fulfillment.
Taken together, the research by McIntyre, Bloch, and Celsi et al. suggests that as
recreational shoppers become more involved with shopping other dimensions of leisure
(e.g., fantasy, mastery, perceived freedom, and spontaneity), in addition to enjoyment,
will be become part of the recreational shopper’s shopping experience. Thus, as
recreational shoppers become more involved in the marketplace the experience will
become more complex and meaning laden, as indicated in the following a priori themes
and propositions.
A Priori Theme 3: High involvement recreational shoppers participate in
recreational shopping primarily because the activity is a
means of self-expression and central to their lifestyle.

42
A Priori Theme 4: Low involvement recreational shoppers participate in
recreational shopping primarily because of their interest in
the activity and enjoyment realized from it.
Proposition 7: High involvement recreational shoppers realize higher
levels of enjoyment from shopping than low involvement
recreational shoppers.
Proposition 8: High involvement recreational shoppers have higher mean
scores on the measures of the other dimensions of leisure
than low involvement recreational shoppers.
Recreational Shopper Identity
For some consumers, high involvement with a beloved product or activity reaches
a heightened state of total commitment and attachment in which the product/activity is
incorporated into their self-concept and becomes a (the) central part of their lives (Belk
1988; Bloch 1986; Buchanan 1985). At this highest level of involvement, referred to in
the consumer behavior literature as the extended self (Belk 1988) or product enthusiasm
(Bloch 1986), and in leisure research as a leisure identity (Haggard and Williams 1992;
Shamir 1992), a consumer defines him/herself in terms of a singular product or activity,
recognizing the product/activity's function as the primary means self-enhancement and
self-definition.
In the context of recreational shopping, this type of special consumer-object bond
appears to be exhibited when consumers explicitly define themselves as being
recreational shoppers, reflected in such statements as "I shop, therefore I am" or "Bom to
shop" that affirm a unique recreational shopper identity. Although the idea of consumers
having a recreational shopper identity has not previously been explored in consumer
research, its viability and potential role in life appears to be demonstrated in research on

43
consumer-object relations (Belk 1988; Bloch 1986) and leisure activity participation
(Shamir 1992).
Bloch (1986) proposed that the high end of the product involvement continuum
was anchored by a group of consumers, referred to as product enthusiasts, for whom the
consumption and possession of highly involving products play an important role in life.
Although Bloch did not empirically examine the characteristics of product enthusiasts, he
speculated that a highly involved state satisfied enthusiasts' needs for uniqueness,
mastery, and/or affiliation. If so, enthusiastic product involvement may serve a self¬
enhancing and self-defining role.
Research that more fully captures the notion of consumers being totally involved
with recreational shopping to the point of having a recreational shopper identity is Belk's
(1988) conceptualization of the extended self, in which consumers incorporate their most
meaningful and treasured possessions, including experiences (e.g., shopping) and places
(e.g., retail marketplace), into the self. These possessions, being most central to the self,
function to create, enhance, and maintain a sense of self-identification, while providing
meaning in life.
In the leisure literature, the degree to which an individual defines him/her self in
terms of a leisure pursuit, is referred to as leisure identity salience (Shamir 1992).
Shamir (1992) suggested that a leisure identity may become salient and incorporated into
the self-concept for three reasons: "1) it expresses and affirms the individual's talents or
capabilities, 2) it endows the person with social recognition, and/or 3) it affirms the
individual's central values" (p. 302). This proposition is consistent with research by
Haggard and Williams (1992), who found that individuals affirmed the nature of their

44
identities through participation in leisure activities that symbolized desirable character
traits and identity images, supporting the idea that a highly salient leisure identity will act
in the service of self-enhancement and self-identification.
Extending these three different streams of research to the recreational shopping
domain suggests that some highly involved recreational shoppers will define themselves
as recreational shoppers, leading to the incorporation of a recreational shopper identity
into their self-concept. Borrowing Bloch's (1986) terminology, these shoppers are
designated recreational shopping enthusiasts, for whom the marketplace and shopping
activity are central facets of life. In this regard, the meaning of their recreational
shopping experiences transcends enjoyment and other possible dimensions of leisure, as
self-enhancement and self-identification become paramount.
Thus, two a priori themes regarding recreational shopping enthusiasts are:
A Priori Theme 5: At the highest level of involvement, recreational shopping
may be incorporated into consumers' self-concept as a
recreational shopper identity.
A Priori Theme 6: Recreational shopping enthusiasts engage in recreational
shopping as a means of self-enhancement and self-
identification.
Turning to the self-enhancement motive of recreational shopping, research on the
self-concept (see Gecas 1982; Markus and Wurf 1987) suggests that having a prominent
recreational shopper identity will inspire recreational shopping enthusiasts to participate
in the marketplace to maintain/nourish positive feelings about the self, as well as alleviate
negative self-feeling. This dual self-enhancement role ascribed to recreational shopping
differentiates recreational shopping enthusiasts from compulsive buyers, who venture
into the marketplace primarily in response to low self-esteem (O'Guinn and Faber 1989).

45
At the same time, it suggests that the nature and importance of a recreational shopping
enthusiast's shopping activities may differ depending on the type of emotional nutrition
he/she is seeking. Given that compulsive buyers derive more satisfaction from the
shopping process than product acquisition and possession, it is expected that a product
purchase will hold only short-term meaning when recreational shopping enthusiasts are
seeking emotional uplift. In contrast, in response to a need for positive self-regard, both
experiential activities and product acquisition will be significant to the shopping
experience, however, the purchased product is likely to be paramount, serving as a
tangible reminder of the positive experience.
The final two propositions and a priori themes with respect to the self-enhancing
role of recreational shopping are:
Proposition 9:
Proposition 10:
Recreational shoppers have lower self-esteem than
nonrecreational shoppers.
High involvement recreational shoppers have lower self¬
esteem than low involvement recreational shoppers.
A Priori Theme 7: Recreational shopping enthusiasts engage in shopping as a
means of bolstering positive self-feelings and reducing
negative self-regard.
A Priori Theme 8:
The shopping experience as a whole becomes more
meaningful when recreational shopping enthusiasts'
marketplace presence is inspired by positive self-feelings.
In the following chapter, the methods used to investigate the preceding research
questions, a priori themes, and propositions will be described.

CHAPTER 4
METHODOLOGY
In light of the discovery-oriented spirit of this research, an emergent two-phase
multi-method study was conducted, consisting of in-depth interviews and a survey.
Following the sentiment of previous multi-method consumer research (Amould and Price
1993; O'Guinn and Faber 1989), qualitative and quantitative methods were blended in the
present study as complementary partners, rather than opposing forces, to advance the
knowledge and understanding of recreational shopping. Through the survey data,
relationships among pertinent shopping and leisure variables were examined to build a
structure for defining the recreational shopping experience. In complement, the interview
data provided substance and personal meaning to the survey-based structure by yielding a
phenomenological account of recreational shopping that enriched the content of the
survey questions, as well as illustrating, contextualizing, and interpreting survey results
(Amould and Price 1993; O’Guinn and Faber 1989).
Study 1
In the first phase of the research, in-depth interviews were conducted with 15
female consumers, who enjoy shopping for clothing. The number of informants is based
on the recommendations of McCracken (1988) and Spradley (1979), while the reason for
limiting the group of informants to females is Bellenger and Korgaonkar's (1980) finding
that recreational shoppers were more likely to be female than male. In addition, research
46

Al
by Guiry (1992), suggests that females are more likely to consider shopping an important
social event.
The informants were recruited through a university newspaper advertisement and
each informant received $25 for participating in the study. Each interview was conducted
by the author and lasted between 60 and 90 minutes. The interviews were tape recorded
and transcribed verbatim by the author.
Characteristics of Informants
The informants ranged in age from 19 to 42. Eleven of the informants were
students while the other four were working full-time. Eight of the students were working
part-time while attending school. Finally, with regards to their ethnic/racial background,
five of the informants were African-American, two were Hispanic American, and the
remaining eight were white.
Interview Format
The interviews were conducted in a loose format to develop rapport, enable
informants to describe their shopping experiences in detail, and allow them the freedom
to introduce topics on their own. At the beginning of the interview, informants were
asked to discuss a recent experience shopping for clothing at a shopping mall, framed
within the context of a "grand tour" question (McCracken 1988; Spradley 1979). From
this initial question, the interview moved towards discussing informants’ clothes
shopping experience in more detail, other shopping experiences, informants' definition of
shopping, the meaning they ascribe to the experience, and the role of shopping in the
larger context of their lives. Specific interview questions were raised when necessary to
investigate such issues as how is shopping used as a recreational activity, types of

48
activities engaged in while shopping, types of products that informants enjoyed shopping
for and those that they did not like shopping for, role of shopping companions and sales
personnel in their shopping experiences, meaning of the experience, identification with
shopping, which aspects of shopping are most important, when informants went clothes
shopping, gift shopping, catalog shopping, positive and negative consequences of
shopping, etc.
The protocol used to guide, but not drive, the interviews is provided in Appendix
1. Each informant was not asked every question from the protocol since more often than
not key issues would arise without prompting during the course of the informant’s
discussion of her clothes shopping experiences. The goal was to have an in-depth
conversation about shopping for clothing from a first-person perspective, rather than a
question and answer session, that would yield a “thick description” (Denzin 1989; Geertz
1973) of informants’ shopping experiences.
The interviews were used to examine a priori themes and identify and analyze
emergent themes to gain a first-person understanding of consumers' lived shopping
experiences (McCracken 1988; Spradley 1979; Thompson, Locander, and Pollio 1989).
To meet this end, the research uses the constant comparative method of analysis (Glaser
and Strauss 1967; Strauss and Corbin 1990) to examine the similarities and differences in
the shopping experiences of the informants.
The verbatim interview transcripts were the data from which the thematic
descriptions of informants’ shopping experiences unfolded through an interpretive
process. Thematic descriptions required careful readings of each transcript to understand
the individual informant’s shopping experiences from a first-person perspective. After

49
the interviews were analyzed individually, the separate interviews were related to each
other and common patterns or themes were identified emerging from informants’
discussions of their shopping experiences. An emic approach to interpretation was
followed that attempted to describe the recorded experiences from within the informant
by using her own terms rather than the researcher’s.
Study 2
In the second phase of the research, survey questionnaires were distributed to a
quota-convenience sample of consumers by undergraduate and MBA students in the
author’s marketing classes at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In return for extra course
credit and the opportunity to participate in a cash raffle, each student was asked to secure
up to ten respondents. Student participation was voluntary and each student was
permitted to complete a survey him/herself. Firm guidelines on respondent eligibility
were established to try to ensure a reasonable diversity of individuals and backgrounds.
The instructions and guidelines provided to the students are shown in Appendix 2.
Respondents drawn from family, friends, neighbors, co-workers were encouraged to
increase participation and conscientiousness in completing the survey. As a trade-off,
however, it was recognized that such encouragement would likely restrict the range of
socioeconomic classes represented in the final survey.
Before being administered, the survey was pre-tested by ten adult consumers, in
addition to being reviewed by the author’s dissertation chairman. Based on their
feedback, the original questionnaire was revised.
Each questionnaire was accompanied by a blank envelope and cover letter
describing the project as a study of consumer clothes shopping behavior. Anonymity was

50
guaranteed by instructing the respondent to seal the completed questionnaire in the
envelope before returning it to the student and by assuring the respondent that the
professor directing the project would be responsible for opening the envelope. To
encourage respondent participation, respondents were eligible to participate in a raffle
with cash prizes. A copy of the cover letter and questionnaire is included in Appendix 3.
The final sample consisted of 561 respondents. A detailed profile of the
respondents is given in Table 4. Ages ranged from less than 19 to over 60 and 54.8%
were between the ages of 20 and 29. Regarding gender, 56.7% were female and 61.2%
of the sample had never been married. Caucasians made up 46.1% of the respondents
and 72.8% of the sample were U. S. citizens. Educationally, 53.2% of the sample were
currently attending high school or college, 26.9% had a college degree and 11.4% had a
graduate degree. Regarding annual household income, 15.6% were below $20,000,
25.2% between $20,000 and $39,999, 26.0% between $40,00 and $59,999, 16.2%
between $60,000 and $79,999, and 17.1% were at or above $80,000.
Survey Measures
The questionnaire consisted of a series of scales and questions that were used to
answer the study's specific research questions, investigate the propositions, and explore
relationships among shopping and leisure variables.
Recreational shopper identity and leisure-based dimensions of recreational
shopping
The survey consisted of 84 items designed to measure recreational shopper
identity (level of involvement) and leisure-based dimensions of the recreational shopping
experience. The items designed to measure recreational shopping identity (level of

51
Table 4
Sociodemographic Variables
Descriptive Statistics
Gender
Male
Female
Percent
43.3
56.7
Age
19 or younger
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60 or older
8.8
54.8
15.4
10.2
3.8
7.2
Race/Ethnic Group
African-American
Asian
Caucasian
Hispanic
Other
15.2
26.3
46.1
5.7
6.8
Marital Status
Never Married
Married
Living Together
Separated
Divorced
Widowed
61.2
29.5
3.6
1.1
3.0
1.6
Number of Children
None
One
Two
Three
Four or More
63.6
15.7
10.9
6.7
3.1
Education
High School
High School Graduate
College
College Degree
Graduate School
Graduate Degree
2.7
15.2
34.9
26.9
8.9
11.4

52
Table 4—continued
Student
Percent
Yes
53.2
No
46.8
U.S. Citizen
Yes
72.8
No
27.2
Annual Household Income
Less than $20,000
15.6
$20,000 - $39,999
25.2
$40,000 - $59,999
26.0
$60,000 - $79,999
16.2
$80,000 - $99,999
7.4
$100,000 or more
9.7
involvement) were drawn from Shamir’s (1992) 12-item leisure identity scale and
Bloch’s (1981) research on product involvement, while the leisure-based dimensions
were based on the 26-item scale developed by Unger and Keman (1983) to measure the
six dimensions of a leisure experience. Additional items were added to these scales
based on the shopping and consumer behavior literature, interview data, and the author’s
imagination. In addition, items were included to measure the following dimensions:
social, including the role of shopping companions and salespeople, fantasy, and the
importance of clothing. All 84 items were worded to fit a retail store clothes shopping
context. Using 5-point scales anchored by “Strongly Agree” and “Strongly Disagree,”
respondents indicated their level of agreement with each item as it pertained to shopping
for clothing for themselves in a retail store.
A principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation resulted in eight
interpretable factors, accounting for 72 of the original 84 items, labeled: recreational

53
shopper identity (a = .9593), intrinsic satisfaction (a = .9073), spontaneity (a = .8641),
mastery (a = .8416), fantasy (a = .8494), social (a = .8056), salesperson (a = .7164), and
clothing-focused (a = .5733). The eight scales are presented in detail in the Survey
Results chapter immediately following this one.
Shopping mall activities
The measures of the frequency of consumer participation in mall activities were
primarily drawn from Bloch et al.'s (1994) research on mall inhabitants. The 13 items
from their research were modified and augmented by the author to capture a range of
product and service purchase activities, experiential activities, and consumption of the
mall itself. The final inventory containing 20 items (a = .8479) is included in Appendix
4. Using 5-point scales anchored by “Very Often” and “Never,” respondents indicated
how often they participated in 20 different mall activities when at a shopping mall
shopping for clothing.
Shopping behavior
Respondents were asked to indicate their frequency of shopping for clothing for
themselves in a retail store (whether a purchase was made or not), how much time they
spent shopping for clothing on a shopping trip for themselves (whether a purchase was
made or not), their frequency of shopping for clothing for themselves from a catalog, TV
home shopping channel, and the Internet (whether a purchase was made or not). The
frequency of shopping for clothing in a retail store was measured using a 9-point scale (1
= More than once a week, 2 = Once a week, 3 = Three times a month, 4 = Twice a month,
5 = Once a month, 6 = Every other month, 7 = 4-5 times a year, 8 = 2-3 times a year,
9 = Once a year). The time spent shopping for clothing was assessed using an 8-point

54
scale (1 = Less than 1 hour, 2 = 1 hour, 3 = 2 hours, 4 = 3 hour, 5 = 4 hours, 6 = 5 hours,
7 = 6 hours, 8 = More than 6 hours). Respondents’ frequency of shopping for clothing
from a catalog, TV home shopping channel, and the Internet were each measured using
10-point scales (1 = More than once a week, 2 = Once a week, 3 = Three times a month,
4 = Twice a month, 5 = Once a month, 6 = Every other month, 7 = 4-5 times a year, 8 =
2-3 times a year, 9 = Once a year, 10 = Never).
Materialism, compulsive buying, and self-esteem
Materialism was measured by the summation of Richins and Dawson’s (1992) 18-
item Likert scale (a = .8164). Compulsive buying was assessed by Faber and O’Guinn’s
(1992) Likert scale (a = .7958) and scoring equation. Self-esteem was measured by the
summation of Rosenberg’s (1965) 10-item Likert scale (a = .8740). These scales are
shown in Appendices 5, 6, and 7 respectively.
Opened-ended questions
The survey included two opened-ended questions for respondents to answer. The
questions were: What does shopping for clothing mean to you? and Compared to other
forms of shopping (i.e., catalogs, TV home shopping channels, or Internet), what do you
like best about shopping for clothing for yourself in retail store?
Sociodemographic variables
Respondents were asked to indicate their age, gender, race/ethnic group, marital
status, number of children living in their household, highest level of education completed,
student status, U. S. citizenship status, how long they have lived in the U. S., if not a U.
S. citizen, annual household income before taxes, and the percentage of income spent on

55
buying clothing for themselves. The scales used to measure respondents’
sociodemographic characteristics are presented in Appendix 8.
Since a quantitative and qualitative methods were used to conduct this research,
the dissertation results will be presented in two chapters. First, the survey results will be
discussed in Chapter 5 and then, in Chapter 6, the qualitative results will be described.
The order used to present the results is consistent with the complementary role of the
interview data that was described earlier in this chapter.

CHAPTER 5
SURVEY RESULTS
In this chapter, the research questions and propositions that were investigated by
analyzing the survey data will be discussed. For reference, these research questions and
propositions are summarized in Table 5. During the discussion of the results, additional
insights from the data will be brought to light when these findings are pertinent to the
specific research questions and propositions being addressed.
Recreational Shopper Identity and Leisure Dimensions of Recreational Shopping
Research Question 1
Exploratory factor analysis of the 84 survey items, discussed in Chapter 4, was
used to examine which dimensions of leisure are present in recreational shopping. The
survey items were designed to measure recreational shopper identity and leisure-based
dimensions of the recreational shopping experience.
A principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation of the 84 items
resulted in a sixteen-factor solution explaining 64.3% of the variance in the measures.
The sixteen factors each had eigenvalues greater than one. After rotation, an examination
of each factor’s item loadings resulted in eight interpretable factors, explaining 52.9% of
the variance in the full set of 84 items, being retained for further analysis. The factor
matrix of these eight factors, selected from the original 16-factor rotated solution, is
shown in Table 6.
56

Table 5
Research Questions and Propositions Investigated by the Survey Data
57
Research Question 1: Which dimensions of leisure discriminate recreational
shopping from nonrecreational shopping?
Research Question 2: What is the relationship between the dimensions of recreational
shopping and intrinsic satisfaction?
Research Question 3: What activities do recreational shoppers participate in to
experience the different dimensions of recreational shopping?
Research Question 5: How does the presence of a shopping companion influence the
nature and importance of leisure dimensions experienced while
recreational shopping?
Research Question 6: What role does a salesperson play in a recreational shopper’s
Proposition 1:
shopping experience?
Recreational shoppers are more likely to engage in fantasy behavior
than nonrecreational shoppers.
Proposition 2:
Consumer involvement with recreational shopping varies along a
continuum from low involvement to high involvement.
Proposition 3:
At low levels of recreational shopping involvement the focus of
consumers' shopping experiences is product acquisition, while at high
levels of recreational shopping the focus of consumers' shopping
experiences is the experience in itself.
Proposition 4:
Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of
enjoyment and satisfaction from product acquisition than from
experiential activities; in contrast high involvement recreational
shoppers realize higher levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from the
shopping experience as a whole than from product acquisition.
Proposition 5:
Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of
enjoyment and satisfaction from product acquisition than high
involvement recreational shoppers; in contrast high involvement
recreational shoppers realize higher levels of enjoyment and
satisfaction from experiential activities than low involvement
recreational shoppers.

58
Table 5—continued
Proposition 6:
High involvement recreational shoppers exhibit lower levels of
attachment to and possessiveness of purchased products than low
involvement recreational shoppers.
Proposition 7:
High involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of
enjoyment from shopping than low involvement recreational shoppers.
Proposition 8:
High involvement recreational shoppers have higher mean scores on
the measures of the other dimensions of leisure than low involvement
recreational shoppers.
Proposition 9:
Recreational shoppers have lower self-esteem than nonrecreational
shoppers.
Proposition 10:
High involvement recreational shoppers have lower self-esteem than
low involvement recreational shoppers.
The boldfaced factor scores in the matrix indicate the items used to define each
factor. Items denoted with a minus sign [-] were reversed scored in subsequent data
analysis. To be retained for factor definition, an item had to have its highest loading on
the factor, have a minimum factor score of .30 (Bernstein, Garbín, and Teng 1988), and
be conceptually related to the other items being used to define the factor. These criteria
resulted in 72 of the original 84 items being included in the 8-factor structure. Each item
not included in the eight-factor solution had its highest loading on one of the eliminated
factors, i.e., Factors 9-16. These factors had been eliminated since they were not
interpretable or had at most a two-item loading.
With regards to the stability of the two leisure scales that were incorporated into
this research, for the most part, Shamir’s (1992) leisure identity scale maintained its
original structure in the factor analysis, while Unger and Keman’s (1983) dimensions of

Table 6
Factor Loadings of Recreational Shopper Identity and Leisure-Based Dimensions of Recreational Shopping
Item
Factor I
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
Shopping for clothing is
central to who I am.
.76
.09
.15
.12
.11
.06
.07
.10
Shopping for clothing is what
makes life truly enjoyable.
.75
.19
.15
.13
.23
.12
.05
.08
I find that a lot of my life is
organized around shopping
for clothing.
.74
.15
.04
.13
.06
.05
.13
-.07
If I was not able to go
shopping for clothing, I
would feel that a part of me is
missing.
.74
.29
.09
.07
.11
.05
.05
.05
Shopping for clothing is one
of the most fulfilling things I
do.
.73
.26
.16
.06
.17
.12
.04
.16
Shopping for clothing
occupies a special place in
my life
.73
.27
.06
.11
.12
.05
.14
.11
Shopping for clothing affirms
my values.
.72
-.01
.15
.15
.05
.11
.07
.17
Shopping for clothing enables
me to realize my aspirations.
.66
.17
.19
.16
.20
.09
.09
.12
Shopping for clothing is an
extension of myself.
.65
.28
.11
.15
.02
.03
.07
.22

Table 6—continued
Item
Factor I
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
Shopping for clothing is often
on my mind.
.64
.35
.09
.07
.13
.11
.09
.02
Shopping for clothing totally
absorbs me.
.64
.20
.03
.17
.14
.03
.03
.05
Shopping for clothing is one
of the most enjoyable things I
do.
.62
.48
.14
.05
.17
.14
.08
.17
A central part of my
friendship or relationship
with another person is going
shopping for clothing
together.
.60
.01
.10
.13
.08
.28
.09
-.11
Shopping for clothing
contributes to my self-esteem.
.56
.22
.17
.20
.09
.06
.05
.28
When I’m with a friend or
family member we often end
up talking about shopping for
clothing.
.54
.20
.11
.10
.01
.16
.20
-.02
I get a real high from
shopping for clothing.
.53
.43
.10
.27
.29
.13
-.02
.05
I get so involved shopping for
clothing that I forget
everything else.
.52
.25
.13
.27
.21
.05
.01
-.04
On
O

Table 6—continued
Item
Factor 1
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
Other people think that
shopping for clothing is
important to me.
.51
.31
.07
.11
-.01
.09
.14
.01
Shopping for clothing is its
own reward.
.48
.43
.18
.11
.18
.10
.06
.19
Shopping for clothing is
important for my self¬
definition.
.45
.26
.27
.15
.10
.01
.06
.31
I feel like a real champion
when shopping for clothing.
.44
.27
.13
.37
.22
.03
.12
.18
Shopping for clothing is a
social event.
.43
.21
-.01
.16
.09
.32
-.09
.15
I find myself going shopping
for clothing often because I
quickly lose interest in the
clothing that I buy.
.42
.12
.23
.20
.14
.05
-.04
-.09
Shopping for clothing offers
new experiences.
.40
.21
.21
.14
.22
.08
.10
.33
Shopping for clothing is
much more than simply
buying something - it is a
whole experience.
.38
.37
.06
.30
.10
.11
.10
.25
I love to go shopping for
clothing.
.42
.68
.10
.03
.14
.09
-.01
.22

Table 6—continued
Item
Factor I
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
To me, shopping for clothing
is pure enjoyment.
.39
.66
.21
.06
.18
.07
-.03
.15
I enjoy the process of
shopping for clothing for its
own sake.
.24
.64
.15
-.08
.22
.04
.06
.10
Shopping for clothing is a
way to “get away from it all.”
.31
.62
.22
.32
.06
.00
.10
.02
Shopping for clothing helps
me forget about the day’s
problems.
.32
.62
.23
.29
.10
.02
.11
.03
I go shopping for clothing
because buying clothing
makes me happy.
.38
.62
.23
.17
.14
.03
.03
.15
I was bom to shop for
clothing.
.33
.59
.18
.18
.06
.06
.10
.00
I need to be looking for a
specific item to go shopping
for clothing. [-]
-.13
-.57
-.14
.15
.08
.02
.03
.23
“Not because I have to but
because I want to” would
characterize my shopping for
clothing.
.39
.49
.10
.01
.14
.11
-.09
.19
Others do not have to talk me
into shopping for clothing.
.11
.45
.09
.02
-.17
-.17
-.05
.16

Table 6—continued
Item
Factor 1
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
I enjoy walking around the
mall when I am shopping for
clothing.
.21
.43
.08
.02
.15
.18
.06
.20
I enjoy discussing shopping
for clothing with my family
and/or friends.
.29
.41
.04
.14
.08
.30
.16
.18
For me, shopping for clothing
is a “spur-of-the-moment”
thing.
.18
.11
.82
.05
.02
.01
-.02
.11
For me, shopping for clothing
happens “out of the blue.”
.19
.16
.82
.06
.08
.01
.04
.09
For me, shopping for clothing
happens without warning or
pre-thought.
.19
.27
.73
.03
.03
.09
.06
-.02
For me, shopping for clothing
is a spontaneous occurrence.
.22
.25
.72
.11
.04
.08
.01
.15
I don’t know the day before
that I am going to go
shopping for clothing.
.08
.08
.69
.06
.04
-.01
-.02
-.10
I feel like I’m being
thoroughly tested when
shopping for clothing.
.20
.02
.01
.73
.03
.12
.10
.09
ON
u>

Table 6—continued
Item
Factor 1
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
When I am shopping for
clothing I feel like I am in
another world.
.28
.13
.07
.70
.18
.01
.12
.08
I feel like I’m exploring new
worlds when shopping for
clothing.
.34
.24
.13
.61
.21
.02
.12
.16
I feel like I’m at risk when
shopping for clothing.
.30
-.11
.09
.52
.02
.11
.04
-.07
I get a sense of adventure
when shopping for clothing.
.30
.42
.14
.44
.14
-.00
.07
.16
In a sense, I feel like I’m
conquering the world when
shopping for clothing.
.33
.37
.09
.41
.06
.12
-.06
-.09
Shopping for clothing
satisfies my sense of
curiosity.
.36
.31
.22
.39
.21
.07
.06
.08
I enjoy trying on clothes just
for fun when I go shopping
for clothing.
.19
.20
.08
.16
.74
.01
.11
-.01
When I go shopping for
clothing I like to try on
clothes that I can not afford to
buy.
.22
.12
.02
.05
.73
.06
.11
.05

Table 6—continued
Factor 1
Recreational Factor 2 Factor 8
Shopper Intrinsic Factor 3 Factor 4 Factor 5 Factor 6 Factor 7 Clothing-
Item Identity Satisfaction Spontaneity Mastery Fantasy Social Salesperson Focused
When I go shopping for
clothing I like to try on
clothes that I wish I could
wear.
.39
.06
.05
.09
.63
.15
.08
.05
When I am shopping for
clothing I often imagine
myself living another life.
.39
.07
.11
.40
.51
.02
.13
-.02
Trying on clothes is part of
the fun of shopping for
clothing.
.35
.25
.03
.06
.43
.26
.05
.13
When I go shopping for
clothing trying on clothes
makes me feel good.
.38
.22
.04
.14
.41
.18
.10
.15
I like to look through stores
and just imagine owning
some of the clothing.
.27
.19
.11
.34
.40
.18
-.01
.12
Shopping for clothing is most
enjoyable when I go with
another person.
.15
.11
.05
.11
.07
.80
.06
.10
Shopping for clothing is most
enjoyable when I go by
myself. [-]
.07
.10
.12
.14
.09
-.72
.04
.12

Table 6--continued
Item
Factor I
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
The best part of going
shopping for clothing is being
with my family and /or
friends.
.19
.00
.09
.03
.13
.67
.08
.11
I have a favorite shopping
companion when I go
shopping for clothing.
.35
.03
.08
.18
.10
.59
.13
.05
I enjoy going shopping for
clothing with other people
even if I do not plan to buy
something.
.13
.22
.13
.10
.21
.53
.05
.06
I enjoy helping a shopping
companion while he/she is
shopping for clothing.
.23
.32
.07
.07
.02
.47
.04
.18
I enjoy being complimented
by a shopping companion
when I am shopping for
clothing.
.09
.19
.08
.17
.12
.38
.30
.29
When shopping for clothing I
enjoy talking to salespeople.
.07
.09
.09
.06
.13
.08
.75
.01
I like to be waited on by a
helpful salesperson when I
am shopping for clothing.
.13
-.10
-.12
.12
-.04
-.03
.72
.11

Table 6—continued
Item
Factor I
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
I like when salespeople know
my name when I am shopping
for clothing.
.34
.01
-.03
.10
.11
.07
.61
.05
I enjoy being complimented
by a salesperson when I am
shopping for clothing.
.10
.11
.16
.08
.15
.13
.56
.12
I am friendly and talkative to
others when I am shopping
for clothing.
.00
.34
.06
.03
.17
.13
.49
.07
I feel very strongly about the
clothing that I buy.
.27
.09
.12
.08
.08
.09
.07
.72
The clothing that I buy is
special to me.
.27
.14
.06
.11
.02
.10
.23
.61
I have strong feelings about
shopping for clothing.
.28
.23
-.00
.27
.08
.06
.09
.42
When I go shopping for
clothing I don’t really care
what I buy. [-]
.35
-.17
.13
.22
.10
-.07
.17
-.41
Shopping for clothing is fun
when I am just looking
around in a store with no
intention to buy.
.15
.24
.12
.17
.26
.13
.09
.04
On
—J

Table 6—continued
Item
Factor I
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
When I go shopping for
clothing I’m often not sure
why I buy the things that I do.
.30
.07
.22
.14
.15
.03
.01
-.14
Shopping for clothing is not
fun if I don’t buy something.
.26
.08
.07
.12
-.04
.13
.11
.04
When I go shopping for
clothing I have to buy
something.
.36
.23
.19
.02
.08
.04
.11
-.00
I do not feel forced to shop
for clothing. [-]
.09
-.01
-.09
-.03
.04
.12
-.09
.05
I do not feel obligated to shop
for clothing. [-]
.08
-.08
-.08
.07
.00
-.01
.04
.02
Many people know how I feel
about shopping for clothing.
.16
-.01
.05
.06
-.00
.05
.08
.07
Shopping for clothing is
unique.
.29
.24
.09
.16
.11
-.00
.04
.16
1 like to stop and get
something to eat or drink
when I am shopping for
clothing.
.01
.11
.11
-.02
.15
.12
.04
.07
Shopping for clothing is not
completely voluntary for me.
[-]
-.07
-.12
.08
.19
.00
.00
.08
.08

Table 6—continued
Item
Factor I
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Factor 2
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Factor 3
Spontaneity
Factor 4
Mastery
Factor 5
Fantasy
Factor 6
Social
Factor 7
Salesperson
Factor 8
Clothing-
Focused
Shopping for clothing allows
me to express myself.
.33
.36
.25
.26
.10
.09
.11
.21
I never get as much out of
owning the clothing 1 buy as I
thought I would.
.26
-.09
.04
.19
.11
.04
-.00
-.11
Eigenvalues
26.49
3.87
3.16
2.62
2.46
2.23
1.87
1.72
Percentage of Variance
Explained
31.50
4.60
3.80
3.10
2.90
2.70
2.20
2.00

70
leisure scale was not stable. A number of items from their scale exhibited different
loading patterns than the ones reported in their research.
The first factor, shown in Table 6, was labeled recreational shopper identity.
This factor encompassed 25 items pertaining to how one defines or identifies him/herself
in terms of shopping for clothing and the incorporation of the activity into the self. Nine
of the eleven items from Shamir’s leisure identity scale loaded on Factor 1, while Unger
and Keman’s scale contributed five items, i.e., one item each from the intrinsic
satisfaction, arousal, and mastery dimensions, and two items from the involvement
dimension, to this factor. This factor was used to differentiate recreational shoppers from
nonrecreational shoppers in this research.
The second factor was labeled intrinsic satisfaction. The 12 items loading on this
factor, shown in Table 6, captured the personal enjoyment realized from shopping for
clothing. This dimension tapped not only the joy received from product acquisition and
participating in the activity, but also the mood enhancing benefits of shopping. Intrinsic
satisfaction and enjoyment have been identified as a dimension of leisure (Gunter 1987;
Shaw 1985; Unger and Keman 1983). Six items from Unger and Keman’s scale loaded
on this factor: two items each from the intrinsic satisfaction, perceived freedom, and
involvement dimensions.
The third factor, labeled spontaneity, captured the spontaneous or unplanned
nature of shopping for clothing. Spontaneity has been identified as a dimension of leisure
(Gunter 1987; Unger and Keman 1983). All five items from Unger and Keman’s
spontaneity dimension loaded on this factor. The loadings for these five items are shown
in Table 6.

71
In Factor 4, feelings of mastering the activity of shopping for clothing were
represented. The twelve items, exhibited in Table 6, loading on this factor referred to the
opportunity one has to test one’s self or conquer the clothing shopping environment in
some way (e.g., find a unique item or get a very good deal on a purchase). Mastery has
been identified as a leisure dimension (Unger and Keman 1983). All the items that loaded
on this dimension were from Unger and Keman’s scale: four items from the mastery
dimension, two items from the arousal dimension, and one item from the involvement
dimension. The loading of the arousal items on this factor is not surprising given that
mastery appears to be closely linked to arousal seeking in leisure (Unger and Keman
1983).
The fifth factor, shown in Table 6, focused on Fantasy behaviors engaged in
while shopping for clothing. The seven items tapped playful daydreaming and fanciful
activities that may provide enjoyment to participants, as well as serving positive adaptive
functions such as motivation, exploration, compensation, delay of gratification, and
escape (Fournier and Guiry 1993). Although Unger and Keman did not include a
measure of fantasy in their scale, fantasy has been identified as a dimension of leisure in
the leisure literature (Gunter 1987), in addition to being an aspect of consumer culture
(Fournier and Guiry 1993; O’Guinn and Faber 1989).
The sixth factor reflected the social aspects of shopping for clothing. The seven
items loading on this dimension centered on the benefits provided by the presence of a
shopping companion while a consumer shops for clothing. (See Table 6.) Although not
considered a dimension of leisure, as previously discussed in Chapter 3, companionship
may enhance the leisure experience compared to participating alone.

72
Rather than representing dimensions of leisure, the last two factors presented in
Table 6 focused on other aspects of shopping for clothing, i.e., interacting with
salespeople and the importance of the clothing purchased while shopping. In Factor 7,
five items addressed the social benefits provided by a salesperson in a consumer’s
shopping experience. Factor 8 was labeled clothing-focused as the four items loading on
this dimension encompassed feelings of importance or attachment to the clothing
purchased while shopping.
In addition to delineating a measure of recreational shopper identity salience, the
factor analysis confirmed the existence of four dimensions of leisure in recreational
shopping, i.e., intrinsic satisfaction, spontaneity, mastery, and fantasy. Three of the six
leisure dimensions (perceived freedom, arousal, and involvement) measured by Unger
and Keman’s scale and theorized to be present in all leisure did not emerge as
independent factors. As discussed earlier, Unger and Keman’s scale was found to be
unstable in this research. Two of their five perceived freedom items loaded on the
intrinsic satisfaction factor; the other three items did not have a loading of at least .30 on
any of the eight factors. Two of the four arousal items loaded on the mastery factor. As
previously indicated, mastery and arousal are theorized to be closely related dimensions.
One arousal item loaded on the recreational shopper identity factor, while the final item
did not load on any of the eight factors. With regards to the involvement subscale, two
items each loaded on the recreational shopper identity and intrinsic satisfaction factors;
the last item loaded on the mastery factor.
To further investigate the stability of Unger and Keman’s leisure scale, the 26
items in their scale were subjected to a principal components factor analysis with varimax

73
rotation. In contrast to the 6-component matrix reported by Unger and Keman, four
factors, with eigenvalues greater than one, were extracted from the present principal
components analysis. The rotated factor structure is shown in Table 7. The boldfaced
factor scores indicate the highest loading for each item across the four factors. In column
one, the items from Unger and Keman’s scale are grouped together according to their
original subscale leisure dimension label.
As can be seen in Table 7, the only subscale that held its original structure was the
spontaneity factor (Factor 2). As discussed earlier in this chapter, the same result
occurred when the 84 survey items, from the present research, were factor analyzed. All
the arousal and mastery items from Unger and Keman’s scale loaded together, along with
three involvement items, on Factor 1. The three intrinsic satisfaction items did load
together on Factor 1, but they were joined by three perceived freedom items and two
involvement items. Finally, two perceived freedom items loaded on Factor 4. In sum,
Unger and Keman’s scale appears to be unstable when applied to the leisure activity of
shopping for clothing. The scale’s instability seems to have accounted for the lack of
evidence that perceived freedom, arousal, and involvement are separate dimensions of the
shopping for clothing experience.
Returning to the factor analysis results in Table 6, in addition to the four leisure
dimensions that were uncovered, three other dimensions of recreational shopping were
also identified: social, salesperson, and clothing-focused. These dimensions which
pertain to the experiential and product acquisition aspects of shopping in a retail store
setting have been identified as shopping motives as well as defining characteristics of

Table 7
Factor Loadings of Unger and Keman (1983) Leisure Scale
74
Item
Factor 1
Factor 2
Factor 3
Factor 4
Intrinsic Satisfaction
I enjoy the process of shopping for
clothing for its own sake.
.25
.22
.67
-.02
To me, shopping for clothing is
pure enjoyment.
.39
.27
.69
-.06
Shopping for clothing is its own
reward.
.50
.22
.52
.02
Perceived Freedom
I do not feel forced to shop for
clothing. [-]
-.01
.08
.10
.81
Shopping for clothing is not
completely voluntary for me. [-]
.26
.13
-.45
-.12
I do not feel obligated to shop for
clothing. [-]
-.04
.08
.09
.77
Others do not have to talk me into
shopping for clothing.
.06
.12
.54
.23
“Not because I have to but because
I want to” would characterize my
shopping for clothing.
.29
.18
.66
.11
Arousal
Shopping for clothing is unique.
.45
.07
.34
.19
Shopping for clothing satisfies my
sense of curiosity.
.62
.24
.27
-.02
Shopping for clothing offers new
experiences.
.52
.23
.32
.12
I feel like I’m exploring new
worlds when shopping for
clothing.
.81
.16
.12
.09

75
Table 7—continued
Item
Factor 1
Factor 2
Factor 3
Factor 4
Mastery
In a sense, I feel like I’m
conquering the world when
shopping for clothing.
.57
.10
.29
-.13
I get a sense of adventure when
shopping for clothing.
.66
.17
.36
.08
I feel like a real champion when
shopping for clothing.
.68
.15
.26
-.02
I feel like I’m being thoroughly
tested when shopping for clothing.
.75
.05
-.20
-.04
Involvement
Shopping for clothing helps me
forget about the day’s problems.
.44
.28
.51
-.12
Shopping for clothing totally
absorbs me.
.53
.09
.32
-.26
Shopping for clothing is a way to
“get away from it all.”
.45
.28
.51
-.06
When I am shopping for clothing I
feel like I am in another world.
.80
.10
-.06
-.04
I get so involved shopping for
clothing that I forget everything
else.
.55
.18
.30
-.19
Spontaneity
For me, shopping for clothing
happens without warning or pre¬
thought.
.22
.74
.17
.06
For me, shopping for clothing is a
spontaneous occurrence.
.24
.76
.21
.04
For me, shopping for clothing
happens “out of the blue.”
.20
.84
.11
.07

76
Table 7—continued
Item
Factor 1
Factor 2
Factor 3
Factor 4
For me, shopping for clothing is a
“spur-of-the-moment” thing.
.13
.85
.09
.02
I don’t know the day before that I
am going to go shopping for
clothing.
.03
.70
.12
.08
Eigenvalues
8.99
2.42
1.79
1.31
Percentage of Variance Explained
34.60
9.30
6.90
5.10
certain types of shoppers. (See Chapter 2’s discussion of shopping motives and shopper
typologies.)
Before discussing the rest of the study’s research questions and propositions, in
the next section of this chapter, a profile of the recreational shopper will be provided by
comparing recreational shoppers with nonrecreational shoppers along sociodemographic
and shopping behavior variables, compulsive buying, materialism, self-esteem, and the
leisure and shopping dimensions extracted from the factor analysis.
Profile of the Recreational Shopper
The recreational shopper identity scale was used to classify survey respondents as
recreational shoppers or nonrecreational shoppers. Respondents’ scores on the 25 items,
comprising the scale, were summed and those respondents whose total score was at least
76 were classified as recreational shoppers. This method of classification was used since
the neutral point on the recreational shopper identity scale was a score of 75. Classifying
respondents in this manner resulted in 119 recreational shoppers being identified, while

77
the total number of nonrecreational shoppers was 404. Thirty-eight respondents were not
classified one way or the other because of missing values in their responses on the
recreational shopper identity scale. The percentage of recreational shoppers (22.8%) and
nonrecreational shoppers (77.2%) in this research stands in sharp contrast to Bellenger
and Korgaonkar’s (1980) results. Using a single-item measure of the level of shopping
enjoyment to classify survey respondents, they reported that 69% of their sample were
recreational shoppers, while 31% were convenience (i.e., nonrecreational shoppers).
Descriptive Statistics
Table 8 shows the means and standard deviations for the main variables in the
dissertation according to the recreational shopper and nonrecreational shopper subgroups.
The items and scales used to measure the main variables, i.e., recreational shopper
identity, leisure and shopping dimensions, shopping mall activities, shopping behavior,
and materialism, compulsive buying, and self-esteem, were described in Chapter 4. The
scales used to assess recreational shopper identity, as well as the leisure and shopping
dimensions will be discussed in detail in the next section of this chapter. For each multi¬
item scale, the number of items in the scale and the scale’s reliability, measured by
coefficient alpha across all survey respondents, is also provided.
Independent-samples t-tests were used to compare the mean scores of recreational
shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers on each main variable. The t-test results will be
reported in this chapter following the discussion of the descriptive statistics.
Higher scores on the recreational shopper identity scale mean a stronger
recreational shopper identity, while higher numbers on the leisure and shopping
dimension scales mean greater perceived benefits from each dimension. The 20 shopping

78
Table 8
Descriptive Statistics for the Main Variables by
Recreational Shopper and Nonrecreational Shopper Subgroups
Recreational Shoppers Nonrecreational Shoppers
Variable Mean SD Range Mean SD Range
Recreational Shopper
Identity
(25 items, a = .9593)
87.34
8.80
76-117
53.79
13.77
25-75
Leisure/Shopping
Dimensions
Intrinsic Satisfaction (12
items, a = .9073)
45.77
5.96
33-59
33.24
9.11
12-56
Spontaneity (5 items, a =
17.30
3.31
10-25
13.87
4.44
5-25
Mastery (7 items, a =
.8416)
22.43
3.72
12-32
15.96
4.50
7-28
Fantasy (7 items, a =
.8494)
22.39
4.79
9-33
15.71
5.01
7-35
Social (7 items, a = .8056)
24.26
4.45
13-34
19.89
5.20
7-31
Salesperson (5 items, a =
.71640
16.48
3.40
7-25
13.58
3.66
5-23
Clothing-Focused (4
items, a = .5733)
15.54
2.14
11-20
13.68
2.47
5-20
Shopping Mall Activities
(20 items, a = .8479)
Play a video game
1.66
1.02
1-5
1.46
.86
1-5
Have something to drink
3.61
1.06
1-5
3.49
1.00
1-5
Make an unplanned
clothing purchase
3.71
1.01
1-5
3.06
.96
1-5
Walk for exercise
2.41
1.32
1-5
1.82
1.01
1-5
Browse without planning
to buy
3.22
1.03
1-5
2.95
1.10
1-5
Talk with other shoppers
2.35
.99
1-5
2.13
.91
1-5
See a movie
2.00
1.00
1-5
1.92
1.05
1-5
Have a snack
3.20
1.11
1-5
3.25
.98
1-5
Buy nonclothing product
3.28
.95
1-5
3.23
.86
1-5
Walk around for fun
2.91
1.12
1-5
2.42
1.15
1-5
Browse to buy something
in future
3.30
.99
1-5
2.87
1.01
1-5
Socialize with friends or
family
3.14
1.07
1-5
2.45
1.15
1-5

Table 8—continued
79
Recreational Shoppers Nonrecreational Shoppers
Variable Mean SD Range Mean SD Range
Go on carousel ride
1.67
.96
1-5
1.36
.75
1-5
Have lunch
3.28
.95
1-5
2.99
1.07
1-5
Get a haircut
1.38
.75
1-4
1.35
.73
1-5
Try on clothing for fun
2.68
1.24
1-5
1.75
.94
1-5
Have conversation with
sales clerk
2.52
1.03
1-5
2.15
.95
1-5
Look at mall exhibits
2.72
1.05
1-5
2.48
1.02
1-5
Have dinner
2.48
1.08
1-5
2.20
1.10
1-5
Watch other people
2.71
1.28
1-5
2.58
1.20
1-5
Shopping Behaviors\
Frequency of shopping for
clothing in retail stores
6.22
1.84
2-9
4.96
2.03
1-9
Time spent shopping for
clothing per trip
3.58
1.49
1-8
2.88
1.27
1-8
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from catalogs
2.85
2.28
1-10
3.01
2.32
1-10
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from Tv home
shopping channels
1.47
1.64
1 - 10
1.25
.99
1-10
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from Internet
1.22
.95
1-7
1.11
.72
1-8
Materialism (18 items, a =
.8164)
57.05
7.47
39-77
49.77
8.76
21-81
Compulsive Buying (7
items, a = .7958)
.24
2.12
-3.61 -
6.27
-1.50
1.43
-3.61 -
5.20
Self-Esteem (10 items, a
= .8740)
38.88
6.67
25-50
41.57
5.75
23-50
mall activity variables were single-item measures, assessed using 5-point scales. Higher
scores on these items indicate more frequent participation in the mall activity.
For the single-item shopping behavior variables, in the order the measures are
listed, a higher score means more frequent shopping activity in retail stores, more time
spent shopping per trip, or more frequent shopping from the three different nonstore sites.

80
The items used to measure the frequency of shopping for clothing for one’s self (whether
a purchase was made or not) in a retail store, from a catalog, TV home shopping channel,
and the Internet were reversed scored prior to data analysis.
The reliability of Richins and Dawson’s (1992) materialism scale (a = .8164) falls
within the range of .80 to .88 reported in their research, while the reliability of
Rosenberg’s (1965) self-esteem scale (a = .8740) is comparable to other studies (e.g.,
Richins and Dawson (1992)). Higher numbers on the materialism scale mean a stronger
materialistic tendency, while lower scores on the self-esteem scale mean lower self¬
esteem. Using the midpoint of the 18-item materialism scale and the 10-item self-esteem
scale as cutoff points respectively, 39.2% of the survey respondents were considered
materialistic and 6.0% had low self-esteem.
For Faber and O’Guinn’s (1992) compulsive buying scale, the calculated alpha
coefficient of .7958 was lower than their reported Cronbach’s alpha of .95. A principal
components factor analysis with varimax rotation of the seven items did extract one
factor, matching the factor analysis results of Faber and O’Guinn. The eigenvalue of
3.23 and proportion of variance of .46, however, were lower than their results (eigenvalue
= 4.45 and proportion of variance of .64). Using Faber and O’Guinn’s (1992)
recommended cutoff point of -1.34 in the use of their clinical assessment equation, 10.8%
of the survey sample would be classified as compulsive buyers or at risk of becoming
compulsive buyers. For data analysis purposes, including the means shown in Table 8,
compulsive buying was computed according to Faber and O’Guinn’s scoring equation
and then multiplied by -1 so that higher numbers mean a greater compulsive buying
tendency.

81
In Table 9, the frequency distributions for the sociodemographic variables by the
recreational shopper and nonrecreational shopper subgroups are provided. The use of a
quota-convenience sample to collect the survey data resulted in each subgroup being
skewed toward younger consumers, i.e., between the ages of 20 and 29, who have never
been married. This method of data collection, however, did result in a fairly balanced
distribution of males and females, different racial and ethnic groups, education levels,
and income brackets.
Independent-Samples T-Tests for Sociodemographic Variables
Recreational shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers were first compared across
the four continuous sociodemographic variables (i.e., age, education, income, and number
of children). The results of the t-test analysis are shown in Table 10. The age and
income levels of recreational shoppers differed significantly from nonrecreational
shoppers. Compared to nonrecreational shoppers, recreational shoppers were more likely
to be younger (M= 20 - 24) and have lower incomes (M= $30,000 - $39,999). In
comparison, the average age and income of nonrecreational shoppers was 30 - 34 and
$40,000 - $49,999 respectively. The significant difference in income levels between the
two groups is consistent with Bellenger et al.’s (1977) research on recreational shoppers.
In contrast to Bellenger et al.’s (1977) finding that recreational shoppers were less well
educated than nonrecreational shoppers, in the present study no significant differences
were found in the education levels of recreational shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers.
For the binary and categorical sociodemographic variables, independent-samples
t-tests were conducted to compare the mean recreational shopper identity scores of the
different groups within each variable. The t-test results indicated that females, students,

82
Table 9
Frequency Statistics for Sociodemographic Variables by
Recreational Shopper and Nonrecreational Shopper Subgroups
Variable
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Nonrecreational
Shoppers
Percent
Gender
Male
37.0
44.6
Female
63.0
55.4
Age
19 or younger
8.4
9.2
20-29
72.3
48.5
30-39
15.2
15.9
40-49
1.6
13.2
50-59
0.8
5.0
60 or older
1.6
8.2
Race/Ethnic Group
African-American
19.0
14.4
Asian
50.8
19.1
Caucasian
18.1
54.7
Hispanic
7.8
4.7
Other
4.3
7.1
Marital Status
Never Married
79.0
55.7
Married
15.1
33.8
Living Together
4.2
3.5
Separated
0.8
1.0
Divorced
0.0
4.2
Widowed
0.8
1.7
Number of Children
None
68.1
62.9
One
16.4
14.9
Two
6.0
11.3
Three
7.8
7.1
Four
0.9
2.5
Five or More
0.9
1.3

83
Table 9—continued
Variable
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Nonrecreational
Shoppers
Percent
Education
High School
2.5
2.7
High School Graduate
16.8
14.9
College
34.5
34.4
College Degree
28.6
27.0
Graduate School
6.7
9.4
Graduate Degree
10.9
11.6
Student
Yes
70.6
47.6
No
29.4
52.4
U.S. Citizen
Yes
51.3
79.4
No
48.7
20.6
Annual Household Income
Less than $10,000
11.1
6.4
$10,000 - $19,999
9.3
7.8
$20,000 - $29,999
13.9
11.5
$30,000 - $39,999
14.8
12.6
$40,000 - $49,999
17.6
11.2
$50,000 - $59,999
4.6
16.2
$60,000 - $69,999
8.3
9.8
$70,000 - $79,999
10.2
5.3
$80,000 - $89,999
3.7
4.2
$90,000 - $99,999
0.0
4.7
$100,000 or more
6.5
10.3
those who had never been married, non-U. S. citizens, and Asians had a significantly
stronger recreational shopper identity tendency than the counterpart groups they were
compared with.
Females had a stronger recreational shopper identity (M= 63.37) than males (M =
58.82; t = -2.72, p < .01). This result is compatible with Bellenger and Korgaonkar’s

84
Table 10
Comparison of Recreational Shoppers and Nonrecreational Shoppers
(Continuous Sociodemographic Variables)
Variable
Mean
Recreational
Shoppers
Mean
Nonrecreational
Shoppers
t-value
P (<)
Age
2.77
4.15
-6.92
.0001
Education
3.53
3.60
-.57
n.s.
Income
4.91
5.70
-2.50
.05
Number of
Children
1.59
1.75
-1.29
n.s.
(1980) finding that recreational shoppers were more likely to be female than male.
Students had significantly higher recreational shopper identity scores (M= 65.07) than
nonstudents (M = 57.31; t = 4.74, p < .0001). Respondents who had never been married
had a stronger recreational shopper identity (M = 65.54) than married respondents (M =
54.77; t = 5.99, p < .0001). Bellenger et al. (1977) reported a similar result, i.e.,
recreational shoppers were more likely to be single than married. Non-U. S. citizens had
significantly higher recreational shopper identity scores (M= 71.87) than U. S. citizens
(M= 57.53; t = -8.08,p < .0001).
Interestingly, the t-test comparisons showed significant differences in the mean
recreational shopper identity scores among the different race and ethnic groups. Asians
had a stronger recreational shopper identity (M~ 72.12) than whites (M= 53.42; t =
10.26,p < .0001), African-Americans (M= 64.76; t = -3.10,/? < .01), and Hispanics (M =
64.39; t = 2.18,/? < .05), while, similar to Asians, both African-Americans (M= 64.76; t

85
= 5.02,p< .0001) and Hispanics (M= 64.39; t = 3.10,/? < .01) also had higher
recreational shopper identity scores than whites (M- 53.42).
Independent-Samples T-Tests for Shopping Behavior, Compulsive Buying,
Materialism, and Self-Esteem
The next basis for comparison was to analyze differences in clothing shopping
behavior, compulsive buying, materialism, and self-esteem. The results of the t-test
analysis are shown in Table 11. Recreational shoppers went shopping for clothing for
themselves in a retail store more often than nonrecreational shoppers and spent more time
shopping on a shopping trip. The latter result is consistent with Bellenger and
Korgaonkar’s (1980) work. On average, recreational shoppers went shopping for
clothing in a retail store between two and three times a month and spent between two and
three hours per trip. In contrast, on average, nonrecreational shoppers shopped for
clothing in a retail store between one and two times a month and spent between one and
two hours shopping each trip.
Significant differences between recreational shoppers and nonrecreational
shoppers also existed on the measures of compulsive buying, materialism, and self¬
esteem. Recreational shoppers were more likely to be compulsive buyers and
materialists, and had lower self-esteem than nonrecreational shoppers. These results are
not surprising given that compulsive buyers and materialists are active shopping
participants. Furthermore, research has shown that compulsive buyers are more
materialistic and have lower self-esteem than the general population (O’Guinn and Faber
1989) and materialism is negatively correlated with self-esteem (Richins and Dawson
1992).

Table 11
Comparison of Recreational Shoppers and Nonrecreational Shoppers
86
Measure
Mean
Recreational
Shoppers
Mean
Nonrecreational
Shoppers
t-value
P(<)
Shopping
Frequency
6.22
4.96
-6.06
.0001
Time Spent
Shopping
3.58
2.88
4.70
.0001
Frequency of
Catalog Shopping
2.85
3.01
.67
n.s.
Frequency of TV
Home Shopping
1.47
1.25
-1.40
n.s.
Frequency of
Internet Shopping
1.22
1.11
-1.13
n.s.
Compulsive
Buying
.24
-1.50
-8.30
.0001
Materialism
57.05
48.77
8.09
.0001
Self-Esteem
38.88
41.56
-3.92
.001
Relationships Among Recreational Shopper Identity, Compulsive Buying,
Materialism, and Self-Esteem
The correlations among recreational shopper identity, compulsive buying,
materialism, and self-esteem in this study were all significant at p< .0001 and in light of
past research, were in the direction that would be expected. (See Table 12.) Recreational
shopper identity, compulsive buying, and materialism are strongly positively interrelated,
while self-esteem is negatively related to the other three measures. The number of
materialists (n = 212), recreational shoppers (n =119), and compulsive buyers (n = 59),

87
Table 12
Correlations Between Recreational Shopper Identity,
Compulsive Buying, Materialism, and Self-Esteem
Recreational
Shopper Identity
Compulsive
Buying
Materialism
Compulsive Buying
.49 (p<.0001)
Materialism
.44 (pc.0001)
.40 (pc.0001)
Self-Esteem
-.24 (pc.0001)
-.43 (p<.0001)
-.24 (pc.0001)
identified among the survey respondents suggests that recreational shoppers may be a
subgroup of materialists and compulsive buyers may be a subgroup of recreational
shoppers.1
To further examine the relationship among these four measures, a multiple
regression model was estimated with recreational shopper identity as the dependent
variable regressed on compulsive buying, materialism, and self-esteem. (See Table 13.)
The results showed that compulsive buying (P = .36, p < .0001) and materialism (P = .30,
p < .0001) were strong predictors of recreational shopper identity, while the influence of
self-esteem on recreational shopper identity was non-significant.
In a follow-up regression model shown in Table 13, an interaction term between
compulsive buying and materialism was added to the above model. The analysis of this
model yielded only one significant independent variable, namely materialism (P = .35,/»
< .0001), suggesting that materialism is a stronger predictor of recreational shopper
identity than compulsive buying.
1 68.3% of recreational shoppers were materialists, while 26.3% of recreational shoppers
were compulsive buyers.

Table 13
Regression Models for Recreational Shopper Identity and Compulsive Buying
(Beta Coefficients)
88
Dependent Variables
Recreational Recreational
Shopper Shopper Compulsive Compulsive Compulsive
Independent Variables
Identity
Identity
Buying
Buying
Buying
Recreational Shopper
Identity
24****
.38*
.80*
Compulsive Buying
2^****
.02
Materialism
2Q****
25****
17****
.20*
-.46
Self-Esteem
-.02
-.03
_29****
-.26**
-.04
Compulsive Buying x
Materialism
.32
Recreational Shopper
Identity x Materialism
.80**
Recreational Shopper
Identity x Self-Esteem
-1 09***
Materialism x Self-
Esteem
.38
Recreational Shopper
Identity x Materialism x
Self-Esteem
-.05
R2
21****
22****
25****
2g****
*p < .05
**p < .01
***p< .001
****/?< .0001

89
In light of the previous results, additional regression models were analyzed to
provide further insight about the relationship among recreational shopper identity,
compulsive buying, materialism and self-esteem. (See Table 13.) First, a multiple
regression model was estimated with compulsive buying as the dependent variable
regressed on recreational shopper identity, materialism, and self-esteem. The results
showed that all three independent variables were strong predictors of compulsive buying,
with recreational shopper identity having the strongest influence: recreational shopper
identity ((3 = .34, p < .0001), materialism ((3 = .17,/? < .0001), and self-esteem (P = -.29, p
< .0001).
In a subsequent regression analysis, when an interaction term among the three
independent variables was added to the previous model, the three original variables
remained significant, while the interaction term was non-significant. Recreational
shopper identity (p = .38, p < .05) and materialism (P = .20, p < .05) were positively
related to compulsive buying, while self-esteem (P = -.26, p < .01) had a negative
influence on the dependent variable.
In the final regression model, compulsive buying was regressed on recreational
shopper identity, materialism, self-esteem, and three interaction variables: identity and
materialism, identity and self-esteem, and materialism and self-esteem. This model
yielded three significant variables. Recreational shopper identity (P = .80 ,p< .05) and
the interaction term between recreational shopper identity and materialism (p = .80, p <
.01) were positive predictors of compulsive buying, while the interaction term between
recreational shopper identity and self-esteem (P = -1.09,p< .001) was negatively related
to the dependent variable. These results indicate that recreational shopper identity had a

90
moderating effect on materialism and self-esteem in predicting compulsive buying
behavior.
In summary, the multiple regression results in Table 13 support the notion that
recreational shoppers are a subgroup of materialists and compulsive buyers are a
subgroup of recreational shoppers. Materialism positively affects the strength of a
consumer’s recreational shopper identity which in turn has a direct positive influence on
compulsive buying behavior, while at the same time moderates the effects of materialism
and self-esteem on the tendency to be a compulsive buyer.
Independent-Samples T-Tests for Leisure and Shopping Dimensions
The last set of comparisons between recreational shoppers and nonrecreational
shoppers was to compare each group’s mean scores on the leisure and shopping
dimensions discussed earlier in this chapter. The results of the t-test analysis are shown
in Table 14. Recreational shoppers differed significantly from nonrecreational shoppers
on all seven dimensions. Compared to nonrecreational shoppers, they realized higher
intrinsic satisfaction from shopping for clothing and were more likely to view shopping
for clothing as a spontaneous activity, have feelings of mastery while participating in the
activity, engage in fantasy behaviors while shopping, go shopping with someone else
(Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980) and value the presence of the shopping companion
while shopping (Guiry 1992), realize positive benefits from interacting with salespeople,
and have greater attachment to the clothing they purchased.
The significant differences between the mean scores of recreational shoppers and
nonrecreational shoppers on the four dimensions of leisure (intrinsic satisfaction,
spontaneity, mastery, and fantasy) provides stronger support for previous findings that

Table 14
Comparison of Recreational Shoppers and Nonrecreational Shoppers
91
Measure
Mean
Recreational
Shoppers
Mean
Nonrecreational
Shoppers
t-value
P(<)
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
45.77
33.24
17.36
.0001
Spontaneity
17.30
13.87
9.01
.0001
Mastery
22.43
15.96
15.67
.0001
Fantasy
22.39
15.71
12.84
.0001
Social
24.26
19.89
8.98
.0001
Salesperson
16.48
13.58
7.69
.0001
Clothing-Focused
15.54
13.37
8.66
.0001
recreational shoppers view shopping as a leisure activity (Bellenger and Korgaonkar
1980; Bellenger et al. 1977). Furthermore, the higher levels of mastery and social
interaction, together with the stronger product attachment perceived by recreational
shoppers support Bloch’s (1986) speculation that higher levels of product involvement
satisfy consumer needs for mastery and affiliation.
Relationships Among Recreational Shopper Identity and
Leisure/Shopping Dimensions
Research Question 2
To explore Research Question 2, correlations between recreational shopper
identity and the leisure and shopping dimensions were calculated. The results are shown
in Table 15. The highly significant positive correlations among the eight dimensions
suggests a possible halo effect in the survey responses. Among the leisure and shopping

Table 15
Correlations Between Recreational Shopper Identity, Leisure Dimensions, and Shopping Dimensions
Recreational
Shopper
Intrinsic
Identity
Satisfaction
Spontaneity
Mastery
Fantasy
Social
Salesperson
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
.78
Spontaneity
.47
.52
Mastery
.74
.60
.39
Fantasy
.70
.57
.32
.64
Social
.48
.44
.25
.37
.46
Salesperson
.41
.33
.18
.39
.37
.35
Clothing-
Focused
.45
.44
.20
.36
.30
.33
.31
For all correlations,/? < .0001

93
dimensions, intrinsic satisfaction had the highest positive association with recreational
shopper identity which is in line with the view in the leisure literature that intrinsic
satisfaction is the “quintessence of leisure” (Unger and Keman 1983, p. 382). With
regards to the relationship between intrinsic satisfaction and the other dimensions of
recreational shopping, mastery had the highest positive association with intrinsic
satisfaction, followed by the other two leisure dimensions, fantasy and spontaneity. The
shopping dimensions, clothing-focused, social, and salesperson, were also closely
associated with intrinsic satisfaction, but to a lower degree than the leisure dimensions.
To further investigate the relationship among the dimensions of recreational
shopping, multiple regression analysis was used to determine the influence of the leisure
and shopping dimensions on the frequency of shopping for clothing and the time spent
shopping on a shopping trip. The regression results in Table 16 show that intrinsic
satisfaction was positively related to the frequency of shopping for clothing (P = .52, p <
.0001), as well as the time spent shopping (P = .30,p< .0001). As enjoyment from
shopping for clothing increased, consumers shopped more often for clothing at retail
stores and spent more time shopping per trip.
Spontaneity was also positively related to the frequency of shopping (P = .09,p <
.05). Consumers made more frequent shopping trips to retail stores as shopping for
clothing became a more spontaneous activity. The amount of time consumer’s spent
shopping for clothing was also positively related to the social ( P = .14, p < .01) and
fantasy (p = .12,/? < .05) dimensions. As consumers realized greater benefits from
shopping with a companion and engaged in more fantasy behavior while shopping, they
spent more time shopping for clothing.

94
Table 16
Regression Models for Frequency of Shopping for Clothing
and Time Spent Shopping for Clothing
(Beta Coefficients)
Dependent Variables
Independent Variables
Frequency of Shopping
Time Spent Shopping
Intrinsic Satisfaction
52***
30***
Spontaneity
.09*
-.04
Mastery
-.06
-.04
Fantasy
-.03
.12*
Social
.02
14**
Salesperson
.01
-.06
Clothing-Focused
-.04
.05
R2
27***
17***
*p < .05
**p< .01
***p< .0001
Shopping Mall Activities and Dimensions of Recreational Shopping
Research Question 3
Two types of analysis were conducted to investigate the relationship between
recreational shopper identity, mall activities, and the leisure/shopping dimensions. First,
the extent to which recreational shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers participate in
different mall activities was compared using t-test analysis. The t-test results are given in
Table 17. Recreational shoppers participated more frequently in 13 of the 20 mall
activities. While recreational shoppers were more likely to make an unplanned clothing

95
Table 17
Comparison of Recreational Shoppers and Nonrecreational Shoppers
Frequency of Participation in Mall Activities
Item
Mean
Recreational
Shoppers
Mean
Nonrecreational
Shoppers
t-value
P(<)
Have a snack in the mall.
3.20
3.25
-.39
n.s.
Have something to drink in the
mall.
3.61
3.49
1.08
n.s.
Have lunch in the mall.
3.28
2.99
2.68
.01
Buy a nonclothing product in a
mall store.
3.28
3.23
.56
n.s.
Make an unplanned clothing
purchase.
3.71
3.06
6.18
.0001
Walk around the mall for fun.
2.91
2.42
4.09
.0001
Browse in a mall store without
planning to buy something.
3.22
2.95
2.42
.05
Browse in a mall store to
perhaps buy something in the
future.
3.30
2.87
4.06
.0001
Walk in the mall for exercise.
2.41
1.82
4.44
.0001
Socialize with friends or family
in the mall.
3.14
2.45
6.10
.0001
Try on clothing in a mall store
for fun.
2.68
1.75
7.56
.0001
Have a conversation with a
sales clerk in a mall store.
2.52
2.15
3.62
.001
Talk with other shoppers I meet
in the mall.
2.35
2.13
2.10
.05

96
Table 17—continued
Item
Mean
Recreational
Shoppers
Mean
Nonrecreational
Shoppers
t-value
P (<)
Look at special mall
exhibits or shows.
2.72
2.48
2.21
.05
Watch other people in the
mall.
2.71
2.58
1.00
n.s.
Go to see a movie in the
mall.
2.00
1.92
.78
n.s.
Play a video game in the
mall.
1.66
1.46
1.97
n.s.
Go on a carousel ride in the
mall.
1.67
1.34
3.18
.01
Get a haircut in the mall.
1.38
1.35
.38
n.s.
Have dinner in the mall.
2.48
2.20
2.45
.05
purchase and eat lunch and dinner in the mall, most of the significant differences found
between the two groups pertained to engaging in experiential activities like browsing,
socializing, passing time, and entertaining oneself through play while in a mall. The
more frequent participation by recreational shoppers in browsing and socializing is
consistent with Bellenger and Korgaonkar’s (1980) research. They found that
recreational shoppers were more likely to be socially active females who were more
likely to continue to shop after making a purchase and actively engaged in information
seeking behavior. The desire on the part of recreational shoppers to experience a host of
product-based and experiential activities suggests that they are akin to the mall
enthusiasts identified by Bloch et al. (1994).

97
The next step in the analysis was to determine what mall activities recreational
shoppers participate in to experience the different dimensions of recreational shopping.
To address this question, a two-step analysis process was taken. First, the 20 mall
activities were subjected to principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation to
uncover categories of mall activities. These categories were used as the independent
variables in multiple regression analysis to predict the recreational shopping dimensions.
A five-factor solution was extracted from the principal components analysis.
Each factor had an eigenvalue greater than one and in sum the factors accounted for
55.8% of the variance in the full set of 20 items. The rotated factor structure is shown in
Table 18. The boldfaced factor scores in the matrix indicate the items used to define each
factor. The same criteria used in the previous factor analysis, described earlier in this
chapter, was used to select the items for factor definition.
The first factor was labeled products purchased since it encompassed items
referring to the purchase of clothing, nonclothing products, food, and drink. Four items
from Bloch et al.’s (1994) four-factor structure of mall activities: two each from the
consumption of products factor and the passing time factor loaded on Factor 1.
Items loading on the second factor were focused on passing time in the mall by
browsing, walking in the mall, socializing with a shopping companion, and trying on
clothing for fun. Two items from Bloch et al.’s consumption of the mall factor and one
item from their passing time factor loaded on this factor.
The third factor captured people related activities such as talking with a
salesperson, watching other shoppers, and looking at mall exhibits. Two items from
Bloch et al.’s consumption of the mall factor loaded on Factor 3.

98
Table 18
Factor Loadings of Mall Activity Items
Item
Factor 1
Products
Purchased
Factor 2
Passing
Time
Factor 3
People
Factor 4
Entertain¬
ment
Factor 5
Services
Have a snack in the
mall.
.83
.06
.11
.17
.02
Have something to
drink in the mall.
.78
.10
.06
.13
-.04
Have lunch in the mall.
.72
.12
.17
-.05
.30
Buy a nonclothing
product in a mall store.
.60
.20
.11
.04
-.06
Make an unplanned
clothing purchase.
.42
.31
.05
-.19
.22
Walk around the mall
for fun.
.15
.79
.17
.12
.05
Browse in a mall store
without planning to buy
something.
.21
.78
.00
-.04
-.11
Browse in a mall store
to perhaps buy
something in the future.
.31
.72
.08
.05
.02
Walk in the mall for
exercise.
-.10
.58
.11
.10
.22
Socialize with friends or
family in the mall.
.22
.49
.20
.19
.17
Try on clothing in a
mall store for fun.
.04
.44
.22
.05
.42
Have a conversation
with a sales clerk in a
mall store.
.12
.04
.83
.08
.05

99
Table 18-continued
Item
Factor 1
Products
Purchased
Factor 2
Passing
Time
Factor 2
People
Factor 4
Entertain¬
ment
Factor 5
Services
Talk with other
shoppers I meet in the
mall.
.07
.08
.73
.28
-.11
Look at special mall
exhibits or shows.
.15
.24
.61
.03
.23
Watch other people in
the mall.
.16
.23
.48
-.12
.24
Go to see a movie in the
mall.
.05
.17
-.05
.72
.23
Play a video game in the
mall.
.22
.07
.10
.71
-.06
Go on a carousel ride in
the mall.
-.08
.03
.25
.60
.26
Get a haircut in the
mall.
-.02
.02
.07
.30
.72
Have dinner in the mall.
.47
.16
.11
.09
.60
Eigenvalues
5.26
1.89
1.65
1.33
1.05
Percentage of Variance
Explained
26.30
9.40
8.20
6.70
5.20
Factor 4 encompassed the entertainment available in the mall. The items loading
on this factor included seeing a movie, playing a video game, and riding on a carousel
ride. Two items from Bloch et al.’s consumption of services factor loaded on this factor.

100
The last factor focused on the consumption of services, such as having dinner and
getting a haircut, in a mall. One item from Bloch et al.’s consumption of services factor
loaded on Factor 5.
After the factors were extracted, multiple regression analysis was used to
determine the influence of the mall activity categories on recreational shopper identity, in
addition to each recreational shopping dimension. The regression results are given in
Table 19. Passing time had a significant influence on the dependent variable in seven of
the eight models. It was positively related to recreational shopper identity (P = .39, p <
.0001), intrinsic satisfaction (P = .44, p < .0001), spontaneity (P = .16, p < .01), mastery
(P = .35, p < .0001), fantasy (p = .47,/? < .0001), social (P = .36,p < .0001), and
clothing-focused (P = .31 ,P< .0001). These results suggest that shopping for clothing
becomes a leisure activity and is incorporated into the self when a shopping trip not only
includes the purchase of clothing, but is also filled with experiential activities, some of
which may be related to the purchase process (e.g., browsing), rather than being solely
centered on buying a clothing item. Products purchased was positively related to intrinsic
satisfaction (P = A5,p < .01) and spontaneity (P = .22,p < .0001) indicating that making
unplanned clothing and product purchases is important for recreational shoppers’
perceived enjoyment. The effect of products purchased on intrinsic satisfaction,
however, was lower than the influence of passing time on this dimension, which again
highlights the importance of experiential consumption to the recreational shopper.
Entertainment was negatively related to intrinsic satisfaction (P = -.11,/? < .01)
and clothing-focused (P = -.16,/? < .001), but positively related to fantasy (P = .08,/? <
.05). These results appear to stem from the nature of the activities captured by the

Table 19
Regression Models for Recreational Shopper Identity, Leisure, Experiential, and Product Dimensions of Recreational Shopping
(Beta Coefficients)
Independent
Variables
Dependent Variables
Recreational
Shopper
Identity
Intrinsic
Satisfaction
Spontaneity
Mastery
Fantasy
Social
Salesperson
Clothing-
Focused
Products
Purchased
.04
.15**
22****
-.07
-.01
.05
-.03
-.01
Passing Time
44****
.16**
25****
47****
26****
.06
2 j ****
People
.027
-.04
-.07
.06
.005
.02
42****
.05
Entertainment
.05
-11**
.02
.08
*
00
o
.03
.04
16***
Services
.01
.01
-.04
.06
-.01
.03
-.11*
-.06
R2
¡9****
Qg****
17****
25****
12****
2o****
jO****
*p < .05
< .01
***p< .001
****/? <.0001

102
entertainment dimension. Seeing a movie or playing a video game provides an avenue
for engaging in fantasy behaviors, but at the same time removes the consumer from
process of shopping and purchasing.
Not surprisingly, the people factor was positively related to the salesperson
dimension (P = .45,/? < .0001). The highest loading item on this factor was having a
conversation with a sales clerk in a retail store. In contrast to the previous result, services
had a negative relationship with the salesperson dimension (P = -.1 \,p < .05). The two
items making up the services factor, i.e., getting a haircut and having dinner in a
shopping mall, remove consumers from the retail store environment, thus minimizing
their interaction with salespeople.
In light of the preceding results, the effect of the mall activity categories on
shopping frequency and time spent shopping was assessed through multiple regression
analysis. As shown in Table 20, passing time had a significant positive influence on the
frequency of shopping for clothing (P = .22, p < .0001) and the time spent per trip (P =
.26,/? < .0001), suggesting that recreational shoppers’ shopping trips are motivated by
experiential leisure-related benefits, as well as a possible clothing purchase. Shopping
frequency was also positively related to products purchased (P = .18,/? < .001).
Interestingly, this effect is lower than the influence of passing time on shopping
frequency. Time spent shopping was negatively related to entertainment (p = -.18 ,/? <
.0001). This result is consistent with the previously discussed influence of entertainment
on the recreational shopping dimensions.

103
Table 20
Regression Models for Frequency of Shopping for Clothing
and Time Spent Shopping for Clothing
(Beta Coefficients)
Dependent Variables
Independent Variables
Frequency of Shopping
Time Spent Shopping
Products Purchased
.18*
.09
Passing Time
.22**
.26**
People
-.03
-.02
Entertainment
-.04
_ 18**
Services
-.02
.01
R2
.10**
09**
*/><.001
**p< .0001
Social Dimension of Recreational Shopping
Research Question 4 will be examined in Chapter 6, which contains the
qualitative results, since it pertains to the meaning of recreational shopping for those who
prefer to shop alone and those who prefer to shop with a companion. Research Questions
5 and 6 that concern the social dimension of recreational shopping will be addressed in
this section of the paper.
To examine the social dimension of recreational shopping, recreational shoppers
were divided into two groups: social recreational shoppers and nonsocial recreational
shoppers. Recreational shoppers whose total score on the 7-item social dimension scale
was greater than 21, which represents the neutral point on this scale, were categorized as
social recreational shoppers. Using this method of classification, 90 social recreational

104
shoppers were identified, while the total number of nonsocial recreational shoppers was
27. Two recreational shoppers were not classified as either social or nonsocial
recreational shoppers because of missing values in their responses on the social
dimension scale.
Table 21 shows the means and standard deviations for the main variables,
described earlier in this chapter, by the social recreational shopper and nonsocial
recreational shopper subgroups. Independent-samples t-tests were used to compare the
mean scores of social recreational shoppers and nonsocial recreational shoppers on each
main variable. Significant differences between the two groups will be reported in this
section of Chapter 5. In Table 22, the frequency distributions for the sociodemographic
variables by these two subgroups are provided. The frequency distributions are similar to
those reported for recreational shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers.
Research Question 5
To address Research Question 5, t-test analysis was used to compare social
recreational shoppers and nonsocial recreational shoppers mean scores on the following
measures: 20 mall activity items, recreational shopper identity scale, and the seven
recreational shopping dimensions. The only significant differences, using a significance
level ofp < .05, found between the two groups in the mall activity items were that social
recreational shoppers were more likely to socialize with friends or family in the mall (t =
2.79, p < .01) and eat lunch in the mall (t = 2.26, p < .05) than nonsocial recreational
shoppers. For four other mall activities that are social in nature, marginally significant
differences in participation levels were found between the two groups. Social
recreational shoppers were more likely to walk in the mall for exercise (t = 1.75,/? < .10),

105
Table 21
Descriptive Statistics for the Main Variables by
Social Recreational Shopper and Nonsocial Recreational Shopper Subgroups
Variable
Social
Recreational Shoppers
Mean SD Range
Nonsocial
Recreational Shoppers
Mean SD Range
Recreational Shopper
Identity (25 items, a =
.9593)
87.23
8.51
76-117
88.22
9.89
77-114
Leisure/Shopping
Dimensions
Intrinsic Satisfaction (12
items, a = .9073)
45.35
5.84
33-59
47.04
6.36
36-58
Spontaneity (5 items, a =
17.12
3.36
10-25
18.00
3.17
12-25
Mastery (7 items, a =
.8416)
22.48
3.77
12-31
22.46
3.66
17-32
Fantasy (7 items, a =
.8494)
22.97
4.46
11-33
20.93
5.24
9-28
Social (7 items, a = .8056)
26.21
2.68
22-34
17.74
2.49
13-21
Salesperson (5 items, a =
.7164)
16.76
3.12
9-25
15.33
3.95
7-23
Clothing-Focused (4
items, a = .5733)
15.49
2.08
12-20
15.78
2.19
11-20
Shopping Mall Activities
(20 items, a = ,8479)
Play a video game
1.71
1.01
1-5
1.44
1.05
1-5
Have something to drink
3.67
1.07
1-5
3.41
1.05
2-5
Make an unplanned
clothing purchase
3.66
1.02
1-5
3.85
.99
2-5
Walk for exercise
2.54
1.34
1-5
2.04
1.19
1-5
Browse without planning
to buy
3.18
1.02
1-5
3.41
1.08
1-5
Talk with other shoppers
2.40
1.00
1-5
2.07
.83
1-4
See a movie
2.08
.99
1-5
1.74
.98
1-5
Have a snack
3.29
1.06
1-5
2.96
1.26
1-5
Buy nonclothing product
3.28
.95
1-5
3.26
.98
1-5
Walk around for fun
2.96
1.08
1-5
2.85
1.26
1-5
Browse to buy something
in future
3.34
.93
1-5
3.22
1.12
1-5

106
Table 21—continued
Social Nonsocial
Recreational Shoppers Recreational Shoppers
Variable Mean SD Range Mean SD Range
Socialize with friends or
family
3.29
1.04
1-5
2.67
.96
1-5
Go on carousel ride
1.67
.97
1-5
1.59
.89
1-4
Have lunch
3.39
.96
1-5
2.93
.87
1-5
Get a haircut
1.41
.78
1-4
1.26
.66
1-3
Try on clothing for fun
2.72
1.22
1-5
2.63
1.31
1-5
Have conversation with
sales clerk
2.47
1.01
1-5
2.59
1.08
1-5
Look at mall exhibits
2.83
.97
1-5
2.44
1.22
1-5
Have dinner
2.58
1.06
1-5
2.19
1.08
1-5
Watch other people
2.78
1.25
1-5
2.41
1.31
1-5
Shopping Behaviors
Frequency of shopping for
clothing m retail stores
6.01
1.77
2-9
6.78
1.93
3-9
Time spent shopping for
clothing per trip
3.61
1.29
1-8
3.56
1.99
1-8
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from catalogs
3.02
2.31
1-9
2.04
1.58
1-7
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from TV home
shopping channels
1.46
1.59
1-10
1.22
.85
1-5
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from Internet
1.30
1.08
1-7
1.00
.00
1-1
Materialism (18 items, a =
.8164)
57.10
7.85
39-77
56.92
6.40
42-69
Compulsive Buying (7
items, a = .7958)
.17
2.20
-3.61 -
6.27
.47
1.83
-2.95 -
4.04
Self-Esteem (10 items, a
- .8740)
38.56
6.44
25-50
39.88
7.27
27-50

107
Table 22
Frequency Statistics for Sociodemographic Variables by
Social Recreational Shopper and Nonsocial Recreational Shopper Subgroups
Variable
Social
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Nonsocial
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Gender
Male
37.8
33.3
Female
62.2
66.7
Age
19 or younger
11.1
0.0
20-29
68.9
85.2
30-39
15.5
11.1
40-49
1.1
3.7
50-59
1.1
0.0
60 or older
2.2
0.0
Race/Ethnic Group
African-American
15.9
26.9
Asian
54.6
38.5
Caucasian
15.9
26.9
Hispanic
10.2
0.0
Other
3.4
7.7
Marital Status
Never Married
75.6
92.6
Married
17.7
3.7
Living Together
4.5
3.7
Separated
1.1
0.0
Divorced
0.0
0.0
Widowed
1.1
0.0
Number of Children
None
69.0
70.4
One
16.1
14.8
Two
6.9
3.7
Three
6.9
7.4
Four
1.1
0.0
Five or More
0.0
3.7

108
Table 22—continued
Variable
Social
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Nonsocial
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Education
High School
3.3
0.0
High School Graduate
16.7
18.5
College
33.3
37.1
College Degree
31.1
22.2
Graduate School
4.4
11.1
Graduate Degree
11.1
11.1
Student
Yes
73.3
63.0
No
26.7
37.0
UJL.Citizen
Yes
48.9
55.6
No
51.1
44.4
Annual Household Income
Less than $10,000
13.3
4.2
$10,000-$19,999
8.4
8.3
$20,000 - $29,999
14.5
12.5
$30,000 - $39,999
14.5
16.7
$40,000 - $49,999
15.7
25.0
$50,000 - $59,999
6.0
0.0
$60,000 - $69,999
9.6
4.2
$70,000 - $79,999
9.6
12.5
$80,000 - $89,999
2.4
8.3
$90,000 - $99,999
0.0
0.0
$100,000 or more
6.0
8.3
talk with other shoppers in the mall (t = 1.73,/? < .10), look at special mall exhibits (t =
1.71,/? < .10), and eat dinner in the mall (t = 1.70,/? < .10) than nonsocial recreational
shoppers.

109
There was not a significant difference between the mean scores of the two groups
on the recreational shopper identity scale, while for the recreational shopping dimensions,
social recreational shoppers perceived greater benefits from the social (t = 14.62 ,p<
.0001) and fantasy (t = 2.00, p < .05) dimensions while shopping for clothing. A possible
explanation for a higher level of fantasy behavior on the part of social recreational
shoppers is that trying on clothes for fun and playing games of make believe (Teen 1988)
is a group activity, heightened by the presence and urging of a participating shopping
companion. For the other dimension of recreational shopping reflecting social activity,
i.e., interacting with a salesperson, social recreational shoppers’ scores were marginally
higher at a significance level ofp = .054, t = 1.95.
Additional t-tests were conducted to compare the clothing shopping behavior and
compulsive buying, materialism, and self-esteem scores of social recreational shoppers
and nonsocial recreational shoppers. The only significant differences found between the
two groups on these measures was that social recreational shoppers were more likely to
shop for clothing through catalogs (t = -2.35,p< .05) and the Internet (t = -2.51 ,p<. 05).
A possible explanation for the higher level of catalog shopping by social recreational
shoppers may be the opportunity they have to talk with a sales representative while
placing an order over the telephone. Likewise, the Internet is also an attractive venue for
communication and social interaction.
A marginally significant difference between the retail store shopping frequency of
social recreational shoppers and nonsocial recreational shoppers. Nonsocial recreational
shoppers went shopping for clothing for themselves slightly more often (M= 6.78) than
social recreational shoppers (M = 6.01; t = -1.92, p = .056). Nonsocial recreational

110
shoppers went clothes shopping close to three times a month, while social recreational
shoppers shopped for clothing twice a month. This difference in shopping frequency may
be due to the spontaneous nature of recreational shopping that was discussed earlier.
Although social recreational shoppers and nonsocial recreational shoppers had similar
scores on the spontaneity dimension of recreational shopping, i.e., mean differences were
not significant, if a shopping trip is unplanned, it may be easier for the nonsocial
recreational shopper to go shopping alone than for the social recreational shopper to find
his/her shopping companion at a moments notice.
The sociodemographic characteristics of social recreational shoppers and
nonsocial recreational shoppers were also compared. No significant differences were
found between the two group along these variables.
Research Question 6
As shown in Table 14, compared to nonrecreational shoppers, recreational
shoppers perceived greater benefits from interacting with salespeople while shopping for
clothing (t = 7.69 ,p< .0001). In addition, they were more likely to have a conversation
with a sales clerk in a retail store (t = 3.62, p < .001). (See Table 17.) These results are
consistent with this study’s finding that recreational shoppers have a higher tendency to
be compulsive buyers. As indicated in the literature review, compulsive buyers are
motivated to shop by the emotional uplift and enhanced self-esteem they receive through
interacting with salespeople (O’Guinn and Faber 1989). In addition, the results suggest
that some recreational shoppers may be lonely consumers, a group identified by Forman
and Sriram (1991), who satisfy their unmet social needs by interacting with salespeople.

Ill
Recreational shoppers also appear to resemble personalizing (Stone 1954; Darden
and Reynolds 1971) and dependent (Chicago Tribune 1955) shoppers. Both of these
shopper types valued their interaction and relationships with salespeople.
Fantasy Dimension of Recreational Shopping
Proposition 1
There was significantly higher fantasy-imagination behavior among recreational
shoppers than within the group of nonrecreational shoppers (t = 12.84 ,p< .0001). (See
Table 14.) In addition, as shown in Table 17, recreational shoppers participated more
frequently in such playful activities as browsing, walking around the mall for fun,
watching other people, trying on clothing for fun, playing video games, and riding a
carousel that lend themselves to fantasy and imagination. Such behavior is not
surprising, given the earlier results that compulsive buying and materialistic tendencies
are associated with being a recreational shopper. Hence, similar to compulsive buyers
and materialists, recreational shoppers may fantasize to escape, for emotional uplift
(O’Guinn and Faber 1989), to plan future purchases, or for pure pleasure (Fournier and
Guiry 1993).
The recreational shoppers identified in the present research also appear to
resemble individualistic shoppers, female consumers who engaged in daydreaming and
imaginative behavior in the retail marketplace (Chicago Tribune 1955).
Enduring Involvement in Recreational Shopping
Proposition 2
To examine differences in consumers’ level of involvement with recreational
shopping, the sample of recreational shoppers was separated into two groups based on

112
their recreational shopper identity scores. The first group, labeled high involvement
recreational shoppers, consisted of the top quartile of recreational shoppers (n = 30),
while the second group, labeled low involvement recreational shoppers, included the
balance of the sample (n = 89). This manner of classification was chosen so that the high
involvement recreational shopper sample would include at least 30 respondents.
Table 23 shows the means and standard deviations for the main variables,
described earlier in this chapter, by the high involvement recreational shopper and low
involvement recreational shopper subgroups. Independent-samples t-tests were used to
compare the mean scores of high involvement recreational shoppers and low involvement
recreational shoppers on each main variable. Significant differences between the two
groups will be reported in this section of Chapter 5. In Table 24, the frequency
distributions for the sociodemographic variables by these two subgroups are provided.
The frequency distributions are similar to those reported for the four previous subgroups
discussed earlier in this chapter.
The mean recreational shopper identity scores of each group were compared using
t-test analysis. High involvement recreational shoppers had significantly higher
recreational shopper identity scores than low involvement recreational shoppers (t =
12.81,/? < .0001) supporting the proposition that similar to other leisure activities
consumer involvement with recreational shopping varies along a continuum from low
involvement to high involvement.
Although recreational shoppers differed in their level of involvement with clothes
shopping, there were not any significant differences in the compulsive buying tendency
and shopping behavior (i.e., frequency of shopping and time spent shopping) between the

113
Table 23
Descriptive Statistics for the Main Variables by High Involvement Recreational Shopper
and Low Involvement Recreational Shopper Subgroups
High Involvement Low Involvement
Recreational Shoppers Recreational Shoppers
Variable
Mean
SD
Singe
Mean
SD
Sánge
Recreational Shopper
Identity (25 items, a =
.9593)
99.70
6.58
93-117
83.17
4.46
76-92
Leisure/Shopping
Dimensions
Intrinsic Satisfaction (12
items, a = .9073)
48.57
5.51
37-57
44.88
5.85
33-59
Spontaneity (5 items, a =
18.57
2.94
11-22
16.89
3.34
10-25
Mastery (7 items, a =
.8416)
24.93
3.43
17-32
21.63
3.45
12-29
Fantasy (7 items, a =
.8494)
23.34
5.14
12-33
22.08
4.66
9-31
Social (7 items, a = .8056)
24.17
4.84
15-31
24.29
4.33
13-34
Salesperson (5 items, a =
.716 4*)
17.60
3.67
9-25
16.10
3.24
7-24
Clothing-Focused (4
items, a = .5733)
16.07
2.10
12-20
15.36
2.13
11-20
Shopping Mall Activities
120 items, a = .84791
Play a video game
1.47
.90
1-4
1.73
1.05
1-5
Have something to drink
3.63
1.30
1-5
3.60
.97
1-5
Make an unplanned
clothing purchase
3.80
1.13
1-5
3.67
.97
1-5
Walk for exercise
2.14
1.41
1-5
2.49
1.28
1-5
Browse without planning
to buy
2.90
1.21
1-5
3.33
.95
1-5
Talk with other shoppers
2.38
.98
1-4
2.34
1.00
1-5
See a movie
1.90
1.05
1-4
2.03
.98
1-5
Have a snack
3.28
1.31
1-5
3.18
1.04
1-5
Buy nonclothing product
3.41
1.15
1-5
3.24
.88
1-5
Walk around for fun
2.79
1.18
1-5
2.94
1.11
1-5
Browse to buy something
in future
2.90
1.20
1-5
3.28
.92
1-5

Table 23—continued
114
High Involvement Low Involvement
Recreational Shoppers Recreational Shoppers
Variable Mean SD Range Mean SD Range
Socialize with friends or
family
3.00
1.20
1-5
3.19
1.03
1-5
Go on carousel ride
1.71
1.08
1-5
1.65
.93
1-4
Have lunch
3.45
1.02
1-5
3.22
.93
1-5
Get a haircut
1.29
.76
1-4
1.40
.75
1-4
Try on clothing for fun
2.90
1.32
1-5
2.61
1.21
1-5
Have conversation with
sales clerk
2.83
1.04
1-5
2.42
1.01
1-5
Look at mall exhibits
2.79
1.01
1-5
2.70
1.06
1-5
Have dinner
2.55
1.27
1-5
2.46
1.01
1-5
Watch other people
2.59
1.15
1-5
2.75
1.32
1-5
Shopping Behaviors
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from retail stores
6.23
2.03
3-9
6.22
1.78
2-9
Time spent shopping for
clothing per trip
3.87
1.78
1-8
3.49
1.37
1-7
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from catalogs
2.70
2.32
1-9
2.90
2.27
1-10
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from TV home
shopping channels
1.43
1.72
1-10
1.49
1.63
1 - 10
Frequency of shopping for
clothing from Internet
1.23
.77
1-5
1.22
1.00
1-7
Materialism (18 items, a =
.8164)
59.83
7.31
42-71
56.12
7.32
39-77
Compulsive Buying (7
items, a = .7958)
.79
2.10
-1.90 —
5.90
.06
2.11
-3.61 -
6.27
Self-Esteem (10 items, a
= .8740)
40.83
6.78
27-50
38.19
6.53
25-50
two groups. In addition, high involvement recreational shoppers and low involvement
recreational shoppers had similar sociodemographic characteristics. Differences that

115
Table 24
Frequency Statistics for Sociodemographic Variables by High Involvement Recreational
Shopper and Low Involvement Recreational Shopper Subgroups
Variable
High Involvement
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Low Involvement
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Gender
Male
33.3
38.2
Female
66.7
61.8
Age
19 or younger
10.0
7.9
20-29
63.3
75.3
30-39
23.4
12.3
40-49
0.0
2.2
50-59
3.3
0.0
60 or older
0.0
2.2
Race/Ethnic Group
African-American
13.8
20.7
Asian
44.8
52.9
Caucasian
17.2
18.4
Hispanic
10.3
6.9
Other
13.8
1.1
Marital Status
Never Married
80.0
78.7
Married
16.7
14.6
Living Together
3.3
4.5
Separated
0.0
1.1
Divorced
0.0
0.0
Widowed
0.0
1.1
Number of Children
None
63.3
69.8
One
13.3
17.4
Two
10.0
4.7
Three
10.0
6.9
Four
0.0
1.2
Five or More
3.3
0.0

116
Table 24—continued
Variable
High Involvement
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Low Involvement
Recreational
Shoppers
Percent
Education
High School
3.3
2.2
High School Graduate
10.0
19.1
College
36.7
33.8
College Degree
40.0
24.7
Graduate School
6.7
6.7
Graduate Degree
3.3
13.5
Student
Yes
66.7
71.9
No
33.3
28.1
U.S. Citizen
Yes
43.3
53.9
No
56.7
46.1
Annual Household Income
Less than $10,000
7.1
12.5
$10,000-$19,999
10.7
8.8
$20,000 - $29,999
25.0
10.0
$30,000 - $39,999
14.3
15.0
$40,000 - $49,999
14.3
18.7
$50,000 - $59,999
3.6
5.0
$60,000 - $69,999
0.0
11.3
$70,000 - $79,999
14.3
8.7
$80,000 - $89,999
3.6
3.8
$90,000 - $99,999
0.0
0.0
$100,000 or more
7.1
6.2
were found between the two types of recreational shoppers will be discussed in the
balance of this chapter.

117
Proposition 3
In light of Proposition 2, it was expected that high involvement recreational
shoppers and low involvement recreational shoppers would exhibit different levels of
participation in mall activities. Low involvement recreational shoppers were expected to
focus on product acquisition activities, similar to Traditionalists, the group of mall
inhabitants identified by Bloch et al. (1994), who are product acquisition oriented in
shopping malls. On the other hand, high involvement recreational shoppers were
expected to be very active shopping participants, engaging in a wide range of product-
oriented and experiential activities to reap the full benefits of the leisure experience in
and of itself. Hence, high involvement recreational shoppers would bear similar traits as
Bloch et al.’s Mall Enthusiasts.
T-test analysis was used to compare the level of mall activity participation
between the two groups. Only two marginally significant differences were found
between high involvement recreational shoppers and low involvement recreational
shoppers. Compared to low involvement recreational shoppers, high involvement
recreational shoppers were more likely to have a conversation with a sales clerk in a store
(t = 1.90, /? < .10), but were less likely to browse in a store without planning to buy
something (t = -1.75,/? < .10). The latter result was not in the anticipated direction. A
possible explanation for this finding is that high involvement recreational shoppers are
more materialistic than low involvement recreational shoppers (t = 2.36,/? < .05). Hence,
product acquisition may be the ultimate goal of the high involvement recreational
shopper, even when they participate in experiential aspects (e.g., browsing) of the
marketplace.

118
To investigate the next two propositions, the correlations between intrinsic
satisfaction and the mall activity items were analyzed for high involvement recreational
shoppers and low involvement recreational shoppers. The results are shown in Table 25.
Proposition 4
For low involvement recreational shoppers, intrinsic satisfaction was positively
related to making an unplanned clothing purchase and browsing without planning to buy
something. The other mall activities that had significant correlations were negatively
related to intrinsic satisfaction. For high involvement recreational shoppers, the four
significant correlations were in a negative direction. This result was unexpected since it
had been proposed that high involvement recreational shoppers’ intrinsic satisfaction with
shopping for clothing would be associated with their participation in both product
acquisition and experiential activities. The strong positive association between intrinsic
satisfaction and making an unplanned clothing purchase (product acquisition activity) for
low involvement recreational shoppers provides partial support for Proposition 4.
Proposition 5
The correlation data suggests that making a product purchase is related to higher
levels of intrinsic satisfaction for low involvement recreational shoppers in comparison to
high involvement recreational shoppers. Making an unplanned clothing purchase had a
stronger positive correlation with low involvement recreational shoppers’ intrinsic
satisfaction than it did with the intrinsic satisfaction of high involvement recreational
shoppers. In light of the negative direction of the significant correlations for high
involvement recreational shoppers’ intrinsic satisfaction, the second part of the
proposition, i.e., high involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of

119
Table 25
Correlations Between Intrinsic Satisfaction and Participation in Mall Activities
Item
High Involvement
Recreational Shoppers
Intrinsic Satisfaction
Low Involvement
Recreational Shoppers
Intrinsic Satisfaction
Have a snack in the mall.
-.188
.067
Have something to drink in the mall.
-.335*
-.082
Have lunch in the mall.
-.019
.135
Buy a nonclothing product in a mall
store.
-.177
-.05
Make an unplanned clothing
purchase.
.226
.319**
Walk around the mall for fun.
-.374*
-.038
Browse in a mall store without
planning to buy something.
-.183
.209*
Browse in a mall store to perhaps
buy something in the future.
-.345*
-.028
Walk in the mall for exercise.
.069
-.281**
Socialize with friends or family in
the mall.
-.275
.014
Try on clothing in a mall store for
fun.
-.204
-.078
Have a conversation with a sales
clerk in a mall store.
-.066
-.097
Talk with other shoppers I meet in
the mall.
.087
-.042
Look at special mall exhibits or
shows.
-.46*
-.274**
Watch other people in the mall.
-.134
-.115

120
Table 25—continued
Item
High Involvement
Recreational Shoppers
Intrinsic Satisfaction
Low Involvement
Recreational Shoppers
Intrinsic Satisfaction
Go to see a movie in the mall.
.115
-.31**
Play a video game in the mall.
-.017
-.189*
Go on a carousel ride in the mall.
-.296
-.021
Get a haircut in the mall.
-.044
-.259**
Have dinner in the mall.
.141
-.244*
*p < .05
**p< .01
enjoyment from experiential activities than low involvement recreational shoppers, was
not supported.
Research Question 7 will be examined in Chapter 6, since it pertains to the
meaning of the dimensions of shopping for high involvement recreational shoppers and
low involvement recreational shoppers. Propositions 7 and 8, which are related to this
research question, will be examined later in this chapter.
Proposition 6
The 4-item clothing-focused scale was used to measure high involvement
recreational shoppers and low involvement recreational shoppers’ attachment and
possessiveness to purchased products. Although high involvement recreational shoppers
are more materialistic than low involvement recreational shoppers (t = 2.36, p < .05),
there was not a significant difference between the two groups’ clothing-focused scores (t
= 1.57,/? = .12). In addition, there was not a significant difference in the clothing-

121
focused scores of materialistic recreational shoppers and nonmaterialistic recreational
shoppers (t = -.96, p = .34). The relatively low reliability of the clothing-focused scale (a
= .5733) may have influenced the lack of support for Proposition 6.
With this issue in mind, subsequent analyses were conducted using a different
measure of attachment and possessiveness to purchased products, i.e., the centrality
subscale from Richins and Dawson’s (1992) materialism scale which taps the
“importance of acquisitions and possessions generally” (p. 309). Using the measure of
centrality, three sets of group comparisons were analyzed: 1) recreational shoppers and
nonrecreational shoppers, 2) high involvement recreational shoppers and low
involvement recreational shoppers, and 3) materialistic recreational shoppers and
nonmaterialistic recreational shoppers.
Recreational shoppers had significantly higher centrality scores than those of
nonrecreational shoppers (t = 6.36, p < .0001). This result is not surprising given that
recreational shoppers are more materialistic than nonrecreational shoppers. The
centrality scores of high involvement recreational shoppers were only marginally higher
than the scores of low involvement recreational shoppers (t= 1.68,p < .10), suggesting
that high involvement recreational shoppers’ strong identity with recreational shopping as
a leisure pursuit stems from the benefits they realize from the experience of shopping for
clothing as a whole.
For the last group comparison, there was a significantly higher centrality level
among materialistic recreational shoppers (n = 78) than within nonmaterialistic
recreational shoppers (n = 37, t = 6.36,p < .0001). Related to this last result, compared
to nonmaterialistic recreational shoppers, materialistic recreational shoppers were

122
somewhat more likely to make an unplanned clothing purchase (t = 1.73,/j < .10), but
were less likely to perceive shopping for clothing to be a spontaneous activity (t = -1.71,
p < .10). Thus, while materialistic recreational shoppers may be frequently thinking
about going shopping for clothing, they may not always know what they are going to buy
and may be prone to buying influences within the retail environment (e.g., product
displays, sale signs, salesperson suggestions, and atmospherics).
Enduring Involvement and the Meaning of Recreational Shopping
Proposition 7
As shown in Table 26, high involvement recreational shoppers realized a
significantly higher level of intrinsic satisfaction from shopping for clothing than low
involvement recreational shoppers (t = 2.95, p < .01). This result parallels the findings of
McIntyre (1989) and Celsi et al. (1993) that higher levels of involvement in leisure
pursuits (i.e., camping and skydiving respectively) were associated with higher levels of
enjoyment being realized by full-fledged “enthusiastic” participants.
Proposition 8
Consistent with the previous result, high involvement recreational shoppers
perceived greater benefits than low involvement recreational shoppers did from two of
the other three dimensions of leisure uncovered in this study, i.e., spontaneity (t = 2.39,p
< .05) and mastery (t = 4.40, p < .0001). (See Table 26.) In addition, high involvement
recreational shoppers perceived greater benefits than low involvement recreational
shoppers did from interacting with salespeople (t = 2.11 ,p< .05).
Similar to the finding for Proposition 7, the results pertaining to Proposition 8
parallel McIntyre (1989) and Celsi et al.’s (1993) findings that there is a progression of

Table 26
Comparison of High Involvement Recreational Shoppers
and Low Involvement Recreational Shoppers
123
Measure
Mean
High
Involvement
Recreational
Shoppers
Mean
Low
Involvement
Recreational
Shoppers
t-value
P(<)
Intrinsic Satisfaction
48.57
44.87
2.95
.01
Spontaneity
18.57
16.89
2.39
.05
Mastery
24.93
21.63
4.40
.0001
Fantasy
23.34
22.07
1.24
n.s.
Social
24.17
24.29
-.13
n.s.
Salesperson
17.60
16.10
2.11
.05
Clothing-Focused
16.07
15.36
1.57
n.s.
meaning and evolution of motives for highly involved leisure participants. In the case of
recreational shoppers, feelings of spontaneity and mastery appear to propel the
recreational shopper to higher levels of involvement and an internalization of the activity
into the self to be exhibited as a salient recreational shopper identity. Given that high
involvement recreational shoppers and low involvement recreational shoppers had similar
clothing-focused and centrality scores, it appears that the evolution in shopping motives,
from enjoyment to spontaneity and mastery, stems from high involvement recreational
shoppers engaging in shopping for clothing as an end in itself with benefits being drawn
from both product acquisition and experiential pursuits.

124
Proposition 9
Recreational shoppers had significantly lower self-esteem scores than those of
nonrecreational shoppers (t = -3.92,p < .001). This result is consistent with the earlier
findings that compulsive buying and materialistic tendencies are associated with being a
recreational shopper. Both compulsive buyers and materialists have lower self-esteem
than the general population (O’Guinn and Faber 1989; Richins and Dawson 1992) and
seek emotional nutrition through the process of shopping and product acquisition. Thus,
recreational shoppers are likely to also use the marketplace for emotional uplift and
alleviating negative self-regard.
Proposition 10
Given the previous proposition, high involvement recreational shoppers were
expected to have lower-self esteem than low involvement recreational shoppers. The t-
test result, however, was in the opposite direction. High involvement recreational
shoppers had slightly higher self-esteem scores than those of low involvement
recreational shoppers (t = 1.89, p < .10). This unexpected result may stem from high
involvement recreational shoppers incorporating the activity of shopping for clothing into
their self-concept and developing a highly salient leisure identity that acts in the service
of self-enhancement and self-identification (Haggard and Williams 1992; Shamir 1992).
Summary
Although it has been suggested in the consumer behavior and retailing literature,
as well as in popular culture that shopping is a recreational/leisure activity, the present
research was the first to conceptualize and measure shopping as a leisure pursuit. The

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survey results, which are summarized in Table 27 according to the dissertation’s research
questions and propositions, substantiate this perspective.
Based upon a measure of recreational shopper identity salience, a subset of the
survey respondents viewed shopping for clothing as a leisure activity. These
respondents, classified as recreational shoppers, had a higher level of involvement in and
identification with the activity of shopping for clothing than nonrecreational shoppers.
Four dimensions of leisure were present in recreational shoppers’ clothes shopping
experiences: intrinsic satisfaction, spontaneity, mastery, and fantasy. These dimensions
differentiate shopping as leisure from shopping that is considered a nonleisure activity.
While previous research has identified recreational shoppers using a single-item
measure of enjoyment from shopping, the emergence of three other leisure dimensions, in
addition to enjoyment (i.e., intrinsic satisfaction) in this research, suggests that
recreational shopping is a multidimensional activity that extends beyond just feeling
enjoyment to include other emotions and feelings such as spontaneity, mastery, and
fantasy. Although intrinsic satisfaction had the strongest association with recreational
shopper identity making it the “essence” of recreational shopping, the other three leisure
dimensions were strongly correlated with recreational shopper identity as well as, in
addition to being positively associated with intrinsic satisfaction. The correlation results
suggest that spontaneity, mastery, and fantasy are “causes” of intrinsic satisfaction. The
exact relationship among the leisure dimensions, however, requires further investigation.
Three other dimensions of recreational shopping also emerged from the survey
data: social, salesperson, and clothing-focused. These shopping dimensions have been
identified in previous research on shopping motives and shopper typologies, but have not

Table 27
Summary of Survey Results, Research Questions, and Propositions
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Research Question 1: Which dimensions of leisure discriminate recreational shopping
from non-recreational shopping?
1. Recreational shoppers had a stronger recreational shopper identity than
nonrecreational shoppers (p < .0001).
2. Recreational shopping was comprised of four leisure dimensions: intrinsic
satisfaction, spontaneity, mastery, and fantasy.
3. Recreational shopping was comprised of three shopping dimensions: social,
salesperson, and clothing-focused.
Research Question 2: What is the relationship between the dimensions of recreational
shopping and intrinsic satisfaction?
1. Intrinsic satisfaction had the highest positive correlation (.78) with recreational
shopper identity.
2. Mastery had the strongest positive association (.60) with intrinsic satisfaction,
followed by the fantasy (.48), spontaneity (.52), social (.44), clothing-focused (.44),
and salesperson (.33) dimensions.
3. Intrinsic satisfaction (P = .52) and spontaneity (P = .30) had a positive effect on the
frequency of shopping for clothing in a retail store.
4. Intrinsic satisfaction (P = .30), social (P = .14), and fantasy (P = .12) positively
influenced the amount of time sent shopping for clothing.
Research Question 3: What activities do recreational shoppers participate in to
experience the different dimensions of recreational shopping?
1. Recreational shoppers participated more frequently than nonrecreational in 13 of 20
mall activities. Most of these activities were experiential in nature as opposed to
being product purchase actions.

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Table 27—continued
2. Passing time activities positively influenced recreational shopper identity (P = .39)
and the intrinsic satisfaction (P = .44), spontaneity (P = .16), mastery (P = .35),
fantasy (P = .47), social (P = .36), and clothing-focused (P = .31) dimensions of
shopping for clothing.
3. Product purchase activities had a positive effect on the intrinsic satisfaction (P = . 15)
and spontaneity (P = .22) dimensions.
4. People interaction activities positively influenced the salesperson dimension (P =
.45).
5. Entertainment activities negatively affected the intrinsic satisfaction (P = -.11) and
clothing-focused (P = -.16) dimensions.
6. Service related activities had a negative effect on the salesperson dimension (P = -
.11).
7. The frequency of shopping for clothing in a retail store was positively affected by
passing time activities (P = .22) and products purchased (p = .18).
8. The time spent shopping for clothing was positively influenced by passing time (P =
.26) and negatively affected by entertainment activities (p = -.18).
Research Question 5: How does the presence of a shopping companion influence the
nature and importance of leisure dimensions experienced while
recreational shopping?
1. Social recreational shoppers were more likely to socialize with family and friends (p
< .01) and eat lunch in a mall (p < .05) than nonsocial recreational shoppers.
2. Social recreational shoppers realized greater benefits from the social (p < .0001) and
fantasy (p < .05) dimensions of shopping for clothing than nonsocial recreational
shoppers.
3. Social recreational shoppers realized slightly more benefits from interacting with
salespeople than nonsocial recreational shoppers. (p< .10).

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Table 27—continued
Research Question 6: What role does a salesperson play in a recreational shopper’s
shopping experience?
1. Recreational shoppers perceived greater benefits from interacting with retail stores
salespeople than nonrecreational shoppers, (p < .0001)
2. Recreational shoppers were likely to have a conversation with a salesperson in a store
than nonrecreational shoppers, (p < .001)
Proposition 1: Recreational shoppers are more likely to engage in fantasy behavior than
nonrecreational shoppers.
1. Recreational shoppers realized greater benefits from engaging in fantasy behavior
than nonrecreational shoppers, (p <.0001)
Proposition 2: Consumer involvement with recreational shopping varies along a
continuum from low involvement to high involvement.
1. High involvement recreational shoppers had a stronger recreational shopper identity
than low involvement recreational shoppers, (p < . 0001)
Proposition 3: At low levels of recreational shopping involvement the focus of consumers'
shopping experiences is product acquisition, while at high levels of
recreational shopping the focus of consumers' shopping experiences is the
experience in itself.
1. High involvement recreational shoppers were slightly more likely to have a
conversation with a sales clerk in a retail store than low involvement recreational
shoppers, (p <. 10)
2. High involvement recreational shoppers were slightly less likely to browse in a store
without planning to buy a product than low involvement recreational shoppers, (p <
.10)
3. High involvement recreational shoppers are more materialistic than low involvement
recreational shoppers, (p < .05)

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Table 27—continued
Proposition 4: Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of enjoyment
and satisfaction from product acquisition than from experiential activities;
in contrast high involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of
enjoyment and satisfaction from the shopping experience as a whole than
from product acquisition.
Proposition 4 was not supported by the survey data.
Proposition 5: Low involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of enjoyment
and satisfaction from product acquisition than high involvement
recreational shoppers; in contrast high involvement recreational shoppers
realize higher levels of enjoyment and satisfaction from experiential
activities than low involvement recreational shoppers.
Proposition 5 was not supported by the survey data.
Proposition 6: High involvement recreational shoppers exhibit lower levels of attachment
and possessiveness to purchased products than low involvement
recreational shoppers.
1. High involvement recreational shoppers and low involvement recreational shoppers
had similar levels of attachment to the clothing they purchased
2. High involvement recreational shoppers were slightly more acquisition focused and
product possessive than low involvement recreational shoppers, (p < . 10)
3. Materialistic recreational shoppers were more acquisition focused and product
possessive than nonmaterialistic recreational shoppers, (p < .0001)
Proposition 7: High involvement recreational shoppers realize higher levels of enjoyment
from shopping than low involvement recreational shoppers.
1. High involvement recreational shoppers realized more enjoyment from shopping for
clothing than low involvement recreational shoppers, (p < .01)

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Table 27-continued
Proposition 8: High involvement recreational shoppers have higher mean scores on the
measures of the other dimensions of leisure than low involvement
recreational shoppers.
1. High involvement recreational shoppers realized greater benefits from the spontaneity
(p < .05) and mastery (p < .0001) dimensions of shopping for clothing than low
involvement recreational shoppers.
2. High involvement recreational shoppers realized greater benefits from interacting
with salespeople than low involvement recreational shoppers, (p < .05)
Proposition 9: Recreational shoppers have lower self-esteem than nonrecreational
shoppers.
Recreational shoppers had lower self-esteem than nonrecreational shoppers, (p < .0001)
Proposition 10: High involvement recreational shoppers have lower self-esteem
than low involvement recreational shoppers.
High involvement recreational shoppers had slightly higher self-esteem than low
involvement recreational shoppers, (p > . 10)
been ascribed to the recreational shopper’s experience per se. The social, salesperson,
and clothing-focus dimensions were positively associated with the four leisure
dimensions as well as with recreational shopper identity. The exact relationship among
the leisure and shopping dimensions also remains uncertain at this time.
Additional descriptive information about recreational shoppers that serves to
augment past research was extracted from the survey data. Recreational shoppers are
younger and have a lower level of income than non-recreational shoppers. In addition,
females, those who have never been married, students, non-U. S. citizens and minority
groups (i.e., African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics) have stronger recreational

131
shopper identities than their counterparts (i.e., males, non-students, U.S. citizens, and
whites). The findings regarding age, student status, citizenship, and minority groups have
not been reported in previous research on recreational shoppers.
Compared to nonrecreational shoppers, recreational shoppers are more active
market participants. They go shopping for clothing more frequently and spend more time
shopping than nonrecreational shoppers. In a shopping mall setting, recreational
shoppers participate more frequently than nonrecreational shoppers in a host of product
purchase and experiential activities. These activities enable recreational shoppers to
experience the aforementioned leisure and shopping dimensions while in the
marketplace. Consistent with this research, Bellenger and Korgaonkar (1980) did find
that recreational shoppers spend more time shopping and searching for product
information than nonrecreational shoppers. Their higher level of shopping intensity and
mall activity participation appears to make recreational shoppers akin to Bloch et al.’s
(1994) mall enthusiasts.
Consistent with their active engagement in the retail environment, recreational
shoppers are more likely than nonrecreational shoppers to be materialists and compulsive
buyers. Moreover, they had lower self-esteem than nonrecreational shoppers, suggesting
that shopping provides recreational shoppers emotional uplift and self-enhancement.
While the relationship between materialism, compulsive buying, and self-esteem has
been probed in the past (O’Guinn and Faber 1989; Richins and Dawson 1992), the
relationship between these three variables and recreational shopping had not been
investigated. Regression results suggested that materialism influenced the tendency to be
a recreational shopper, while recreational shopper identity affected the propensity to be a

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compulsive buyer and moderated the effect of materialism and self-esteem on compulsive
buying.
Among recreational shoppers, there were different perceptions about shopping
with a companion. The majority of recreational shoppers, labeled social recreational
shoppers, were social in nature and viewed shopping for clothing to be a group activity.
They valued the presence of a shopping companion much more than the group of
recreational shoppers who were considered nonsocial recreational shoppers. In addition,
consistent with their need for affiliation, they realized slightly more benefits from
interacting with salespeople than nonsocial recreational shoppers. In previous research,
recreational shoppers had not been differentiated in terms of desired social benefits and
their preference for shopping alone or with a companion, although Bellenger and
Korgaonkar (1980) did indicate that recreational shoppers were more likely than
nonrecreational shoppers to shop with a companion.
Social recreational shoppers also engaged in more fantasy behavior and realized
slightly more benefits from interacting with salespeople than nonsocial recreational
shoppers. This result together with the finding that recreational shoppers are more prone
to fantasy than nonrecreational shoppers sheds more light on the importance of fantasy in
consumer behavior. Thus far, this potentially fruitful topic has attracted limited attention
in the consumer behavior literature (Fournier and Guiry 1993; O’Guinn and Faber 1989)
Recreational shoppers had different levels of involvement with shopping for
clothing as reflected in the strength of their recreational shopper identity scores. Drawing
on the leisure literature, it was expected that as recreational shoppers became more
involved with recreational shopping the focus of their attention would move from product

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acquisition to the shopping experience as a whole. Proposition 3 which was raised to test
this premise was not supported by the survey data as high involvement recreational
shoppers and low involvement recreational shoppers had similar levels of participation in
18 of 20 mall activities, along with being similarly attached to the clothing that they
purchased. Moreover, high involvement recreational shoppers were found to be more
materialistic as well as slightly more acquisition focused and product possessive than low
involvement recreational shoppers. The higher level of materialism is presumed to put
product acquisition at the center of high involvement recreational shoppers’ shopping
experiences. Three follow-up propositions, related to Proposition 3, were also not
supported by the data.
Although high involvement recreational shoppers were product focused, when
they were compared to low involvement recreational shoppers on the four dimensions of
leisure, they appeared to have different motives for shopping and garnered different
benefits from their participation as well. High involvement recreational shoppers
received more enjoyment from shopping for clothing as well as stronger feelings of
spontaneity and mastery than low involvement recreational shoppers. The differences in
levels of enjoyment, spontaneity, and mastery suggest that there is a progression of
meaning and evolution of motives, similar to that seen in other leisure activities (Celsi et
al. 1993; McIntyre 1989), as recreational shoppers become more involved in, committed
to, and enthusiastic about shopping. For the recreational shopper, the shopping
experience becomes more meaning laden and self fulfilling, forging a recreational
shopper identity that enables the recreational shopper to become one with the activity of
shopping.

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Seemingly related to the aforementioned progression of meaning, high
involvement recreational shoppers had slightly higher self-esteem than low involvement
recreational shoppers supporting the self-enhancing function of a prominent recreational
shopper identity. This result suggests that for some consumers leading the life of a
recreational shopper and actively participating in retail environments provides positive
long-term self-serving benefits, standing in contrast to the short-term compensatory role
that shopping plays in the compulsive buyer’s life (O’Guinn and Faber 1989).
In Chapter 6, the results from the analysis of the interview data will be discussed
to substantiate and augment the survey results. The dissertation’s a priori themes and
research questions will frame the discussion.

CHAPTER 6
QUALITATIVE DATA RESULTS
The a priori themes and research questions that were examined by analyzing the
interview data will be discussed in this chapter. The relevant themes and research
questions are summarized in Table 28.
As discussed in Chapter 4, a constant comparative method of data analysis was
used to analyze the interview transcripts, which had yielded 375 single-spaced pages of
data. During the data analysis process, the transcripts were read and reread individually
with each a priori theme and research question in mind in search of supporting as well as
disconfirming evidence in informants’ responses. As the interviews were read, margin
and written notes were made to code the data for thematic content. Subsequently, the
transcripts were analyzed collectively to find support for the a priori themes and answers
to the research questions by uncovering similarities across the informants’ replies. At
this stage in the data analysis process, the coded data from the ideographic analysis was
organized into broader and more abstract thematic categories.
During the course of analyzing the interviews, additional themes emerged from
the data. One of the emergent themes, labeled types of shopping trips, will be discussed
at the beginning of this chapter since these shopping trips will be referred to while
elaborating the a priori themes and research questions. The other emergent themes will
be explained in detail following the discussion of the a priori themes and research
135

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Table 28
A Priori Themes and Research Questions Investigated by the Interview Data
A Priori Theme 1:
Recreational shopping is characterized by the same dimensions
as a leisure experience.
Research Question 4:
How does the meaning of recreational shopping differ between
those who prefer to shop alone and those who prefer to shop
with a favorite companion?
Research Question 6:
What role does a salesperson play in a recreational shopper’s
shopping experience?
A Priori Theme 2:
Recreational shopping involvement influences the nature and
personal meaning of consumers' shopping experiences.
Research Question 7:
How does the level of recreational shopping involvement
influence the nature and importance of the leisure dimensions
experienced while shopping?
A Priori Theme 3:
High involvement recreational shoppers participate in
recreational shopping primarily because the activity is a means
of self-expression and central to their lifestyle.
A Priori Theme 4:
Low involvement recreational shoppers participate in
recreational shopping primarily because of their interest in the
activity and enjoyment realized from it.
A Priori Theme 5:
At the highest level of involvement, recreational shopping may
be incorporated into consumers' self-concept as a recreational
shopper identity.
A Priori Theme 6:
Recreational shopping enthusiasts engage in recreational
shopping as a means of self-enhancement and self-
identification.
A Priori Theme 7:
Recreational shopping enthusiasts engage in shopping as a
means of bolstering positive self-feelings and reducing
negative self-regard.
A Priori Theme 8:
The shopping experience as a whole becomes more meaningful
when recreational shopping enthusiasts’ marketplace presence
is inspired by positive self-feelings.

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questions. As each theme and research question is discussed, support is provided by
verbatim quotes from the interviews to provide a thick description (Denzin 1989; Geertz
1973) of informants’ experiences and perspectives.
Types of Shopping Trips
While analyzing the interview data, it became apparent that informants went on
three different types of shopping trips; each one could be considered a form of
recreational shopping. Using the terminology of informants, these shopping trips are
labeled: mission shopping, window shopping, and mood shopping.
Mission Shopping
Mission shopping is the type of shopping recreational shoppers undertake when
they plan to make a clothing purchase. When mission shopping, informants had a goal or
objective to reach. They either had a specific item in mind that they wanted to purchase
(e.g., a pair of blue jean short shorts at Express) or their purchase goal was more general
in nature (e.g., a pair of casual shorts or something different). Thus, the purchase goal
ranged from the very clear to the very nebulous.
Mission shopping was triggered by a number of different circumstances. It
occurred when informants had extra money on hand to spend on clothing, wanted or
needed to buy an outfit for an occasion or event (e.g., holiday, wedding,
vacation/excursion, or business function), went shopping for clothing for the new school
year or season, wanted/needed to replace an old item (e.g., buy a new pair of jeans or a
new swimsuit), went shopping to buy a gift, or just had the urge/need to buy something
new. According to the qualitative data, mission shopping was not associated with
making minor low involvement clothing purchases that seemed purely functional in

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nature, such as going to the store to purchase a pair of socks or pantyhose. A mission
shopping purchase was more involving, significant, and fulfilling to recreational shoppers
and seemed to have some hedonic value to them that stemmed from that product that was
purchased.
Um, usually when I go to the mall it’s to get something for someone or for
myself. Ok. I always end up walking and saying, oh, as long as I’m here, I’m
buying something for myself, when I bought something for the other person also.
Rarely do I go just to look. You know, I have an incentive. I have a motive to go.
... If I have the money and I go with the idea that I’m going to come back home
with something, I’m very disappointed if I don’t find something. Then it becomes
a mission. I’ll keep going until I find something that I want.... Um, if I have a
special occasion coming up. If I have a conference or a workshop that I have to
go and speak to. That would be a mission outfit. Because you know what kind of
outfit you want to have on when you’re with friends or the people that you only
see twice a year at a conference. Every time they see you, you want to look nice.
That’s a mission outfit. (Sabrina)
Um, when I got my tax returns I a, I specifically set an amount aside to spend on
clothing. Um, and I went out by myself and had a field day.... And, um, I did
look at prices but not so much. I had in mind what kind of clothing I wanted....
I got, um, basically, a, like a vest, for example. And I got a nice pair of, um, of
shorts, and a really nice top and stuff. (Christine)
But if you go by yourself you’re usually down to business. You’re going to shop.
... Well, like if I, if there’s something I want. Like if there’s, like graduation or
something coming up and you want to buy a certain outfit for that. Or if you’re
going to the beach and you want to buy, you know, some summer clothes. Or
going out of town on vacation. If you have a purpose that you know that or you
even got, like money. Like, your parents gave you 100 bucks for a present, a
birthday present. Then you say, well, I want to spend that 100 bucks on clothes.
And then you know, you know what you are going to do. (Shannon)
But a lot of the times I go shopping because I think I need something. ... Um,
very rarely do I just shop just to shop, you know.... I like having some, some
type of goal. I mean, if I’m going to go shopping I know that I might walk out of
the mall with something. So, my goal is, if I’m going to walk out with something
make it something that I really like, you know.... I mean, you know, I may
have, I may have an idea in mind of what I need. But if I don’t find it in one
store, I’ll just go to the next one. I mean, I’m not going to quit shopping because
I don’t find it in one store. I’ll just, you know, go, go around. (Ian)

139
In my mind holidays merit a new outfit, you know. Like Fourth of July. I’m not
going to wear what I wore last and I know what I wore last Fourth of July.
Because I bought it just for Fourth of July. And I’m not going to wear it. I’m not
even going to wear something that I have in my closet.... Nah, nah, no I don’t..
.. So, I don’t have anything to wear for that occasion. (LeTonya)
Sometimes I go shopping, it’s I need to get something to go with this outfit. Or I
need to get a dress or something to wear to this event.... If I need something I’m
on a mission. And you have, you have an objective. You have a goal.... Um, if
I’m looking for a swimsuit I’ll go into stores that carry swimsuits and I go right to
that department. And when I’m finished, I usually walk out.... If I’m looking
for a particular item I will. I’ll go to, like the swimsuit. Um, instead of buying
the first one that I saw that I liked, I had her put it on hold, and I went around to
some other stores. And, and I even keep a little pad. And I wrote down, ok,
Leggetts, white suit and how much it was. And then I went to another store and if
I didn’t see anything there, you know, if I saw something it was like, ok. Um, the
other place I went was like, Anything But Water. And that suit and, and how
much that one was. And, so that was a swimsuit.... Um, if I’m gift shopping
and I know what I want to get that person then it’s almost like you’re on a
mission, the mission shopping for clothes. You know what, what item you want.
I know that my sister collects teapots. So I know that I want to, I wanted to get
her a teapot for her birthday. So I went out and looked for a teapot. If I went out
shopping for her and had no idea what to get her then it’s like I was, in a way it’s
like I was just shopping by just milling around. (Jean)
Mission shopping was characterized as being a focused, purposeful activity. As
the name implies and informants’ comments suggested, mission shopping is like a job or
an assignment, but one that recreational shoppers wanted to do because of the end
reward; buying a new and desired clothing item.
But then by yourself when you’re just shopping you’re getting something
accomplished. You’re finding the deal that you want. You’re getting the clothes.
You’re bringing them home. You know, it’s, you feel like you’ve conquered
something. (Shannon)
You know, your focus is, is more limited as to, um, what you’re looking at. Well,
I think for me, the, the focus is just a lot more limited. I know that I’m going to
look for, you know, maybe I don’t have a certain color picked out or a certain,
you know, style of maybe a dress picked out.... But I knew that I needed an
Easter dress and that I needed to get something nice, you know. (Ian)

140
I think I like going when I need to shop because I know I’ll leave with something.
If I don’t need to shop, I’m usually, then I’m frustrated because I didn’t buy
anything.... I didn’t find what I was looking for. And it was an awful shopping
trip. If I needed to shop, then usually, because if I don’t need to shop then I don’t
know what I’m looking for. I don’t have a, you know, a plan. I don’t have a
mission like that dress for Memorial Day. I knew what I was going, I knew what
I wanted.... But if I need to shop then I’m usually pretty focused. I know what I
need to get and I usually leave with something. I had to leave with something,
you know. Can’t go out empty handed. (LeTonya)
Usually, I shop when I’m happy when I’m looking for something for something
specific. So, if I’m, usually, I’m happy when I’m going out. So, you know, it’s
like, oh, ok, this is fun. Now I get to go find something to wear, you know, to the
special occasion.... I like to shop for, like dressy things. Like going out, really
nice clothes. I, rather than just like, a pair of shorts or stuff like that. Unless, I’m
going to a picnic, you know. I don’t know. I’m an occasion type person. So, if
there’s an occasion, I like to shop for it.... Yeah, it’s a lot easier for, for me to
buy a dress. I don’t know why. It’s more expensive. I should go get the
Reeboks. But, I don’t know. It’s just, it’s easier. I feel better. You know, I feel
better. You know, I feel better coming out of the mall with a dress than coming
out of the mall with a pair of shoes. A pair of tennis shoes or a pair of spandex or
a sports bra or a t-shirt. You know, I feel like I really didn’t accomplish much for
my time I spent. I, I have to feel like there’s a tradeoff, you know. If I’m going
to spend five hours in the mall, I need to at least come out with something worth
me spending five hours in the mall, you know. (Cametra)
Although it may be viewed as a job, mission shopping usually was an enjoyable
activity. The enjoyment appeared to stem from successfully completing the mission, the
accompanying sense of fulfillment from realizing the desired goal of making a clothing
purchase, and possessing new clothing. Once the mission was over, recreational
shoppers were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor by wearing their new garment and
displaying their accomplishment.
Although informants enjoyed mission shopping, at times, this type of shopping
could be frustrating and stressful for them, if they could not find an item to satisfy their
need or craving or they felt under pressure to make a purchase.

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I was in Massachusetts visiting with relatives. I needed to get a dress for
graduation. Something that was short enough not to stick out under the robe and
with no collar. So, I had no luck. I went to, um, a mall that was 45 miles away
with my mother. And um, it was actually, we ended up in a TJ Maxx. Tried on
almost everything there and didn’t like anything or it wasn’t appropriate.... But
um, I wanted it to be a little special. So, um, as it turned out I did not find
anything.... Two hours at TJ Maxx. I would say another two hours at the
Greendale Mall. So four hours. And then I just ran out of time because I had
other things to do on my trip. (Pat)
I, I was looking, about a month or so ago, I was looking for a new swimsuit. And
the first time that we went out. Um, we were going to go to the beach the next
day and we went out to dinner with some friends, and I said, well, gee, if we’re
going to go to the beach tomorrow, I need to get a new swimsuit.... So, we went
to, um, the mall. We were right down the street from the mall. We went to the
mall and I was feeling pressure. Like I have to find one right then. And I saw a
couple that, yeah, they’re nice, but. I would rather have more time to look and
pick what I really want than to be rushed because the store’s going to close in 30
minutes and you gotta have a swimsuit. So we picked a couple and my husband
was like, well, yeah, just go ahead and buy it. I’ll pay for it. And I thought, but,
you know, I really, I’m really, no. I, I, I don’t feel 100% about this suit. And I
don’t want to buy it and then get it home and never wear it. And well, I don’t
know, you need one for tomorrow. And I said, Bill, if we’re going to go to the
beach tomorrow, I’ll just do something else. You know, I can wear shorts and a
tank top. I don’t have to have a swimsuit. I’m not, I really, and he went out to the
car to get his checkbook and came back. And I was like, I don’t want it. I want
more time. (Jean)
I, sometimes I like shopping if, sometimes I hate shopping.... Um, I think if, if I
know I’m looking for a certain thing. Like, um, at Christmas I wanted, um, an
American flag sweater. I, I wanted a specific sweater. I couldn’t find it
anywhere. I hated shopping then, you know, because I was looking for a specific
thing and nobody had it. You know, and nobody could help me in finding it. (Ian)
You know, if, if I, if I’m looking for something specific or I’m want something to
catch my eye and I only have an hour to spend and in an hour it doesn’t catch, I
don’t find anything. It’s like ok, well, fine. I only put an hour into it. So, the fact
that I walked out that door with nothing doesn’t really upset me. But if I’m like
determined to find something and I spend all day there and I don’t find anything
then, yeah, I’m a little perturbed when I don’t find anything, you know, that
catches my eye. And I have to leave without anything. But I’d rather leave
without anything then buy something just because I’m there, you know, so.
(Cametra)

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The frustration that informants periodically experienced when mission shopping
is summed up by their comments about not being able to find a clothing item to satisfy
their needs or desires when they were willing and able to make a purchase and how easy
it was to find clothing when they were not planning to buy. This paradox that
recreational shoppers face is referred to in this research as the recreational shopper’s
lament.
And usually when you want to spend money on clothes, you can’t find anything.
And when you don’t have money to spend you find everything (Shannon)
It seems like whenever I have money to buy clothes there’s nothing in the store
that I like. But it’s always the reverse opposite when I have no money. And that
can be so frustrating at times. (Christine)
Ah, if I go with friends when they’re shopping that’s usually when I’ll find
something that I would like to purchase, but I haven’t saved the money for it at
that point. And so, I’ll see it but won’t have the money for it that time. When I’m
going to look and I have the money that I want to spend, I can’t find anything.
It’s very strange. (Pat)
Well, usually when I don’t have money or I’m not planning on buying anything I
can find so many things that I want. But a, when I have money and I know I’m
going to spend it, I get really picky and I’m just like, well I don’t know if I’m
going to need that. (Jennifer)
As far as what type of shopping I prefer, I think I just like to go to the mall and
just look. And if I see something and I want to buy it fine. I don’t feel like I’m
on a mission or pressured to buy anything.... I mean something will usually
jump out at me. It’s almost like when you’re looking for something, you can’t
find it. When you don’t look, you can find it. And that’s really a good analogy of
shopping. Maybe you should shop like everyday and then you never have to go
shopping (Jean)
Recreational shoppers seemed to encounter this paradox because they are more
closed minded, focused, and perhaps pressed for time when they are mission shopping, in
contrast to being relaxed and care free when window shopping. Although not

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investigated in this research, it seems that the type of shopping recreational shoppers are
engaging in may influence their decision making process for making a clothing purchase.
Window Shopping
A second type of recreational shopping that informants engaged in that stands in
contrast to mission shopping was window shopping. Window shopping occurred when
informants entered the marketplace to look at clothing without having an item in mind
that they intended to buy or a planned purchase goal. Yet, during this type of shopping
trip recreational shoppers were open to the possibility of making a purchase, if a clothing
item caught their attention. If a clothing purchase did occur while window shopping, it
was an impulsive act unlike the premeditated purchase seen in mission shopping.
It’s where you’re just going to look. You don’t have anything to buy. And you,
you don’t plan to buy anything. You’re just going window shopping. You’re just
going to go and look. You’re just looking. And if you see something, I guess
that’s what I did when I went to Ross. I was just looking. I was wasting time. I
just happened to see something that I liked and I bought it.... Um, if I happen to
see something that my sister would like, I’d buy it. I’d put it in the closet and
when her birthday rolls around I’ll pull it out. Um, and so I’ve already gotten
little things. I mean something will usually jump out at me. (Jean)
In contrast to mission shopping, window shopping was characterized as being
carefree, unrestricted and capricious in nature.
Ah, I think it’s a lot funner just to go and look around. And like just decide to
buy something on a whim if it looks good. Where when you are restricted as to
like what you can wear and what would look, you know, reasonable for a, any
function that you have to go to. That kind of limits it when you’re looking for
things. (Christine)
I tend to find better things (when just looking) because usually I, I find something.
You know, something grabs my eye.... Usually, I don’t (have something in
mind to buy). It’s just something that catches my eye.... And, basically I try not
to really look real hard, you know. I just, if something catches my eyes. I just,
like, I don’t like to go school shopping, like before school or whatever. And go
out and try to buy as many clothes or whatever as I like. Because then I end up

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with outfits that I don’t like. I try to shop all the time and I’ll find an outfit here,
an outfit there, a shirt there, you know. And, and end up with better clothes that I
like more that way. So, I guess I’m always shopping. (Michelle)
If I need something I’m on a mission. And you have, you have an objective. You
have a goal.... When I’m just leisurely shopping or just wasting time in a mall,
I’ll go in and out of almost every store and I look around.... And it’s just
walking and you don’t need anything. And you’re just kind of walking around
just looking, but you’re not really looking. You’re just kind of there.... I enjoy
leisurely shopping more. Um, because when you’re on a mission if you don’t find
it you kind of feel like, almost like there’s a little bit of a let down that gee, I spent
all day and didn’t find a thing. But if I’m leisurely shopping, who cares if I didn’t
buy anything. I looked. I had, I enjoyed myself. And it, it, it really can be
relaxing. A lot of people won’t believe that, but it really can. Just to walk
through the mall and you’re not in hurry to get anywhere. Um, and usually when
I’m just doing leisurely shopping like that, is when I’ll find something. Because I
think I might be more open. Like the time I went into, um, Steinmart, I wasn’t
really looking for anything in particular. It wasn’t a mission like when I bought
this shirt. It, um, some other times that I’ve gone out there was no, when I went
to Ross I’d, I had to go, I had to go downtown for a meeting. And I was early
because I had, was coming between two different place. And I was, I was coming
from downtown going to a lunch meeting and I was early, and I thought, well, I’ll
just run in here and waste some time and look. If I had gone in there looking for
an outfit, I wouldn’t have found it. (Jean)
It’s a lot of fun to walk around and if you don’t have anything else, you know,
that you’re supposed to be doing like studying.... Yeah, I like to do that
(window shopping). Like, if you don’t have anything better to do. You know,
with a bunch of people you go out and just walk the mall and talk and look at the
people and look at the clothes and maybe even try stuff on.... I mean, I go not to
buy anything. ... I mean, sometimes when I window shop I end up buying
something. (Shannon)
Some informants viewed window shopping as a social activity. Sometimes they
used it to spend free time and socialize with family and friends. At other times
informants played the role of the helpful shopping companion when they offered advice
and facilitated their partner’s shopping process.
I usually don’t go window shopping by myself unless I’m really bored. It’s more
of a social thing I think if you go window shopping with a bunch of friends or
somebody. You know, you stop and get ice cream and look around, you know.
Or you go with family and get coffee or something like that. ... If, if you’re with

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friends and stuff and you’re making it fun. By yourself it’s not fun to window
shop really.... If you’re with friends it’s a different kind of fun. I mean, it’s, it’s
like you’re having fun socially.... So that’s when it’s fun. You know, it, it is
fun to shop with your friends if you’re not there, if you’re just kind of, yeah, if I
see something I’ll buy it.... But it’s fun to have a friend along if you’re not too
serious and you have all day to kind of make a day of it and stuff. It can be fun.
(Shannon)
Yeah, usually, um, me and my ex-boyfriend sometimes, you know, we’re just
sitting around, ok, let’s just go to the mall. You know, we don’t have anything
else to do. Not going to actually buy something. Not going to buy. Not just, you
know, just going to the mall. Just to have fun kind of thing. So, we have fun
going to the mall.... You see a lot of people that you know at the mall. So, like,
hey look stuff, hey you doing? You know, how’s your life. (Cametra)
If I’m just leisurely shopping, I don’t mind being with another person....
Because now that I say that I can think of times that it’s, it’s really fun to be out
with her (Nancy, her favorite shopping partner). Um, and that, but then again
that’s usually a time where I’m not buying anything. It’s where I’m just walking,
I’m tagging along with her. And actually, you know, I’m just saying to myself,
I’d probably ought to call her and say, let’s just go shopping one day. Let’s not
buy anything. Let’s just, as my Mom would say, window shopping. (Jean)
Um, but, you know, like, on weekends and stuff, you know, and maybe one of my
friends will call me up and say, well, let’s go to the movies. And we’ll go to the
mall for awhile and see what we can find, you know. A lot of times I run into
really good stuff when I just pick up and go.... Well, she (her friend Amy) loves
to shop.... Um, but I enjoy her company. So, you know, if, she’s my best
friend. So, you know, if she wants to go I’ll go with her.... Like, lately, you
know, it’s, it’s been real fun because we’ve been picking stuff out for the
wedding, you know. I went with her to buy her wedding dress. And that was fun
because, you know, you pick out maybe ten different dresses of every different
style, you know, from every different place. And you just, she just tried them all
on. (Ian)
Window shopping was used to check sales, scout a store’s clothing, learn about
new trends and clothing styles, and plan for future purchases.
Unless, I see, like with Dillard’s, I caught a sale in the paper. And I knew that,
ok, I’ll probably go and, you know, catch up on these bargains. (Cametra)
And like, Gayfers, they send out (flyers) you know, little ones for what their sales
are. And that attracts me to go shopping too. When Gayfers and Burdines send

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you their, their sale week. That’s when I’m like, mmmm, you got to go shopping.
There’s a sale. (Mary)
Last week, I went to Ross. And it was just again going through looking. They
had a clearance going on. Just, it was really just looking to see what they have. Is
there something in here on clearance that’s a good price? That’s a good buy?
(Jean)
Yeah. Yeah, I do (like looking). Even when I’m not planning on buying
anything, you know. And I don’t have, I might not have a dime in my purse. I
like, I just don’t mind going to the mall. I just look around. And just get ideas for
different things. Because some of the stuff, I may have something like it in my
wardrobe and I can learn how to coordinate it, you know. Just see different things
that they have.... Um, and I’ll go, not only getting ideas, but then I may see
something that, um, ok, it may have just came in. So, it’s not on sale yet. But
then I can keep my eye on it. And then maybe later on it will be on sale. If it’s
something that I really like. And then maybe later I can get it on sale. Something
like that. (Lecresia)
Because a lot of times, you know, maybe I’ll find something and I’ll say, well, I
want to get something similar to that. You know, I’ll get ideas of what I want to
get. Or, um, you know, I’ll get to see maybe some new styles that have come out.
Um, you know, just stuff like, that’s where I get ideas of maybe what I want to
get. Or some ideas of maybe a new style that I want to try. Something different
from, you know, the style that I usually use. (Ian)
Informants who shopped at off price retailers, thrift stores, consignment shops,
and flea markets viewed window shopping in these locales as an adventure since they
never knew what they would find. These retail outlets, filled with novelty and
singularity, led informants on a hunt that was tantamount and at times even paramount to
anything that was found.
Ah, sometimes it’s kind of an adventure (shopping at thrift stores). You find, you
find, like sometimes department stores bother me because you’ll see three or four
people with the same outfit. And ah, so you go to a thrift store, you know. I have
this little jacket from Paris. And that other jacket from Canada. You know, you
get different things that nobody will have because it’s an old item. And, you
know, it could be from some, somewhere totally different. And sometimes you
find, I found a, I have a leather suede jacket and it comes down to here. Very
comfortable. I got it for 7 bucks. Yeah, it was hidden. And, and ah, I’m very
happy with it. And so, just once in awhile you find those.... Yeah, because you

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find the, usually there’s all these weird people shopping there. And you can find,
you know, even furniture there. I got this trunk there. It’s really neat. It used to,
to be used by this Southern Belle or whatever. And ah, I don’t know. I guess it is
kind of an adventure. Because it’s just different. And I got a, this flight jacket for
my best friend who, she wears those, for a couple of bucks.... But, you know,
it’s, it’s just different to see, oh, oh, this is a Calvin Klein and they’ve, they’re,
you know, not wearing that anymore or whatever. It’s just interesting. (Michelle)
And another place that I go for shopping, and I really just started getting into this
was consignment shops. And my girlfriend, Nancy, goes all the time. And she
can always find stuff at consignment stores. I don’t always find anything. And
usually it’s because I don’t need, I just, I’m going with her. And I’m, and it’s just
to keep her company. It’s not, or to give her an opinion on how something looks.
Not because I need to buy something. But, and yep, you can get some good buys
there. It’s fun to look around, just go through the stuff because you never know
what you’ll find. (Jean)
Especially at discount stores, there’s always like, you know, this is going to sound
so stupid, like a little treasure that, you know, will mean so much to you and
somebody else might find it. Like that rugby was, I keep on going back to the
rugby. That was like the only rugby on the rack and it was just like the best thing
in there. And I felt so good because I got the last one or the only one, or
whatever.... But um, see even in consignment stores I like, love going through
the clothes. Even though they’ve been worn already. But um, you can get like
good Polos for like 5 bucks. I don’t know. I just love shopping. (Jennifer)
Window shopping also occurred in nonclothing venues. Similar to their
experiences in discount and nontraditional retail outlets, informants were attracted to the
novelty of the retail setting and found looking through merchandise to be stimulating and
exciting.
Ah, you know, food shopping. Sometimes that’s an adventure too. Because you
find new things. Oh, yeah. Sometimes, I, but then it takes like two hours if I
really get into it. Like I found rain forest cookies at Publix that I’ve never found
before. They’re made with Brazil nuts and cashew nuts and they benefit the rain
forest through ah, Harvard University. They sponsor this thing. And they buy the
nuts, the company buys the nuts and that way it gives the, the rainforest people
money for harvesting rainforest crops. And I found them up at the top of the shelf
near the end by all the fat free cookies and stuff. And I get fat free granola bars
and I just happened to notice them. But you find all kind of different items that
are all dusty and nobody ever buys. And, I don’t know. I consider that a place to
discover. You find all kinds of different things there that, you know, from other

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cultures and you’re like, wow, what’s that. You can read the label or, you know,
it’s just interesting. (Michelle)
But um, we spend a lot of time in record stores. Don’t, never get anything. Just
flip through every group, every.... Probably just seeing a, what’s on the top of
the chart. What CDs are on sale. Or if the CD that you really really like is less
than 17.99. Which the three that I’ve been dying to get forever, haven’t gone
below 15. And I know they’re going to go to like 10.99 by the end of the
summer. So, I’m just going to wait. I always just check.... When I started
reading a couple of, um, history books for just my own self. And I got really into
a couple of books that now I love going to bookstores. But I want so many books.
I know I’m not going to sit down and read all these books, but I love looking. I
guess you could say I really really enjoy picking through things and just looking
at things. Like clothing, going through every rack and every item. Record stores,
going through everything. And books, I can spend, well everybody could, but
like hours in a bookstore just looking at every book and figuring out, you know,
where have I heard that? Where have I seen that? ... I like looking at things.
(Jennifer)
I like to go in, in Lechters.... I like to go in there because they have a lot of neat
stuff. They have everything.... They have, you know, just a lot of stuff for the
kitchen. Or stuff to decorate. Or, you know, the picture frames. Or, you know,
like they’ll, other, they have little coffee mugs that, you know, I use them to drink
coffee. And they always have different, like, those little joke things on the side, I
guess, you know. Um, cute stuff to put around the apartment. Stuff like that. I
usually, I don’t, I can’t think of the last thing I bought something. But I like to go
in there. (Mary)
Some informants preferred to go mission shopping instead of window shopping
because of the purposeful and planned nature of a mission driven shopping trip. They
found the open-ended, carefree nature of window shopping difficult to cope with.
Furthermore, they had a strong desire to come home with an acquisition in hand.
I think I like going when I need to shop because I know I’ll leave with something.
If I don’t need to shop, I’m usually, then I’m frustrated because I didn’t buy
anything. ... And it was an awful shopping trip. If I needed to shop, then
usually, because if I don’t need to shop then I don’t know what I’m looking for. I
don’t have a, you know, a plan. I don’t have a mission like that dress for
Memorial Day. I knew what I was going, I knew what I wanted. (LeTonya)
Um, very rarely do I just shop just to shop, you know.... Um, you know, I, I
usually, yeah, just shopping for need basically. Um, very, very rarely though for,

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you know, I’ll shop for something that I want. You know, something that maybe
I didn’t plan on getting.... I mean, if I’m going to go shopping I know that I
might walk out of the mall with something. So, my goal is, if I’m going to walk
out with something make it something that I really like, you know. (Ian)
I try not to, you know, since I’ve gotten a little older. I’ve tried not to go to the
store just shopping, just looking, just, you know, for no reason. Usually, there’s
been an occasion coming up. You know, something special that I have to do or a
place that I have to go that I’m going to need something nice to wear. And that’s
why I’ll go shopping. (Cametra)
The prevalence of window shopping among informants in this research was not
surprising given the previously discussed research on shopping motives (e.g., Tauber
1972) and recreational shoppers (Bellenger and Korgoankar 1980). The present research,
however, offers a more in-depth, first-person view of the window shopping experience,
while contrasting it to the more focused, planful activity of mission shopping.
Mood Shopping
The third type of recreational shopping that emerged from the interview data was
mood shopping, i.e., ventures into the marketplace inspired by sadness, depression, or
stress. Although it is generally accepted in popular culture (e.g., Cathy comic strip) and
the press that consumers, especially females, shop when they are feeling down or under
stress, this aspect of the recreational shoppers’ experience has not been plumbed in
previous research on recreational shoppers. When mood shopping, recreational shoppers
were looking for relief from their melancholy or anxiety and hoping that they would find
emotional or psychological uplift in the retail setting of their choice.
Except, sometimes (goes shopping) if I’m just in a bad mood. Because, I mean,
you mood shop too. Like, if you’re in a really bad mood, you have to buy
something to make yourself feel better. And sometimes you don’t have any idea
what you’re going to buy. You just want to buy something that makes you look
great. Because, you’re in a bad mood. And you’re just, I’m going to the mall....
I remember one time I was in a really really bad mood. I, I had like $50 in my

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bank account. I was like, well I’m going to spend it.... So I’m like, I’m just
going to spend it. Because it will make me feel better. I knew I could have spent
it on something better. But I felt bad and I was sad. I must have gotten a bad
grade on a test or something. You know, and I was like I’m just going to do this
for myself. So I usually, sometimes I’ll make a day of it. Like, I’ll go and have
lunch there and look at all the people. I like to do it by myself. Some people
don’t. I mean, I have fun just sitting there by myself. And, you know, have
lunch. Pig out, even if you’re on a diet. And then go and walk around, look at
everything, try everything on.... Try on all different things. And then, go back
to the one that I like the best and get it. And I make myself feel better, but not for
usually for very long.... Yeah, you wear it a couple of times. It makes, I mean,
it’s good. It makes you feel better. It does what, the purpose, you know, that you
were trying to do. But then, you know, whatever your problem is it’s going to
come back. It can’t make it go away. (Shannon)
And then there’s another experience when I’m upset. Or after an exam when I’m
under stress, I go to the mall. Because that’s the best reliever for me because, um,
you know, I’m doing the thing that I love to do most. So, I always go on my own
when I have, when I have, after an exam or after some stressful situation. I go to
the mall. I always get coffee every time I go to the mall too. I go to Barney’s and
get a cup of coffee. The flavor of the day. And then my heart is content. I don’t
have, if I, if it’s a stressful day like that I don’t have to worry about if it’s on sale
or not. I’ll just buy things that I like.... It’s like a, it’s just a reliever that. It
just, you now, it’s really great.... And I like to try on a lot of clothes too. So, to
see how things look on me. You know, that makes me feel good too. When I go
to the mall (when upset or under stress) I usually have to buy something. And
because there’s so much there, you know. And I can’t, I can, I can put my limit
down and say, I’m not going to buy anything. But if I don’t buy anything, I buy a
cup of coffee. So I do buy something.... And when I’m going because of stress
I’m going for myself. Because it makes me feel better because I know I’m going
to look better when I buy new clothes. I guess that’s, you know, why I like to go
alone because it’s at my own pace and I’m looking at things I want to look at.
And if someone wants to go somewhere I don’t want to go there. Because I’m
here for myself. (Mary)
Yeah, like if I’m in a bad mood or if I’m depressed. Like if I’ve had a horrible
day at work. You know, oh, look, ugh, I’ve been around people all day. You
know, they’ve just really gotten on my nerves. I need to just get away and relax.
You know, and just to spend the time just away from, you know, my house. Like,
a lot of times going through college, you know, everything kind of falls around
the same time. You know, you have exams. You know, you have a lot of work to
do because I’m working at Financial Aid. So, you know, people want their loans
now. And just everything falls around the same time. It’s like, I need a break,
you know. So, to take a break I’ll just go shopping. That way I’m not at home.
So, the homework’s not looking at me in the face, you know. I’m not a work.

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I’m not dealing with those people. I’m not around my friends because they’re
demanding too. So, I’m just away, you know. (Cametra)
Last semester, I used to sometimes when I get done with like a long day at school
or something or a big test. I would and if there’s like nothing to do, I would just
go hop in the car and go like look around the stores or something. It still kind of
like relieves some stress or something or just.... You want to find something and
it kind of like lifts you up and feel, makes you feel good.... It kind of like gives
you self-esteem. It makes you feel good inside when you find something you feel
very comfortable in, you think looks good on you. That’s what it does.
(Christine)
While Shannon, Mary, Cametra, and Christine preferred to mood shop on their
own, other informants liked to have company when they were mood shopping.
I mean, when there’s, when you’re so, you know, are so, had too much of school
and just want to relax kind of thing.... And if it’s like a bad grade on a test or
something like that, I mean, it, it’ll get my mind off of it. But then I’ll come back
and think about, you know, think about it. But it’s a temporary, minor release.
That kind of thing.... It’s just, it’s just somewhere to go and, you know, and just
to keep my mind off of things. Or just something to do.... I like having
someone else with me, you know, someone to talk to.... Here (at school) my,
my roommate, Stacey. Yeah, I like to, to go with her. (Jen)
Um, I was on a date function for a fraternity and sorority in Jacksonville. I was
with this guy that I used to date and we were having a really bad time. So I
grabbed one of my friends and I left him at Hooters with his entire fraternity.
And I went shopping at the Landing because I was in the worse mood. And that
made me feel so much better. I knew if I could just get out and shop and, you
know, get something that I’d be like satisfied with, something good came out of
it. You know, I got something. So I went to Jacksonville Landing and spent $65
on that. Those shorts, that shirt, and a bodysuit, just because I was having the
worst day. And that made me feel so much better. (Jennifer)
For Jennifer, mood shopping seemed to be an ongoing activity, perhaps
symptomatic of having a compulsive buying tendency.
About once a month up at school I feel like I just have to get out and go get
something. Um, clothes or shoes, it just makes me feel better. I like to come
home and I feel better because I can go out feeling new and in something new.
And ah, it gets my spirits up.... Usually, it’s after a big test or exam and I’m a
little stressed. Or I’ve been like concentrating on something for a couple of days
and I just need to go out. It’s a big stress reliever. Just to buy something and

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accomplish, you know, getting something and taking it home with you.... So I
always had to go out. Whenever I bought something, I felt like, well, this is
something that I did and it’s mine. And I don’t know if you can analyze that in
any way, but a, I felt like it was something I, that I got all by myself. This is
mine, other people can look at it. I don’t, it just mad me feel, it filled in the space,
you know. I was doing bad in school and it socially brought me up, I guess....
Because I know it makes me feel better for the moment when I buy something.
Um, it just makes me feel better. It comforts me. It really does. I sit at home.
Look at it for a couple of minutes. Put together different outfits with it. Feel
satisfied that I got something I can work with. Then I’ll think about the test later.
(Jennifer)
As seen in the previous interview excerpts, whether informants were mood
shopping alone or with a companion, an essential part of their mood shopping experience
was making a product purchase to alleviate, albeit temporarily, their pain. Hence,
recreational shoppers appear to engage in self-gift behavior since they seek solace
through product acquisition when feeling down or under stress (Mick and DeMoss
1990a). The self-gift provides emotional nutrition by elevating one’s self-esteem (Mick
and DeMoss 1990b). At the same time, the need to enter the marketplace and purchase a
clothing item is similar to the behavior exhibited by compulsive buyers (O’Guinn and
Faber 1989). Like compulsive buyers, the majority of informants in the present research,
who engaged in mood shopping, seemed to place more emphasis on the emotional and
psychological uplift provided by purchasing a product than possessing the product in and
of itself. This suggests that for recreational shoppers the shopping trip itself is the self-
gift-an experiential gift of being in and interacting with the marketplace rather than
giving one’s self a material object per se.
While most informants who engaged in mood shopping expressed the need to
make a clothing purchase on their shopping trip, some informants did indicate that they
could find emotional or psychological relief without making a purchase, reinforcing the

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notion that the shopping experience itself can serve as the self-gift. These recreational
shoppers sought refuge just by being in the marketplace and eased their suffering by
looking at and trying on clothing.
I don’t really just go casual shopping, just browsing. Unless, I’m a little
depressed or something. If I’m depressed or, you know, I’m having a bad day I’ll
just go through and casually look through.... Yeah, it’s a, I didn’t have a good
day at work or I didn’t get a good grade on a test or, you know, something is not
so right with my life. I’ll just go and casually look. Usually, I try not to buy
because I know that I’m depressed and I know that, you know, I’m more likely to
spend more money. You know, I would, I would go to The Limited first, you
know. Skip all these other stores. I, I don’t want to try to find a sale, you know.
I go to the most expensive store that I shop at which is The Limited. And, you
know, look through their racks.... And then I would look through and see the
things that I like and know, ok, maybe in a month or two this will be on sale and
I’ll be able to come get it. Maybe when I’m feeling better.... I mean the
looking around takes my mind off of whatever it is that’s, that’s bothering me.
So, you know, just the getting out of the house, out of the, the atmosphere that’s
created whatever that, that mood or depression is. You know, so getting away
from that. That’s pretty, you know, it just relieves me. (Cametra)
Most of the times, if I’m just going just to look, I’m just trying to relax. Or, you
know, maybe I’m trying, I’m stressed out. Or just to calm my nerves or so....
Maybe different things that happen at school. So far as my classes, you know,
maybe if I have like a major test coming up. And I need to try to relax, you know.
Um.... After the test is over it helps me, like to cool, you know, to cool down.
And what also, like if I, um, you know, my Mom and I get into an argument or
something, you know. I just leave and just go walk around the mall.... Nnn,
nnn (does not have to buy something). Just to go look around. It helps me....
For me, it does (makes her feel better) because it kind of like get my mind, it gets
my mind off the subject, you know. Or off whatever has just happened or
whatever. And I start thinking about other things, you know. Thinking about
outfits and, well, I mean, I may not even be really thinking about the clothing.
Just it’ll get my mind off it. It’s something more pleasant. And something
pleasant for me, you know. Looking at nice clothing and things like that.... It
makes me feel better in that I can look at, you know, myself in the mirror and I
can get an image of, ooh, how I would look in it, you know. And think about
different settings and stuff. Um, how I would look in this, like a pair of Guess
jeans or something like that. You know, a $90 pair of Guess jeans or whatever. It
makes me feel good. (Lecresia)
And then sometimes I’ll get in a mood and I want to dress really nice especially
when I’m depressed and I want to wear something nice. Just to make, and I do
make myself feel better. And I’ll go in a store and, and shopping does make me

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feel better. Even if I don’t buy anything. My boyfriend’s figured this out too. I
get depressed. I don’t have any money. Something’s gone wrong. Maybe some,
somebody’s driving me nuts. Or I didn’t do what I wanted to do on a test. And I
get depressed. And he’ll take me to the mall and I’ll just window shop. And I am
fine. I mean I don’t window shop. I shouldn’t say that. I’ll go in and I’ll try
something on that I know I can’t afford. I try on this really elaborate thing with
all these sequins hanging off of it and know I don’t have anywhere to wear the
thing. Can’t even afford it. And I’ll try it on and it looks nice on me. And I
come out and he’s, oh, that really looks nice on you. And I’m fine, you know.
He knows take her to the mall. I don’t have to spend any money on her.... I
don’t, it (trying on clothes) gives me an idea of how I’ll, well, I have to be honest.
It’s a vanity thing sometimes too. Because I try something and I think, oh, I look
nice in it. It looks good on me. You know, I have a pretty decent body, you
know. I don’t have anything to be depressed about. I could be fat. You know,
that kind of thing. Um, and also, just because the psychological thing probably
more than anything I think. It just makes me feel better. I don’t know how to
explain it. It just makes me feel better. Makes me, uh, feel better. I, I don’t
know how to put that into words. I mean not for a long time. But usually it’s,
it’s, it’s, it’s a high. You know, I think mmmm. And then you go in the store
and the music’s playing and I’ll try the thing on. I’m kind of like bopping around
thinking, mmmm, I look ok. And I come out and, you know, usually, you know
what it is too. Usually the salesgirls will come out and say, oh my God, you,
you’re so thin. Or, I think I like to hear that. It’s like, you know, they’re feeding
my ego. I come out. Whoever is like, oh, you look so nice. And the girl’s like,
oh, my God look. And there’s other people in the store and they go, you look so
cute.... That makes me feel good. (LeTonya)
The ability to gamer emotional and psychological nutrition without product
acquisition seems to distinguish some recreational shoppers from compulsive buyers who
feel compelled to make a purchase when searching for emotional/psychological uplift
(O’Guinn and Faber 1989).
In the next section of Chapter 6, the a priori themes and research questions
identified in Table 28 will be examined.

A Priori Themes and Research Questions
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Shopping as Leisure
Before examining A Priori Theme 1, to see if the leisure dimensions are present in
recreational shoppers’ clothes shopping experiences, it is necessary to consider whether
or not informants regarded shopping for clothing to be a leisure activity. Some
informants touched on this issue on their own accord as they described their shopping
experiences, while the rest were asked by the researcher if shopping for clothing was a
leisure activity. While informants did agree that shopping for clothing could be a leisure
experience, their perspectives about the makeup of a leisure shopping experience varied.
When shopping was leisure it was associated with window shopping, filling free time,
socializing, simply having fun, relaxation, emotional nourishment, or being a hobby.
For some informants, shopping for clothing was considered leisure when they
were window shopping or shopping was filling free time and providing enjoyment for
participants.
And when there’s an afternoon that’s kind of rainy out and you just want to do
something. Get out of the house.... When there’s, there’s no other, I mean,
when you’ve seen all the movies and you’ve been to the beach too many times.
You know, that kind of thing. Yeah. I go, I go to the mall. (Jen)
When I’m just leisurely shopping or just wasting time in a mall, I’ll go in and out
of almost every store and I look around.... An example, sometimes when I’m
just wasting time before I have to go somewhere, um, and there might be a mall
nearby. I’ll go in and you don’t need anything,... And it’s just walking and you
don’t need anything. And you’re just kind of walking around just looking, but
you’re not really looking. You’re just kind of there. ... I, I think for me now it
would be more recreation if I went by myself because then I, um, I can take as
much time in a store as I want. When I’m ready to eat I can eat. Um, if I want to
go into a store and that maybe Nancy’s (shopping partner) not interested in, in
going into, I can do that. And we don’t, we’re not the type of shoppers that ok,
we’re going to meet back here at 2:00. We don’t do that. We stay together. We
shop. Um, but, I don’t know. Because now that I say that I can think of times

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that it’s, it’s really fun to be out with her. Um, and that, but then again that’s
usually a time where I’m not buying anything. It’s where I’m just walking, I’m
tagging along with her. And actually, you know, I’m just saying to myself, I’d
probably ought to call her and say, let’s just go shopping one day. Let’s not buy
anything. Let’s just, as my Mom would say, window shopping. (Jean).
Yeah, usually, um, me and my ex-boyfriend sometimes, you know, we’re just
sitting around, ok, let’s just go to the mall. You know, we don’t have anything
else to do. Not going to actually buy something. Not going to buy. Not just, you
know, just going to the mall. Just to have fun kind of thing. (Cametra)
But a lot of times it’s just, because so many times if you’re sitting around with
nothing to do a friend will call, hey let’s go the mall. Especially friends, I do a lot
of shopping with friends that do have money. Like my friends they’ll want to go
buy something. And I’ll just kind of follow them around and talk to them and
stuff, you know. And I won’t buy anything, but they will.... But if I’m going
shopping with a bunch of friends it’s more of a social, fun type thing. We have a
good time. (Shannon)
Jean, Cametra and Shannon referred to shopping companions being a part of and
enhancing their shopping experiences when they were window shopping. Pat reinforced
their views in her comments about shopping for clothing being a leisure experience. For
her, socializing with friends during and after a shopping trip made shopping a leisure
experience.
Mmm, I would say it is (shopping for clothing with friends is a leisure activity).
Kind of leisure, social. We’ll go out to eat after sometimes.... Any kind of
shopping you could do as a leisure thing.... Because we’ll end up if, after
you’ve gone (clothes) shopping, maybe you go for a bite to eat. You don’t realize
what time it is and you’re hungry. You’ll go get something to eat. Yeah.
Probably more enjoyable (socializing) than the actual purchases. (Pat)
Pat’s comments, together with the remarks of Cametra and Shannon, show how
companionship influences participants’ perceptions of leisure (Unger 1984; Unger and
Keman 1983). The social dimension of shopping will be discussed in more detail later in
this chapter.

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Mary felt shopping for clothing was leisure simply because it was fun to do and
was intertwined with other events in her life.
I think it is (shopping is her favorite activity). I can’t think of anything that’s,
other than going out and partying, you know. Different type of fun, you know.
But I would say, yeah. Different day things. The funnest day thing I like to do.
Because at night I really like to go out with friends and, you know, drink. I like to
drink beer, you know. So, that’s, that’s one of my other favorite things. Go out
and dance. And when you’re shopping you have all these things to think about.
Because it ties into everything, you know. You have to buy a certain outfit for
when you go out, you know. And when you’re in school. For work. And that’s.
I think shopping is just fun because it ties into everything. You know, if you’re
going to be home, you know, all day long and you just want something real real
casual to wear then, you know, you have to, even buy stuff for that. Or, you
know, swimsuit season, you know. There’s, it ties into everything. That’s why I
like it. (Mary)
Some informants considered shopping for clothing to be a leisure activity if they
felt relaxed while shopping.
Leisure. Mmm, mmm. ... Because it should be something that you enjoy doing.
That’s what I consider leisure. You’re, you’re not stressed to do it. It’s
something that you enjoy. You’re just going to take your time.... After you go
shopping you want to relax and kind of savor the moment. (Sabrina)
In Ian’s case, her shopping companion helped create a relaxed feeling.
Oh, yeah (shopping is leisure). Yeah, I mean, it can be relaxing.... It’s, you
know, yeah, I, I do find it relaxing, depending on the surroundings around me,
you know.... Um, yeah, I, I did find it relaxing. You know, it was, I hadn’t
spent time with her (girlfriend) in a long time. So, it was nice to spend some time
with her and, you know, talk about, you know, her and her boyfriend are planning
on getting married within the next year. So, it was nice, you know, for her to tell
me that. You know, nobody knows it yet. And stuff like that. So, it was nice,
you know, to talk to her and, and talk about other stuff besides surface subjects.
You know, like, how is, how’s work? And stuff like that.... So, it was nice to
spend some time with her. (Ian)
For other informants, shopping was leisure when they were mood shopping and
the activity had a calming or soothing effect on them.

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Yeah. When I mood shop because I’m kind of depressed and I want to do it
myself. And I kind of want to walk around and, you know, get something to
drink and just kind of look at some different outfits.... I want to just make
myself feel better. (Shannon)
Well, because, um, well, like for me, you know, it brings me pleasure. It, it is,
um, eases my mind, you know. It eases my, um, thought processes and it just
helps me calm down, I guess. I don’t know. Not that I’m just, you know, totally
hyper all the time. But it, it, um, it’s, it’s pleasant for me, you know, to go
shopping. Especially, if I’m going through a period where I, um, you know, I’m
just really shop oriented, you know, clothes oriented during a splurge period.
(Lecresia)
Related to its therapeutic benefit, shopping was leisure for Michelle when it
enabled her to temporarily escape from her troubles.
I think of it sort of as an outlet at times. Yeah, yeah. Something that can get your
mind off whatever is, is going on in your life. Spend the day at the mall and you,
and you come home, everything’s still there. But, you know, you had some time
away from it. It’s nice. It’s, it’s fun.... But if I’m going out at night to get a
plant or something, ah yeah, I’m just going to go plant shopping. You know, I
may not buy plants. I’m just going to wander around somewhere just to get out of
the house. Wander around somewhere. (Michelle)
Three informants (LeTonya, Jennifer, and Christine) considered shopping for
clothing to be a hobby. LeTonya’s view was based on her belief that shopping was an
activity that women just naturally do.
Yeah, some people, yeah, I guess some people golf, other people shop. I don’t
know if I’d call it like recreation. I think I would call it a hobby. Something
people do.... I mean, I don’t know, maybe it’s a sexist thing to say. It’s just a
feminine activity.... And it’s funny, I know some girls who just dread it. Just
dread this store. I thought that was just a natural thing for us.... For women.
Yeah. Yeah. I just thought all women shopped. (LeTonya)
Jennifer and Christine were highly involved in shopping as a recreational pursuit
and enjoyed looking at clothing as well as searching for the best bargains.
Because, um, compared to my other friends I’m definitely shopping three times
more than they are. I don’t know if it’s because they spend more time on campus
because they’re closer to campus and I’m right by the mall or just because I enjoy

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shopping a lot more than they do. Because that’s like one of my hobbies and
they’re interested in whatever else they are.... I love it. (Jennifer)
Jennifer’s high participation as a shopper was also tied into shopping’s
therapeutic benefits.
About once a month up at school I feel like I just have to get out and go get
something. Um, clothes or shoes, it just makes me feel better. I like to come
home and I feel better because I can go out feeling new and in something new.
And ah, it gets my spirits up.... Usually, it’s after a big test or exam and I’m a
little stressed. Or I’ve been like concentrating on something for a couple of days
and I just need to go out. It’s a big stress reliever. Just to buy something and
accomplish, you know, getting something and taking it home with you. (Jennifer)
Whereas she was acquisition oriented, Christine did not always have to buy a new
garment. At times, she was content to just go to clothing stores and look at the
merchandise.
I consider that a hobby almost (shopping for clothing). Um, when I, when I go
out shopping, I do it for recreation. Um, I like to go to all different shops. It’s not
just like if I, if I need to buy something. I just like to go and look at the different
clothes. And I like to find something different and not just like what everybody’s
wearing at the same time and it’s uniform.... Um, I guess, because I’m, for
some reason I’m fascinated with shops and stuff. I like little gidget gadgets and,
and little small odd items. So, like, I’m always eager to look at different things. I
like knick knacks. And I’m basically a pack rat.... Um, I can never throw
anything anyway. And I like to accumulate, accumulate a lot of junk. And a, you
know, something new. Like it’s a little kind of collection. Sort of like a stamp
collection or something.... And I like to hold onto my clothing. I save my old
clothing. So, I mean, I have like a clothing collection too. (Christine)
The fact that Christine referred to her possessions, including clothing, as being a
collection was not idiosyncratic among informants. This topic will be expanded upon
later in this chapter when the emergent themes are discussed.

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Dimensions of Leisure
A priori theme 1
The analysis of the survey data showed that recreational shoppers’ clothes
shopping experiences were comprised of four leisure dimensions: intrinsic satisfaction,
spontaneity, mastery, and fantasy. Supporting the survey results, these dimensions were
also apparent in informants’ discussions of their clothes shopping experiences. In this
section of Chapter 6, the four dimensions will be illuminated from a first-person
perspective.
Intrinsic satisfaction
Intrinsic satisfaction has been called the “essence of leisure” as most definitions
of leisure suggest that the leisure experience provides pleasure or gratification (Unger and
Keman 1983). The survey data revealed that recreational shoppers found shopping for
clothing to be more intrinsically satisfying than nonrecreational shoppers did. In the
qualitative data, there were many examples of shopping for clothing being intrinsically
satisfying to informants.
Given that the informants in this research had indicated that they enjoyed
shopping for clothing when they responded to the advertisement used to recruit
interviewees, it was not surprising that their enjoyment for clothes shopping was evident
in the interviews. Referring back to informants’ comments about shopping for clothing
being a leisure activity, a common thread tying their perspectives together, whether they
associated shopping as leisure with fun, relaxation, emotional nourishment, filling free
time, looking at clothing, finding a bargain, or being sociable, was shopping was
intrinsically satisfying to them. There were three major reasons why shopping for

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clothing was intrinsically satisfying to recreational shoppers: purchasing and wearing
new clothing, window shopping, and finding bargains.
Purchasing and wearing new clothing. Most informants found shopping for
clothing to be inherently gratifying since they liked to purchase new clothing and enjoyed
the emotional uplift and feeling of satisfaction they received from wearing a new
garment. Wearing new clothing made informants look and feel attractive not only in
their own eyes, but in the eyes of others. Hence, enjoyment from shopping was derived
from both product acquisition and consumption.
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I like to shop.... The idea of having something on you
makes you feel good. Especially, if you go get your hair done too. And
everything is new from head to toe, including your purse, pantyhose, shoes.
Everything. Even earrings. When I shop I like to go all the way. So then
someone says, oh, Sabrina, that looks really sharp. And you look in the mirror
and you feel like you look sharp too.... And it makes you feel good.... Elated.
I feel good inside and out. It’s, it’s a hard, it’s hard to describe the feeling. You
feel that when you walk down the street, yes, I know they’re looking at me
because I look sharp. That’s the way you feel. (Sabrina)
I’ve always loved shopping for clothes.... Yeah. I don’t know anyone who
doesn’t like shopping for clothes. Yeah, I love shopping for clothes.... Um, I
don’t, the feeling, I, I just get a lot of energy and a lot of excitement from finding
something that I like and that I think looks nice on me. And I like just looking
nice. So, you know, if I can find clothes, an outfit that accents maybe my figure
here or, you know, depreciates on this thing that I don’t like right here about my
body or something. If I can find something that makes me look well than I feel
better. So, if I think that I’m looking good today than I’m going automatically
have a wonderful attitude when I walk out the door. So, it just makes my day a
little brighter to feel like I look nice. (Cametra)
I love shopping.... Basically just, I like getting something new. You know, I
like, I like wearing something new. I like, I like maybe my sister or my brother
saying, you know, that’s really nice. I like that. I’m, you know, it’s like they’re
glad I bought it. You know, because, you know, that’s it. I like knowing that
what I’m wearing I feel good in. Because I always walk a little higher when I,
when I know I feel, I feel good in something. Um, that’s, that’s really it.... It’s
just, I like getting new stuff. (Ian)

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I think anybody that like finds a piece of clothes and they feel really good in it. It
kind of like gives you self-esteem. It makes you feel good inside when you find
something you feel very comfortable in, you think looks good on you. That’s
what it does.... You want to find something and it kind of like lifts you up and
feel, makes you feel good. Or, you know, makes you feel special like if you buy
something for a special occasion. ... For example, when I graduated I got a
really nice, um, dress. It had, um, it was like a, it had the big Peter Pan collar in
the front and it was navy. Sort of like a, a sailor or something dress. With
buttons down the middle. And it was very, um, how do you say? It was very
conservative, but I guess the way it fits on, it fitted on me. I felt very, um, for
some reason I felt taller or something. Maybe with the high heels. And I felt very
important in it. I guess because I knew it was for my graduation.... I guess it’s
like a power thing. (Christine)
And ah, it gets my spirits up.... I love it. Shopping for anything, but clothing
is basically.... I just like always wearing something different out and being in
style and having somebody say, oh, my gosh, where did you get that. That’s so
nice. Oh, I just got it the other day. It’s like, it makes you feel good when people
notice new things about you. And I guess you could say, it’s an ego boost for me.
... It’s building up my self-esteem. It really does. (Jennifer)
But, if I got a really good deal and I had the money to spend. And it looks good
and I’m happy. You know, then I feel great. Because then, you know, you get to
wear it the next day or something. I think everybody wears it, everything they
buy they‘11 wear like, it immediately.... Just because you are so excited and
you’re happy. I mean, I don’t see how you can buy something and just sit it in the
closet. That was that point that you bought it. You want to wear it. You want to
show it off.... I like shopping. It’s fun.... Just because it does make you feel
good, to look good. It makes your image. You know, you feel happy. If you
walk out of the house wearing something new that you like you’re going to be in a
good mood. I think it’s good for you. (Shannon)
For most recreational shoppers, shopping was much more than an act to make a
clothing purchase; it was a pathway to self-construction, self-preservation, self-
confirmation, and self-affirmation. In essence, shopping is recreational shoppers’ yellow
brick road since just like Dorothy and her friends, who were searching for happiness and
a completed self, in the The Wizard of Oz, recreational shoppers are searching for
gratification and constructing themselves in the retail marketplace.

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Window shopping. A second potential source of enjoyment for recreational
shoppers was window shopping. Informants’ discussion of their clothes shopping
experiences clearly showed that they relished the process of looking at, touching, and
digging through clothing even if they did not make a purchase. They actively interacted
with the merchandise while window shopping. They enjoyed trying clothing on, learning
about new styles, and discovering or running into unexpected finds while in retail stores.
Looking at clothing also enhanced their ability to put outfits together and boosted their
emotions if they were feeling down. A number of these sources of enjoyment have been
identified as shopping motives in previous research (e.g., Tauber 1972; Westbrook and
Black 1985).
Because I really enjoy just looking around, pick up maybe about 15 items and
wind up getting two. That’s just the um the fun of matching things and picking
things out and putting together outfits.... But um, see even in consignment
stores I like, love going through the clothes. Even though they’ve been worn
already. But um, you can get like good Polos for like 5 bucks. I don’t know. I
just love shopping.... I guess you could say I really really enjoy picking through
things and just looking at things. Like clothing, going through every rack and
every item. Record stores, going through everything. And books, I can spend,
well everybody could, but like hours in a bookstore just looking at every book and
figuring out, you know, where have I heard that? Where have I seen that?
(Jennifer)
I, you know, I, when I go by myself I hit all the stores. When I walk in the mall I
come in and I don’t walk from one store and go to the other side of the mall. You
know, I walk along the mall and look at all the shops. When I see something I
like I walk in there. And I don’t think, ok, I’m only going to look here here here
here. I look everywhere.... And I always take my time. And I really like to
look, you know. It’s fun to look.... I like to try on a lot of clothes too. So, to
see how things look on me. That’s fun too. (Mary)
I like looking for stuff. And I’d like picking it out and, you know, imagining how
it’s going to look on me.... Yeah, yeah, I do (enjoy shopping if does not make a
purchase). Because a lot of times, you know, maybe I’ll find something and I’ll
say, well, I want to get something similar to that. You know, I’ll get ideas of
what I want to get. Or, um, you know, I’ll get to see maybe some new styles that

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have come out. Um, you know, just stuff like, that’s where I get ideas of maybe
what I want to get. Or some ideas of maybe a new style that I want to try.
Something different from, you know, the style that I usually use. (Ian)
And it’s kind of fun to do that (shopping at thrift stores) because, you know, it’s
not like. A lot of stores when you go in they have the whole outfit set up and
you’re just, you know, just take it off the rack and buy it. And I like, I think it’s,
it’s a lot funner to go ahead and pick a piece and then try to find something to
match with it.... Ah, I think it’s a lot funner just to go and look around. And like
just decide to buy something on a whim if it looks good.... Um, for, for some
reason, I guess, I’m getting ready to get my own place. So, I love going into like
house, house stores. Like, um, like kitchen knick knacks or living room knick
knacks.... But for some reason, I like shopping a lot. And any, any type of
shopping. Um, I like looking at all the neat new products. Like, for example, in
the grocery store.... Or, you know, just looking anywhere. (Christine)
And then sometimes I’ll get in a mood and I want to dress really nice especially
when I’m depressed and I want to wear something nice. Just to make, and I do
make myself feel better. And I’ll go in a store and, and shopping does make me
feel better. Even if I don’t buy anything. My boyfriend’s figured this out too. I
get depressed. I don’t have any money. Something’s gone wrong. Maybe some,
somebody’s driving me nuts. Or I didn’t do what I wanted to do on a test. And I
get depressed. And he’ll take me to the mall and I’ll just window shop. And I am
fine. (LeTonya)
Finding bargains. The final source of enjoyment that was evident in informants’
descriptions of their clothes shopping experiences was finding a desired or unexpected
product on sale, characterized as getting a “great deal.” All of the informants in this
research were avid bargain shoppers, who when they were shopping for clothing “always
hit the sales racks” since they were constantly on the prowl for sales. Bargain hunting
required patience and determination, but the payoff was happiness and self-satisfaction.
To search for bargains, informants enjoyed going to discount stores, outlet stores, off-
price retailers, thrift stores, consignment stores, and flea markets. Bargaining shopping
which has been identified as a shopping motive (Tauber 1972) occurred in the context of
mission shopping, window shopping, and mood shopping. This topic will also be

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discussed when the mastery dimension of recreational shopping is elaborated on later in
this section.
And I happened to be looking on the, um, on the clearance racks. And I saw this
dress. It was really pretty. And it was like the style that I had in mind that I
wanted to wear. And it had been marked down from like $60 to $30. So, I was
like, it was the only one left. It was the only one in my size. And everything, so,
I got really excited about that. And, um, let’s see. Then I tried the dress on and
then I bought it that same day. And so, I love that dress now. (Lecresia)
I always, always look for sales though. ... I love it (buying clothing on sale). It
is the best thing. I’m like, oh, gosh I got a deal. I got this this this, you know.
And I only paid this much. And it, it sounds like a great deal to me, you know.
(Mary)
I mean I’m a bargain shopper. I bargain shop. I’m really into that.... Oh yeah.
When I first walk in a store I usually don’t even look at the front stuff. Because,
I mean you can get an idea of what the things are, but all the stuff in the front
eventually goes to the back where it’s on sale. So, I usually wait for it to jump to
the back. And get it for half off. ... So I always look in the back there (The
Gap). Most everywhere I look, I try to get a sale. I don’t think I hardly ever buy
anything full price. Just because, it’s going to go on sale.... I’ll go to the little
bargain places.... Like Ross and Macy’s Outlet and stuff like that. Because
they have, I mean, you know, nice stuff. It’s really good quality. It’s just lower
prices. You have to look harder. It not like displayed all nice in the nice little
store and everything. And there’s no little ladies out there helping you and that
kind of stuff. But, it’s worth it. It’s a lot cheaper. It’s like half as much.
(Shannon)
And um, when I go clothes shopping, I’m a very competitive shopper. I just like
looking for the best bargains.... I preferably like to go to the sales racks first
and see what I can find there. And then make my way back up to the front, where
everything’s full price.... Um, recently though, um, some friends and I, we’ve
gotten together and we kind of like going to thrift stores. And you’re able to find,
like some barely used clothes really cheap, if you like looking around. . .. Um,
for example, I love coupons. Ah, Sunday is my day to cut out coupons and then,
you know, I like to use them. (Christine)
I’m like a major bargain hunter. I mean, my Mom yells at me because I cut out
coupons still. And a, I roll coins. I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m cheap or anything
because I like spend money on other people and. But a, I just like to save and get
the best deal, the best bargain. But definitely, when I see a sale rack or, um, I
don’t know I just try to get the best deal on everything.... It’s like I have to beat
everybody to the store so I can get what I want first. Not greedy, but.... I

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bargain hunt basically for everything.... I refuse to spend over like $3 for a pair
(underwear). I usually get them all at Contempo, where they’re like 4 for $10. Or
TJ Maxx, where you can pick through the bins. Find your favorite style, you
know. The 99 cent pair. You’re like, yeah! It’s funny. You see everybody doing
it too. At um, TJ Maxx, like all the women are in the underwear section going
through their sizes. Trying to find the best. The Christian Dior for 2 bucks or
whatever. It’s hysterical. They’re all trying to get the name brand underwear for
cheap. (Jennifer)
Oh, yeah. That’s fun (bargaining).... When it does work it works in boutiques,
flea markets. Um, well, let’s see, a group in Harlem, you know. They have their
little, you know, the people with the, that just have piles of stuff on the street.
You could buy a whole outfit just, without even entering a single store. So, I
think I, I like to do that. It’s more fun. It’s challenging.... You know, I get to
the point where it’s like, you know. I want this, but I want it for my price.
Sometimes people are just as stubborn as I am and they won’t sell it to me for my
price. So I just go elsewhere. (LeTonya)
Clothing that is not enjoyable to shop for. During the interviews informants
were asked if there were any types of clothing that they did not like to shop for. Six of
the informants indicated that they enjoyed shopping for all types of clothing, while the
rest had one item at most that they did not like to shop for. Pants or jeans were the most
common item that informants did not enjoy shopping for, primarily because of fitting
problems.
I don’t really like shopping for jeans. I think I’m moving out of the jeans phase of
my life. I don’t really wear, wear many pairs of jeans anymore. Um, if I do
they’re like really big and really baggy because it’s so hard to find jeans to fit,
you know, my, my shape, I guess. So, I mean, it takes a lot of time. A lot of
time. So, I really don’t like shopping for jeans very often. And if I do buy a pair
of jeans, they’ll be very baggy. I don’t try to get any that, that kind of fit because
if I do I’d be there all day. All day long. (Cametra)
Um, yes. I hate shopping for pants. . . . But for some reason, I just don’t like
shopping for pants because, I guess, I mean, unless I have like my own custom
clothes maker you get her to fit perfect. And when like you’re in between a size
or something, it’s kind of hard to find something in a retail store because they
only make certain sizes. And some make odd sizes that are a little bit smaller
than your normal size if you’re an even in them. That’s certainly worse. So that,
for some reason that drives me nuts because pants, you know, either they fit you

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or they don’t fit you. So that’s, that’s why I don’t like shopping for pants. It
takes me twice as long and I still can’t find anything I like. (Christine)
I don’t like shopping for pants. As far as, like jeans or slacks.... But jeans just
come in so many different styles. You know, and so many different shapes. Like,
loose fit, comfortable, this and the other thing. And you can never, it’s like the
one right next to it, even though it’s a bigger size, could be a totally different pair
of jeans. You know, as far as the, the style goes.... But very rarely will I say, I
need a pair of jeans. And I’d go out and, to get a pair of jeans because I, it’s so
annoying to shop for jeans or for slacks. (Ian)
In the next set of excerpts, other informants expressed their dislike for shopping
for a particular clothing item. Similar to the case with jeans/pants, fitting problems were
the major cause of shopping disenchantment.
Bras. I don’t like to shop for bras. I guess because you have to try it on and make
sure it fits and everything. They’re expensive. So, no, I don’t like to shop for
bras. (Michelle)
Mmmm, underwear.... They never fit right. I can’t find them. They’re, they’re
not comfortable for women. At least for me. (Pat)
I don’t like to shop for, um, beach attire. Like going to the beach. Something like
that.... Swimwear. I hate shopping for swimwear because I’m very self
conscious of my, of my body. And, and, you know, swimwear you can’t find,
everything is skimpy nowadays. And, um, so, no. I don’t like to shop for
swimwear.... I’m just so self conscious. So, no. I won’t, that would be the
main thing that I hate shopping for. (Lecresia)
I don’t like to shop for, um, like, summer shorts, you know, because usually, you
know in the summer everyone’s wearing short shorts right now. And I just hate
shopping for that.... So, that just annoys me (shopping for shorts). Because it
doesn’t look perfect anymore. It doesn’t look as good as, you know, I don’t look
as good as I used to. That’s probably why, you know. Because I think, I always
think that I’m real, like overweight. And I don’t know why because, you know,
people tell me, you know, you’re thin. You know, I’m thinner than some of my
friends. But just, you know, I think, you know, that I’ve gained so much weight.
And probably just because I’m not as active anymore and, you know. I don’t
know. I just, so that’s why I hate to get, to look for shorts because, you know,
that really shows your figure. (Mary)
Um, actually formáis and like when it was homecoming dresses. Or we have, up
at school we have formáis. I don’t like trying to find fancy dresses because, um, I

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can never find a fancy dress. For every formal I’ve been to, I’ve been to like two
a year, I always either borrow somebody’s the day, the day of the dance or find
something the night before and just be not satisfied with that at all.... I just
don’t like trying on those big dresses and. I mean, I like wearing them. But I can
never really find a nice formal that fits or makes me look the way I want to look.
Which is a big thing. Because a lot of people wear the slender form fitting rayon,
not rayon formáis, but like a nice, so it makes you look really skinny. So that
when you’re a size 10 you can’t really wear something like form fitting like that.
So you have to wind up looking at other things. Older styles. I don’t like that.
(Jennifer)
In the last three excerpts, informants expressed their dissatisfaction with their
body shape and size that exasperated the frustration they felt when shopping for
necessary, but difficult to fit clothing items.
Catalog shopping. Informants were also asked about their catalog shopping
behavior. Most informants did not shop for clothing from catalogs. Either they had very
limited experience shopping from catalogs or they had never made a catalog purchase. In
fact, it was not a form of shopping that informants liked to do. They had negative
perceptions about shopping from catalogs. This was true even for those who had never
bought clothing from a catalog. Informants were concerned about how an item would fit,
how it would look on them, and how the fabric colors and texture would look in person.
They preferred to shop in stores since they could try the clothing on, satisfy an immediate
need or urge to purchase clothing, and receive immediate purchase gratification. Catalog
shopping was also considered to be more expensive than store shopping because of the
shipping and handling charges that were tacked on. Overall, informants believed it was
easier and more convenient to shop for clothing in a retail store than through catalogs.
Um, very rarely because you can’t try the clothes on and know how they look
exactly.... If you’re like ordering something from like, for example, L. L. Bean.
I mean, there’s no store around here that’s L. L. Bean. You have to send it all the
way back up to Massachusetts. And, stuff like that it’s kind of like a hassle,

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unless you know that that size fits you. And even by their charts and stuff it’s
kind of hard sometimes. (Christine)
I don’t think it would be that fun if you just had them like sent to you or anything.
That’s why I don’t like to catalog shop.... But for one thing you don’t get to try
it on. You don’t know how it’s going to look on you. And you can not tell by
looking at something on somebody else. You can get an idea if that’s what you’re
looking for or not. But you can’t tell if it’s going to look good on you. Because
everybody’s different. So, I mean, I think it’s, I enjoy the process of trying things
on. (Shannon)
I find that catalogs are overpriced. And then if, if there’s something, you know, if
I fit into a size 2 in this one thing and a size 4 in something else, it’s, it’s just
easier to try something on than having to mail it back and forth. Because it’s, it’s
like QVC shopping which I would never do. And their sizes are a size, you never
know what you’re getting with a size. It’s fickle. I, I just don’t care for catalog
shopping. Things look better on the models than they would on you. That kind of
thing. You, you gotta try it on.... It’s not for me. (Jen)
Oh, no. Nah, nah. No, no, no. I don’t shop from catalogs. It’s, I just have this
fear that it’s going to get here, it’s going to be the wrong size. It’s going to be the
wrong color. Or it’s not going to be what I ordered. Or, you know, so many
things could go wrong. It could get lost in the mail. It’s just, oh, no. That’s a big
fear of mine. So, I don’t.... I’m like an immediate person. I need an immediate
reward. You know, so, I like to go to the mall and come home with something...
. You know, but when you go through a catalog, you know, it takes you forever
to get the, well, to give them the order. Unless, you call it in. And then it takes at
least three or four or six weeks or however long for it to get there. And then
sometimes you have to pay like, if you get it delivered, you have to pay COD
charges. I just like, that’s, you know, to me it’s more money. It’s, it’s a lot of
time. You know, I’ll have forgotten what I ordered by the time it gets here.
(Cametra)
Some informants enjoyed looking through catalogs even though they rarely/never
bought anything. For these informants, this activity was akin to window shopping in a
store and was a testimonial to their high involvement in and love for clothing and fashion.
Looking through catalogs furnished information about new clothing styles and fashions,
filled free time, provided entertainment, and was simply fun to do.
Yeah. Yeah. I like to look at Spiegel. I like to look at Victoria’s Secret. And
there’s another one I always look at. I get it in the mail. I don’t remember what

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it’s called. So, the ones I get in the mail.... I look a lot. I haven’t bought (from
a catalog). I look and I think, ok, I’m going to buy this this time. But I end up
not because, just because you have to go through and, you know, you look
through and I think. And then you have to fill out the order form. You have to
send it away. You have to pay for the shipping, the handling. And you don’t
know what it’s going to look like on you. Unless, you know for sure. But usually
they have something real similar at the mall anyway. So, it’s just a lot easier to
do it that way. It’s right there, you know, at the mall. (Mary)
I just, I just like to flip through catalogs basically. Yes, in home shopping. I
don’t know. I like to look through catalogs, but I usually don’t buy anything....
It’s just a, something to fill my time with. Something different. To see what
styles are in and everything. Ah, that’s about it. Yeah. That’s weird though,
yeah. I really like to, I really like catalogs, but I usually don’t buy anything.
(Michelle)
And a, I always go through the catalogs and circle things. I love them. I mean I
can sit there all day and just look through them and mark things that of course, I
think I’m going to get, but never wind up getting.... I order like, um, bathing
suit catalogs and I got a herb catalog for herbs and vitamins.... But um, that was
10 catalogs for $10.... But um, got them all in like Catalogs from Around the
World. You’ve seen the thing? And a, I was so excited. Checked the mail
everyday to see if I got my catalogs. (Jennifer)
I like to look at catalogs. I love to look at catalogs.... Well, I get Victoria’s
Secret. And they have clothes because see they don’t have clothes in Victoria’s
Secret. Like, just day wear clothes. And they have them in the catalog. So, it’s
fun to look through that because you don’t see them in the stores. And then, um,
anything. I mean, my sister will have a catalog sitting on her counter. Anything,
I don’t even know any of the names of anything. You just look through it. I
mean, not real expensive ones. I mean I would look through those too, but it’s
just fun to look through them and see if there’s a bargain or something. I like, I
don’t know. I don’t know why I like looking through them. I’ve never ordered.
(Shannon)
The last informant, Shannon, compared looking at catalogs to looking at fashion
magazines which was another clothing/fashion related activity that she enjoyed doing.
Yeah, it’s fun to look through it and think, well hey, maybe I could buy that. But
then I never do. It’s just, I don’t know, I, I enjoy looking through them. I enjoy
looking through magazines though. So, it’s probably not that big a difference.
Because maybe that you see the clothes on people, you, the more you look at stuff
the more you get variations of different styles and how they put them together. I
think it helps me when I, you know. I don’t like to wear the same thing all the

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time. You know, I have certain things that I like to wear, but I like to wear
something new or put something together in a new way to look different....
Yeah, I like, I mean any magazines. Like, I mean, like fashion magazines. Like
Seventeen or Elle or YM or any of the, you know, they’re targeted for I guess
people like me. But it’s fun to look through them because a lot of times they have
interesting people, like movie stars and stuff. And you can see what they’re
wearing and, and stories about them and stuff. And they have, you know, all sorts
of cool articles and stuff like that. And they’re fun to look at. (Shannon)
Although, as previously stated, most informants did not like to shop from
catalogs, there were informants who liked to shop for clothing this way. Recently,
LeTonya had been experimenting with catalog shopping and planned to do more catalog
shopping in the future. Nevertheless, even though LeTonya has been shopping more
frequently from catalogs, she still had reservations about this form of shopping. She
expressed similar concerns about catalog shopping as the informants who did not like to
shop for clothing through catalogs.
Lately, I have been (shopping from catalogs). Before I didn’t. My mother is, is
really into that. She started getting into that like in the last year. But um, the only
reason why I don’t like to, I know a lot of people say they can’t touch the things.
They can’t feel the things. The colors not the same. That’s not why. I don’t like
to pay the shipping and handling. Because I think if I order something and it’s
heavy or like shoes, I might, it might be a good price, but if have to pay $10 for
shipping and handling. I could have gotten that somewhere else and gotten it
today. Not two weeks from now. You know, that kind of thing. I, if I order
something from a catalog, usually it’s not for something. Like, well, not for a
day. Because I don’t know when I’m going to get it. And I hate to be waiting,
like on Memorial Day, waiting for my dress to arrive and it doesn’t come. So
usually when I order something it’s like, oh, like I’ll order something now and I’ll
be thinking. I, you know, I’m graduating in August. I think, oh, that will be good
for job hunting. So, if I order it now I don’t care when it comes. Because I know
I’ll definitely get it, you know, by the time August comes. But I like to though.
It’s a, yeah. I like to now more so than I thought I would ever. But sometimes,
yeah, I do. Yeah, I shop in catalogs. (LeTonya)
Pat was the most enthusiastic catalog shopper among informants. In fact, she now
preferred to do her clothes shopping from catalogs. As Pat has gotten older, her attitude

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toward clothing has changed. In addition, after returning to school, she became more
pressed for time.
Yeah. I used to like to go out. But now I like to order through the catalog....
Probably when I started back into school to work on my degree and finish up. I
just don’t have the time I used to have. And I guess my attitude toward clothing
has changed a lot. They’re not as important. Um, maybe that comes with age too.
I don’t know that. You know, we’re (Pat and her husband) pretty settled, settled
in our. My life, I’m pretty settled now. Um, a lot of people dress for their
occupation. Um, so what I’ve done is there’s certain things that I always wear to
work. So, it’s almost like a uniform which I like. Mmm, so, yeah, my attitude’s
changed a lot toward clothing over the years. (Pat)
Pat was especially fond of L. L. Bean’s merchandise and service.
And I prefer the catalog because you can send it back. You don’t have to shop
out, out. You don’t have to physically go out there and. So then, I ended up with
L.L. Bean.... Yes. I like their, their product.... Um, you can order over the
phone. It’s an 800 number. If you have any problems or questions you can
always call. It’s 24 hours. And a lot of times, um, with other businesses if you
wanted to, you have to stick to their hours. Um, when they’re open. And a lot of
times, um, I’m not thinking about running out and going shopping after work.
I’m tired and I really don’t want to. So the convenience of just picking up the
phone, um, in a pinch is very nice. And you can return things. You can send
back your shoes to have them resoled. Your hiking boots. They’ll resole your
hiking boots. Um, minimum charge. Um, no problem getting refunds back.
They’re very good.... They’re very knowledgeable about products. They ask for
your zip code so they know what state you’re in. And they say, oh, how’s the
weather there. It’s very cold here today. So, they, they’re a little more personal.
Um, but with weather, it’s kind of a universal language, kind of. So. But it’s
nice. I mean, there’s your common bond. So you sort of like the person on the
phone now. Um, they’ll ask, you know, what is it that you’re interested in. Just
tell me what page it’s on. Um, oh, yeah, that’s very popular. We may not have
your size right now. Let me look it up. They’ll look it up. And they’re always, I
think the important thing is they don’t say, ok, hold on and put on the music.
Which one place did. Um, they’ll tell you what they’re doing while they’re
talking to you on the phone. Which people like to know. Ah, it’s good telephone
courtesy, etiquette, to at least let them now that they’re still there. They carry on
a conversation while they’re looking something up for you. And then if they have
it they’ll say, oh, we do have it in stock. Um, we’re going to send it out
tomorrow. And they tell you when. You should receive it on this day. If you
don’t receive it, you know, let us know and we’ll see if we can track, track it for
you. So, they kind of cover everything. Beans covers everything. Every possible

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thing that can go wrong they already looked into it and dealt with it. And they’ve
trained their staff how to deal with it. (Pat)
Mastery
By participating in leisure activities, one has the opportunity to test one’s self or
conquer the environment in some way and being able to master an activity makes the
experience rewarding for the accomplished participant (Unger and Keman 1983). As
indicated in the survey data, recreational shoppers had greater feelings of mastery when
they were shopping for clothing than nonrecreational shoppers did. Feelings of mastery
resonated in informants’ shopping experiences as well, not only when they were
shopping for clothing, but also when they were shopping for other cherished products or
desired novelties.
Mastery was exhibited three ways in informants’ comments: sense of adventure,
novelty/curiosity, and feel like a champion/conquer the retail environment. These forms
of mastery were labeled based on the items used to describe mastery and arousal in Unger
and Keman’s (1983) leisure scale. The arousal items were referred to as well when
choosing the mastery form labels since mastery and arousal are interrelated concepts
(Unger and Keman 1983). In addition, in the factor analysis of the survey items in the
present research, the mastery factor was comprised of items from both the mastery and
arousal dimensions of Unger and Keman’s scale. (See Table 7.)
Sense of adventure. Feelings of mastery were apparent in informants’ shopping
experiences when they felt a sense of adventure while shopping. On these occasions,
shopping was an expedition to discover unique, one of a kind items, uncover hidden
treasures, search for bargains, or just wander in a plethora of interesting products. In the

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eyes of informants, when shopping was an adventure it was fun, exciting, and filled with
surprises.
Ah, sometimes it’s kind of an adventure (shopping at thrift stores). You find, you
find, like sometimes department stores bother me because you’ll see three or four
people with the same outfit. And ah, so you go to a thrift store, you know. I have
this little jacket from Paris. And that other jacket from Canada. You know, you
get different things that nobody will have because it’s an old item. And, you
know, it could be from some, somewhere totally different. And sometimes you
find, I found a, I have a leather suede jacket and it comes down to here. Very
comfortable. I got it for 7 bucks. Yeah, it was hidden. And, and ah, I’m very
happy with it. And so, just once in awhile you find those.... Yeah, because you
find the, usually there’s all these weird people shopping there. And you can find,
you know, even furniture there. I got this trunk there. It’s really neat. It used to,
to be used by this Southern Belle or whatever. And ah, I don’t know. I guess it is
kind of an adventure. Because it’s just different. And I got a, this flight jacket for
my best friend who, she wears those, for a couple of bucks.... But, you know,
it’s, it’s just different to see, oh, oh, this is a Calvin Klein and they’ve, they’re,
you know, not wearing that anymore or whatever. It’s just interesting. (Michelle)
Um, I’ve been to, ah, Thrifco. It’s a thrift store over here on Semoran. They have
some really nice, um, things. It’s fun to shop in there too. Um, they have a,
usually they have like sales on holidays. Like this past Memorial Day, they had
50% off everything, everything in the store. And it’s kind of neat when you go
shopping and there’s like a lot of people in the store. It’s, I don’t, for some reason
you get this like this anxiety. Like, you’re all running around looking for
something. It’s, it’s like a game sort of. It’s kind of fim. ... Um, well, like when
you go to a store and it’s really busy. For some reason, you feel like there’s great
sale there. And there’s something you have to buy. You’ve got to find it, you
know. Um, you get, I always get like anxious. Especially, when I go to like
Thrifco or something because there’s not, there’s nothing in mass production. I
mean, there’s like one of a kind article in there. And, you know, you always want
to find something. So, like you go in there and like everybody else is going
around. And it seems like a lot of people look through things really fast trying to
find what the nice pieces of clothes are. And that creates sort of, some kind of
anxiety in the store. Everybody running around. (Christine)
See with clothing, I feel like I’ve got to look through everything because I might
miss something that, that will be my favorite thing. Or find something else that I
like, but. Like bathing suits, um, there’s, I wanted one black bathing suit, a black
one piece, for, um, two years now. And I can never find it in my size or anything.
So I go through every bathing suit place. I go through every single, every single
rack and every single hanger to see if I can find it. Or find something else that I
like, but. Especially at discount stores, there’s always like, you know, this is

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going to sound so stupid, like a little treasure that, you know, will mean so much
to you and somebody else might find it. Like that rugby (Tommy Hilfiger red
white and blue striped rugby) was, I keep on going back to the rugby. That was
like the only rugby on the rack and it was just like the best thing in there. And I
felt so good because I got the last one or the only one, or whatever. So um, I just
feel like, if I’ve gotten a good price on something that there’s only one of, or
something, I feel like, hey, I got it. Nobody else did. I’m going to be the only
one wearing this. (Jennifer)
Having an adventure while shopping was not limited to clothes shopping, as other
types of stores could fuel such feelings.
Ah, you know, food shopping. Sometimes that’s an adventure too. Because you
find new things. Oh, yeah. Sometimes, I, but then it takes like two hours if I
really get into it. Like I found rain forest cookies at Publix that I’ve never found
before. They’re made with Brazil nuts and cashew nuts and they benefit the rain
forest through ah, Harvard University. They sponsor this thing. And they buy the
nuts, the company buys the nuts and that way it gives the, the rainforest people
money for harvesting rainforest crops. And I found them up at the top of the shelf
near the end by all the fat free cookies and stuff. And I get fat free granola bars
and I just happened to notice them. But you find all kind of different items that
are all dusty and nobody ever buys. And, I don’t know. I consider that a place to
discover. You find all kinds of different things there that, you know, from other
cultures and you’re like, wow, what’s that. You can read the label or, you know,
it’s just interesting. (Michelle)
I like to go in, in Lechters.... Yeah. I like to go in there because they have a lot
of neat stuff. They have everything. They have a lot of little stuff that, you know,
they have little, little things that if I see something I like and it's cheap then I will,
you know, get it.... They have, you know, just a lot of stuff for the kitchen. Or
stuff to decorate. Or, you know, the picture frames. Or, you know, like they’ll,
other, they have little coffee mugs that, you know, I use them to drink coffee.
And they always have different, like, those little joke things on the side, I guess,
you know. Um, cute stuff to put around the apartment. Stuff like that. I usually,
I don’t, I can’t think of the last thing I bought something. But I like to go in there.
... And I also like it because it’s, it’s not, it’s more cluttered around. But I like
that because you, it’s hard to get around in that store because you have to go
around in little, you know, comers and everything. If there’s people there it’s a
real, you know, a tight squeeze to walk around people. But because it’s kind of
confusing it’s kind of fun. It’s, you know, me because it’s like me. (Mary)
My anchor that I got was like finding a treasure. In our sorority this was our
symbol with golden anchor. And I already had one that my big sister in the
sorority gave me. But I was supposed to get one for my new little sister.... So I

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went to Luna’s and um, I’m looking through the charms and everything. I saw
some anchors exactly like the one I had. And I was like well everybody has these,
whatever. And um, I see this section in the back that said closeout jewelry. Big
sale person that I am. So I go back there I’m looking through all the charms and
they’re like 75% off of all this jewelry and charms and stuff. And um, I saw this
anchor and this is like so much bigger than all the other anchors. The other
anchors were like really small. And I asked her how much it was. And she said it
was like originally 100 and something, but with the markdown price, plus the red
tag price, I could get it for like 45. And that was just like, I was so excited that
um, I bought this and I kept this for myself.... But this is probably one of my
prize possessions. Just finding this in like a whole bunch of jewelry that you
wouldn’t think you could find anything in. But um, that’s like finding a treasure.
Or it could be something you’re not looking for.... That (Tommy Hilfiger red
white and blue striped rugby) would be a treasure. Yeah. One of my favorite
things. I wasn’t expecting to find it.... Oooh. That (black bathing suit) would
be a treasure. (Jennifer)
Novelty/curiosity. Another indicator of mastery being present in informants’
shopping experiences was that retail stores offered novel experiences to informants and
satisfied their sense of curiosity. A shopping trip was a chance to explore new or
unfamiliar stores, look at new clothing selections, discover something different, or buy
products that were enjoyed but not purchased on a regular basis.
Oh yeah. I like to go to that nature, the Nature store. And ah, see the print shop
because I like art work, nature, pictures. Aah, and then they have this stand that
has all kinds of different, well, I guess that’s a clothes store.... Just, I just like
the whole idea of it, I guess. Back to nature and, I usually don’t buy anything
because it’s very, it’s expensive. They, they jack things up in there. And ah, I
don’t know, they had this one table. It was the trout swimming in a, you know,
like a bedrock and. I thought that was neat, but, you know, I don’t have the, the
money to buy that. I saw, I’ve seen tables I like better anyway. Ah, I don’t know.
They just have little items. You know, unique items that normal, normal stores
don’t have, just, you know. I just like that. Nature. (Michelle)
Yeah. I love to shop for food. I like to shop for food. Yeah. Especially, when
I’m hungry. That is, I, um, although I don’t get opportunities, many opportunities
to cook. Especially, now that I’m living at home because, well, with my Mom,
because she doesn’t like me to experiment in her kitchen. And then, I can’t do too
much cooking living in a dorm, really. But, you know, I like to, um, collect
recipes. And, um, I like to try new things. I like to try and cook new things. So,
I like to shopping for food. I think that would be the, the next best thing, you

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know, that I like to shop for besides clothing. I like to shop for food. And then
after that I like, I like to buy, um, shop for, I like to go in, um, beauty supply
stores. Like for stuff for your hair. Different products. Different, um, like
different, they have like different types of rollers. That different ways you can set
your hair.... So, well, I like to look at it and look at the pictures and, ooh, I
wouldn’t mind trying that. I like to do that too. Like to go in, um, beauty supply
stores and shop for different things for my hair. (Lecresia)
And when we’re (Shannon and her friends) getting to go on a trip and we love to
go to Pharmor and buy all these little travel supply stuff. And, you know, go
grocery shopping and roll the little cart around, you know. Because our parents
do that so we’ll never get the chance. That’s fun. And I think it’s fun to go
grocery shopping sometimes.... Just because going up and down the carts
picking out everything you want, you know.... But anything new like that is
fun. To look at all the different stuff and, you know, see what’s out there and see
what you want to buy. Because when you’re sitting at home and your Mom’s just
bringing home stuff you don’t know everything that’s out there. I mean you see it
on TV, but you don’t know what could be out there that’s better. It’s fun to pick
it for yourself. (Shannon)
I like, I like, um, shopping for like evening wear for going out and stuff like that
more than just like everyday clothes. I kind of, for some reason, it seems like
with evening clothes you can find different stuff. But for everyday clothes, like
blouses and stuff, I mean, a blouse is a blouse. It’s cut the same way. The only
difference would be the print or some little ornament they put on the front that’s
different. Whereas, like if you’re going for evening clothes you can get all
different kinds of cuts and styles and dresses and, you know, different, like
blazers or all kinds of stuff. I think that’s fun. (Christine)
Feel like a champion/conquer the retail environment. Shopping also provided
an opportunity for informants to demonstrate their mastery of the retail environment by
finding sales and getting a great deal while they were bargain shopping. When
informants found a desired or unexpected item on sale they felt like a champion or that
they had conquered the retail environment. From recreational shoppers’ point of view,
shopping is a competition to find the best value for one’s money. Recreational shoppers
have a competitive advantage in this shopping game because of their involvement in

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shopping, knowledge about clothing and stores, and unrelenting willingness to shop
around for the best price to win the game.
So, I bought like, um, a comforter set like, for $40 which is very cheap for a full
size bed. The whole set. And I also bought like, um, curtains, shower curtains for
the bathroom. They were like 8, 7 or $8 which is really really cheap. And I was,
well, what was really exciting about it is I found bras and, you know, lingerie and
all that apparel for 75% off. Which for women that’s really expensive. So, you
know, it was like 3 and $4 and so I was like really excited.... You know, I was
very excited. I came back and told all my friends. Hey, guess what I did? You
guys missed it. You know, I don’t know. I work in an office with people, who,
we’re like, all like sale crazy. You know, we don’t buy anything unless it’s on
sale. (Cametra)
The first time I bought glasses I did. And I was very proud of myself. I, I called
my Dad long distance. I was so excited. I um, went to a couple of different
places and, and got prices on the frames and the lens and stuff. And my very first
pair of glasses cost me $40. That was the lens and the frame. And I called him
and said, Dad, guess what! I got my glasses. $40! And I went to this place and
they were 75 and I went here and here. And those were the only two prices I
remember. It was like $75 for one place and it was 40 at another place. But I had
looked at a couple of others and they were in that range. Yeah, I just felt so proud
of myself.... My girlfriend and I went out, oh, my neighbor and I went out.
And the cleaners, where we take our clothes to get cleaned, they were having a
dead clothes sale. And these are clothes that people take into the cleaners and
they’ve been there for over a year. And they’ve never come back to pick them up.
And I bought this outfit for my sister because it was $7. It’s the skirt, the top, and
a sash and it’s silk for $7. And my Mom said, you’re sister doesn’t need anymore
clothes. But Mom, it was only $7! Such a good price. (Jean)
Like, ok, I bought, this isn’t clothes, but I bought a stereo three months back.
And it was, you know, it was a nice stereo and I saw it and I wanted it. And it had
the remote and everything.... And it was at Kmart. I put, I bought it from, I
bought it from Kmart. Yes, I got a good sale. I got a good deal.... And, um, I
got it on sale for, like $90. The regular price was, like 120. And that was good
because I was, yeah, I had been looking around like I said. And I went to Circuit
City and a stereo, the stereo, may, it wasn’t the same, um, name brand, but with
the same features and stuff was like $20 more than what I got at Kmart. And, um,
you know, it may not be a Magnavox, but it plays just as well as a Magnavox and
it has the same features and stuff. And I’m satisfied with it. (Lecresia)
Coming home with a conquest, I guess.... The bags and everything.... You
come across a sale and you a, brought it home. Everything you needed to buy,
you know. It’s not necessarily what you needed to buy. Just what you wanted to

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have, I guess. And you came home with a sale item.... Well, sure. It’s, you
know, it’s different. It’s, it’s, it’s a surprise. That kind of thing. I do enjoy that
(finding something unique or unexpected).... Conquest.... Um, I spent about
$1200. I, I must have bought about 35 or 40 outfits.. .. Because then you gotta
go home and say, look. You gotta get yourself a pair of these. (Jen)
Because I feel like, if I feel, if I go home and I got a really good deal I’m really
happy.... and I feel like I saved myself money. Because I hate to just to waste
money. Because I don’t have that much. I’m in college.... But then by yourself
when you’re just shopping you’re getting something accomplished. You’re
finding the deal that you want. You’re getting the clothes. You’re bringing them
home. You know, it’s, you feel like you’ve conquered something. ... But, if I
got a really good deal and I had the money to spend. And it looks good and I’m
happy. You know, then I feel great. ... I mean it’s good to, I usually try to look
in the backs of most stores. If it’s stores that I usually would find something. Just
because there might be something back there. And I’ve found things. You know,
freak things, where people don’t see that are really cool. They’re 50% off or
something. It takes patience to really shop. I mean, people are lazy. And they’ll
just go buy something that’s full price and get it and go home. Because they
don’t want to dig for it. I think it’s fun.... I just like to get a good deal....
Like when I’m shopping for myself I’m really picky. Because I want to get the
very best deal. And I want to get the best thing for what I’m supposed to have,
you know. (Shannon)
The competitive nature of shopping for the recreational shopper was expressed by
Jennifer in the following comment.
But um, usually you hear from your other friends (about sales). Like, you know,
they’ve got something. I guess that kind of makes you want to go shopping too.
To see, if you can get something like they did or better than they did. Or get a
better deal on something. That’s always good.... But um, it’s competitive in
the sense that um, when you’re going shopping and looking for something that
you. Like in a discount store when there’s couple of things. And you figure, oh
my gosh, this is the last one. It’s a good price. I’ll get. I got it. I think shopping
is very competitive. Um, maybe not you against other people there at the time,
but you against, um, the product. Like you getting it the time it’s there. Like if, if
you know there’s a shirt there that you want. If you get it, you know, that’s great.
If you didn’t than somebody else is going to get it. I guess I am greedy when it
comes to things like that. Not really greedy, but if I see something and I know
that somebody else would, would want it just as much as I want it, I’ll get it. I’ll
buy it. (Jennifer)

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Spontaneity
The survey results indicated that recreational shoppers were more likely to believe
that shopping for clothing was a spontaneous activity than nonrecreational shoppers were.
Further support for and insight about the spontaneous nature of recreational shopping was
provided in the qualitative data. Informants’ comments suggested that the type of clothes
shopping they would be doing influenced whether or not the activity was spontaneous.
Their remarks revealed that the decision to go window shopping and mood shopping
tended to be spontaneous, while mission shopping was more likely to be a planned
activity.
Window shopping trip. The following interview excerpts illustrate how window
shopping occurred spontaneously in the lives of recreational shoppers. Their window
shopping trips could be inspired by the sudden urge to go shopping, a friend calling and
suggesting that they go to the mall, the need to fill in free time, being in the vicinity of a
shopping mall or retail store, and advertising.
If, if my friend Amy calls me and she’s like, you know, let’s go shopping. I
might not have anything in mind that I need, but I’ll go with her.... Um, but,
you know, like, on weekends and stuff, you know, and maybe one of my friends
will call me up and say, well, let’s go to the movies. And we’ll go to the mall for
awhile and see what we can find, you know. A lot of times I run into really good
stuff when I just pick up and go. So, I don’t mind doing that.... It’s, um, I enjoy
it, you know.... I don’t like plan a day to go shopping and just totally look
forward to that the whole week. I just, you know, well, I’m going to go shopping
that day. And, well, you know, that sounds like fun. You know, that, that’s, it’s
just, I do it for fun.... Um, but usually, it, that same day. You know, I’ll tell my
sister, oh, why don’t we go to the mall for awhile? I feel like maybe getting
myself something new. And she’ll, ok, let’s go. (Ian)
But like, um, we’ll decide to go out one day or something. Or if we’re just sitting
around and we’re bored, we’re like, ok, let’s go out shopping. And wherever the
car leads us or whatever store we might see, you know, we might just wind up

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there. There are like no set stores. I mean, rarely, unless someone knows they
want something at a store. We’ll go there. (Christine)
Um, a most recent shopping experience was over Memorial weekend. Memorial
Day weekend. I was at home just flipping through the paper in Tampa, where I’m
from. And I happened to see a sale for Dillard’s. They were having, um, there’s
a clearance store, Dillard’s. You know, near my house. So, they were having like
a 75% off of all the clearance items. So, you know, I found that in the newspaper
and that day and went to Dillard’s.... Yeah, usually, um, me and my ex¬
boyfriend sometimes, you know, we’re just sitting around, ok, let’s just go to the
mall. You know, we don’t have anything else to do. Not going to actually buy
something. Not going to buy. Not just, you know, just going to the mall. Just to
have tun kind of thing. So, we have fun going to the mall. (Cametra)
But a lot of times it’s just, because so many times if you’re sitting around with
nothing to do a friend will call, hey let’s go the mall.... Like my friends they’ll
want to go buy something. And I’ll just kind of follow them around and talk to
them and stuff, you know. (Shannon)
It, um, some other times that I’ve gone out there was no, when I went to Ross I’d,
I had to go, I had to go downtown for a meeting. And I was early because I had,
was coming between two different place. And I was, I was coming from
downtown going to a lunch meeting and I was early, and I thought, well, I’ll just
run in here and waste some time and look. (Jean)
Mood shopping trip. Informants’ descriptions of their clothes shopping trips that
were motivated by them being unhappy, depressed, or under stress also provided
evidence of recreational shopping being spontaneous. The onset of emotional grief,
mental anguish, or a bad mood propelled recreational shoppers into the marketplace at a
moment’s notice.
Last semester, I used to sometimes when I get done with like a long day at school
or something or a big test. I would and if there’s like nothing to do, I would just
go hop in the car and go like look around the stores or something. It still kind of
like relieves some stress or something or just. (Christine)
Yeah, like if I’m in a bad mood or if I’m depressed. Like if I’ve had a horrible
day at work. You know, oh, look, ugh, I’ve been around people all day. You
know, they’ve just really gotten on my nerves. I need to just get away and relax.
You know, and just to spend the time just away from, you know, my house. Like,
a lot of times going through college, you know, everything kind of falls around

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the same time. You know, you have exams. You know, you have a lot of work to
do because I’m working at Financial Aid. So, you know, people want their loans
now. And just everything falls around the same time. It’s like, I need a break,
you know. So, to take a break I’ll just go shopping. (Cametra)
Um, when I was up in Michigan. I went up there for a week and a half. I just got
back last week. And um, I was at, you know, there were some days where I
didn’t have anything to do. It was hot out and I was just like, I’m just going to go
to the mall. (Mary)
Um, I was on a date function for a fraternity and sorority in Jacksonville. I was
with this guy that I used to date and we were having a really bad time. So I
grabbed one of my friends and I left him at Hooters with his entire fraternity.
And I went shopping at the Landing because I was in the worse mood. And that
made me feel so much better.... Well, like after my final exam I went by
myself. For, um, my chemistry class. Just because, I mean, I was almost in tears.
... But um, I was just like, I’ve got to go do something. I didn’t want to go to
the mall. So I went straight to TJ Maxx. And a, that’s when I got the Tommy
Hilfiger rugby. And I was just so excited.... But um, that was a good day.
Even though I got a D on my chemistry test, I got a rugby for 39 bucks. (Jennifer)
Spontaneous buying decisions. Informants’ descriptions of their window
shopping and mood shopping experiences also brought to light that a spontaneous
shopping trip was often intertwined with a spontaneous clothing purchase (e.g.,
Cametra’s lingerie purchases while window shopping and Jennifer buying shorts, a shirt,
and a bodysuit while mood shopping). Thus, the feelings of spontaneity present in
recreational shopper’s clothes shopping experiences may be inspired not only by a spur
of the moment decision to go shopping, but also by a spontaneous decision to make a
clothing purchase.
No (plan to buy). Because you never know what’s going to be there, you know. I
mean, I have friends that have like, I must buy this pair of blue shoes because they
have, you know, tassels and da da da da. And if they don’t find it. But no, I’m
not like that.... It’s, you know, it’s different. It’s, it’s, it’s a surprise. That kind
of thing. I do enjoy that. (Jen)
Like the jeans that I have right now, I didn’t even plan on buying. I saw them one
night at Wal-Mart, as a matter of fact. And, um, I was like, oh, these are cute.

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You know, and I tried them on and they looked nice. And they’ve become like
my favorite pair of pants because they’re so comfortable.... But other than that,
it’s just, I just come across things by chance, really. That’s when I do my best
work. Is when I come across it by chance. Like, I knew that I wanted, um, an
organizer. Like a Day Timer’s organizer. And my roommates had, both had one.
But they cost them like 60 bucks. And so, I was trying, I was thinking of saving
up my money. And then one day I was in Wal-Mart getting some stationary and
they were sitting right there for 16 bucks. I was like, oh, you know, might as
well. (Ian)
Ah, I think it’s a lot fimner just to go and look around. And like just decide to
buy something on a whim if it looks good. Where when you are restricted as to
like what you can wear and what would look, you know, reasonable for a, any
function that you have to go to. That kind of limits it when you’re looking for
things.... Um, a lot of times I just stumble across it (sales). Like, um, for
example, I went to go buy a pair of Doc Martens. And the girl on the phone, I
asked her, like how much they were and stuff. And she was telling me, she was
like, oh, well, um, if you wait like one more week or something. Or I’ll just go
ahead and give you the extra discount now because they’re going to go on sale
and they’ll be this much cheaper. So, I mean, I was lucky enough to have a sales
associate do that. (Christine)
Last week, I went to Ross. And it was just again going through looking. They
had a clearance going on. Just, it was really just looking to see what they have. Is
there something in here on clearance that’s a good price? That’s a good buy?
But I saw this other outfit. It was skirt and a top and it, I really liked it.... And,
but it was a very casual outfit. We’re going to the Keys in a couple of, next
month. And I thought this will be a neat thing to wear at the Keys when we go
out to dinner and stuff. So, I bought it.... If I had gone in there looking for an
outfit, I wouldn’t have found it.... I was just looking. I was wasting time. I just
happened to see something that I liked and I bought it. (Jean)
In the following excerpt, Jennifer reveals that her preferred buying decision
modus operandi was “impulsive” in nature.
Also, like Victoria’s Secret sent me something I didn’t order once in the dorms,
when I lived in the dorms. And they wanted me to pay $40 for a little tank top.
And a, I probably won’t ever buy anything from catalogs because it was, I had the
worse time trying to explain to them that, that I never ordered anything. And
sending it back. Things like that are a real pain. So, I’ll probably just stick to
buying things from stores on impulse. ... Oh, gosh. I mean, I go out thinking,
ok, I’m going, I’ll get something to wear tonight which could be anything from
jeans, a skirt, or shorts, whatever. And um, just see something and I’ll be like,
mmm, that’s my size. I can get the whole outfit for 40 bucks. It’ll look good for

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the party I’m going to. All right, I’ll get it. And that would be like the first store I
go into. Then I just walk around the, the rest of the mall with my sister or
somebody.... Because buying on impulse, I mean, is usually something you
come home with, with your, you come home with and you’re thinking, what on
earth made me buy this? Like a poster or a print in a store. And you’ll just be
walking through and you’ll be like, oh my gosh, that is incredible. That is so
unique. I’ve never seen, you know, seen something like that. That would look so
good in my room. I’ll go ahead and get it. And then you get home and you’re
like, this doesn’t fit on the wall. I have no room for it. It’s a great picture, but
it’ll have to go home to Orlando or downstairs or something. And you’re like, my
gosh, why did I do that? (Jennifer)
The spontaneous purchases described above seem to bear the characteristics of
impulse buying uncovered by Rook (1987). There is evidence in some informants’
reports that they experienced intense or overwhelming feelings of having to buy
discovered merchandise immediately, together with feelings of euphoria and excitement
brought on by their find.
Fantasy
The survey results indicated that recreational shoppers had a higher propensity to
fantasize while shopping for clothing than nonrecreational shoppers did. Fantasy
behavior was evident in recreational shoppers’ descriptions of shopping for clothing.
Three different types of fantasy behavior were uncovered in the qualitative data: playful
daydreaming, compensatory/therapeutic fantasy, and planful daydreaming. All three are
recognized forms/functions of fantasy (Singer 1966; Singer and McCraven 1961).
Playful daydreaming. Some informants reported engaging in fantasy that was of
a pure, playful and amusing nature such as playing a game of make believe while trying
on clothing or looking at merchandise that they did not intend to buy. They found this
fanciful behavior to be an enjoyable and entertaining diversion while shopping. Playful
daydreaming could also occur when informants were trying on clothes or looking at

185
products that they were thinking of buying. The same imaginary role-playing game
occurred in these instances as well.
This form of fantasy seemed to be a group activity as the examples provided by
informants transpired while they were shopping with a companion. The social nature of
playful daydreaming is consistent with the survey data that showed that social
recreational shoppers had a higher fantasy tendency than nonsocial recreational shoppers.
Ah, we had fun. We went to a, we needed like semiformal kind of outfits. Um, it
was great fun. We went to, the only place we could find was a store at the mall. I
can’t remember the name of it. Um, it’s for dressy, bridal. It’s a bridal shop.
They have hundreds and thousands of, of dresses in there. And that was fun. We
spent, mmm, about two hours looking for something. And we tried on a $2000
dress. It was funny. It was wonderful.... Yes (was not going to buy that dress).
Yeah. I don’t pay no more than $2000. But they were looking a, that, that was
the, I’m sure the salespeople were saying, oh, try this on. Oh, try this one on.
And my husband was, oh, that looks good. That’s great. Something I would
probably never ever choose for myself. But, that was fun. (Pat)
And it was fun. It was like we were kids again. You know, you’re trying on suits
and, and you’re like posing (like models) and jumping all around in the dressing
room. And you’re laughing and stuff. And we, we, we were like ten year old
kids or something. And, and you’d pull out stuff and you’d start giggling about,
wow, look at this. Try this on. (Jean)
But you, you know, you walk out and you, sometimes it’s fun to play like you’re
going somewhere. You know, to say to the store lady, yeah, I’m going to a
wedding and I’m looking for a dress and then they go rave on and on about oh, it
looks just beautiful on you. That color is you. And, you know, you try on all
these fancy dresses. That’s fun even though you know you’re not going to buy
them. You say, well, I’ll come back, you know. You know, especially if you
don’t have any money because then you can just do that. Or it’s fun to go, like
I’ve had fun if you, if you’re with, like maybe my boyfriend will go and um. Not
the guy I’m seeing now because he hates to shop. But I have had, a boyfriend and
I used, we used to go shopping and he would pick out things that he’d want to see
me wear. And, you know, and I’d go through and I’d pick out well, you know,
those kind of jeans I’ve never seen you in those. And I’d make him try on stuff. I
mean that’s fun. And you know you’re not going to buy anything. It’s just, just
have a good time and see each other wearing stupid stuff, you know. So, that’s
fun. ... Then there’s the jewelry stores. Like the fancy jewelry stores, diamond
rings and stuff. That’s fun to go in. I have, me and my friends have gone in there

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and pretended like we’re getting married and tried on diamond rings and stuff....
Yeah. You know you’re not going to get it. But it’s fun to tell, I mean, you walk
in and you say, well, I’m planning, you know, I’m getting engaged in a couple of
weeks and I wanted, my boyfriend told me to come pick out a ring. And then
they all, ok. They think you’re going to spend a whole bunch of money. So that’s
fun. But that’s when you’re more socially shopping. Just kind of for enjoyment.
(Shannon)
Or if I’m looking for like company or something, I like to be with my girlfriends
because then we can like go around, fool around while we’re trying on stuff....
So, we like to go out and like find all kind of funky stuff to try on and stuff like
that. Which is fun.... It can make you (trying on clothing), um, you know, you
feel like if you buy something you can be this type of person. I mean, I remember
when I was younger that used to be the case. Like, if you buy this perfume then,
you know, you could be, you know, light and airy. And, you know, stuff like that.
(Christine)
Playful daydreaming also occurred while informants were people watching in
retail environments. In these episodes, informants imagined who the people they saw
were and what they were doing in the store/mall. This activity seemed to provide
pleasure and entertainment to the daydreamers.
We like to, we’re like, we’re people watchers. Me and my Mom and my sister.
We enjoy watching people (while shopping) and imagining what other people are
talking about. And we get a total kick out of it. I mean, if you could see us. It’s,
it’s a riot. (Ian)
Yeah. I like bookstores.... I like to, I like to like, um, people watch in
bookstores. I like to see what type of people are at what, um, you know, different,
you know, they’ve got the signs up here, travel over here, food over there. I like
to see who actually is reading what. And you’d be surprised. I mean, you see
like, um, you know, like young men over there in the cookbook section and stuff.
All in the gourmet cookbooks. Man, he must like really be like, you know, really,
you know, interesting. I like to people watch in them stores. Um, sometimes, I
see like, you now, young guys, younger guys like in the children’s books section.
So I think, oh, that’s so sweet. He’s probably got a little kid at home. And, you
know, trying to get him some, you know, some books to read and. Ah, you see
older people in the travel section. Like really old. Like two old ladies in the
travel section like they’re going somewhere. Like at 70. In the travel section and,
you know. And like my boyfriend’s in the art section. And I think, you know,
that’s really, that’s pretty cool. And right next to him is probably a lady, probably
around 40. And she’s in the art section too. She looks like a housewife or

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something. And, you know, I wonder, I think, I think about these people. You
know, what kind of people read what kind of books. It’s the average type of
person in there, I think. (LeTonya)
And I usually walk through the big, um, courtyard, the little route through it just
because there’s usually a lot people and I like to be around people. And I like to
watch people sometimes. Especially when I’m by myself I like to just observe
other people and see, you know, wonder, you know, what their day was like and
what they were doing at the mall. And, you know, if they had a reason to be there
or not. And wonder if they, if anyone was in that, my kind of situation because a
lot of people go shopping alone. And so, just observing people and, you know,
and thinking. (Mary)
Compensatory/therapeutic fantasy. Fantasy episodes that had a
compensatory/therapeutic function were apparent in informants’ discussions of mood
shopping. Fantasizing during these occasions enabled them to temporarily escape their
problems, as the activity was emotionally uplifting and self-enhancing. This type of
fantasy seems similar to the fantasy-imaginative behavior that O’Guinn and Faber (1989)
reported that compulsive buyers engage in to escape reality while shopping and dissociate
negative consequences from their behavior.
Compensatory/therapeutic fantasy appeared to help recreational shoppers justify a
clothing purchase not only because seeing themselves in a desired garment that they had
tried on and felt attractive in made them feel good about themselves, but also because of
positive events they hoped would occur while they were wearing their new clothing
outside the store.
Especially you find that women that are single and do not have a boyfriend or a
significant other, they’re going to shop more than the woman that has the husband
or a boyfriend.... I haven’t figured it out yet. I don’t know if it’s to try to fill a
void in your life or to make you feel good about yourself.... So you go out and
you shop all the time.... Because I don’t have anyone to tell me that I look nice.
So I’ll do it for myself. Or maybe I can catch someone if I dress nicer or, you
know. Attract someone that way. A person that is in a relationship they’re not, I

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have the person, so I can maintain the way that I look. You know what I mean?
Rather than, because I don’t have to worry about it. (Sabrina)
Actually, it happens more in the store, less at home when I’m getting ready, and
then more again when I’m out. Um, when I’m in the store and try something on
that is like in style or that I see up on the top shelf, and I’m like wow. And I try it
on. I feel really good in that outfit. And I’m like, gosh, I can see myself out.
And I just feel a lot better about how I look and how I can present myself. And
then when I get at home and try it on, I think, oh my gosh, no. This doesn’t look
right with the jeans I thought it was going to look right with. My hair doesn’t
look good with this outfit, whatever. And, you know, I was going to say. And
then when I go out later that night and, um, I’m around other people. And a, I
don’t know. And I’m in my outfit then I start to feel good again. I’m like, ok,
this is my new outfit. And two people have already said something about it. And
I feel good because a lot of people are talking to me. You know, people I haven’t
met before. And that makes me feel better again. I mean that can happen in my
old clothes too. But, when I get a new outfit I just feel like, not quote unquote, a
new person, but well, kind of. You present yourself in a new way that nobody’s
seen you before. So I really feel good when I wear a new outfit. Even though
other people might not notice it, I notice it. (Jennifer)
In the next four excerpts, trying on expensive clothing that was beyond
informants’ financial means helped alleviate minor bouts of depression and unhappiness
that had led them into the marketplace. Trying on clothing reinforced the positive
feelings they already had about their physical appearance. It was reassuring to
informants to know that if the time came when they could possibly afford to buy the item
they were wearing they would look real good in it. Although there are possible negative
consequences from fantasizing about the unattainable (Rhue 1987), only one informant
mentioned that this type of behavior can lead to minor frustration, but overall in her
mind, the therapeutic benefits outweighed any negative feelings that may arise during the
process.
Yeah. If I’m in a bad mood that’s sometimes what I’ll do (try on clothing). If I
see some really really fancy dress or something. Like, just in a bad mood, and
you want to see yourself look good, you know, you might and go try on a real

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fancy dress even though you know you’re not going buy a, you know, a couple of
hundred dollar dress. No way in the world. (Shannon)
And then sometimes I’ll get in a mood and I want to dress really nice especially
when I’m depressed and I want to wear something nice. Just to make, and I do
make myself feel better.... I’ll go in and I’ll try something on that I know I can’t
afford. I try on this really elaborate thing with all these sequins hanging off of it
and know I don’t have anywhere to wear the thing. Can’t even afford it. And I’ll
try it on and it looks nice on me. And I come out and he’s, oh, that really looks
nice on you. And I’m fine, you know.... But most of the time, I just go because
when I’m depressed I go to the stuff I can’t afford. So I couldn’t buy anything.
But I try it on. See if, you know, like how it looks. And it makes me feel better..
.. Mmmm. I don’t, it gives me an idea of how I’ll, well, I have to be honest. It’s
a vanity thing sometimes too. Because I try something and I think, oh, I look nice
in it. It looks good on me. You know, I have a pretty decent body, you know. I
don’t have anything to be depressed about. I could be fat. You know, that kind of
thing. Um, and also, just because the psychological thing probably more than
anything I think. It just makes me feel better. I don’t know how to explain it. It
just makes me feel better. Makes me, uh, feel better. I, I don’t know how to put
that into words. I mean not for a long time. But usually it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a high.
You know, I think mmmm. And then you go in the store and the music’s playing
and I’ll try the thing on. I’m kind of like bopping around thinking, mmmm, I look
ok. And I come out and, you know, usually, you know what it is too. Usually the
salesgirls will come out and say, oh my God, you, you’re so thin. Or, I think I
like to hear that. It’s like, you know, they’re feeding my ego. I come out.
Whoever is like, oh, you look so nice. And the girl’s like, oh, my God look. And
there’s other people in the store and they go, you look so cute.... Usually
somebody would say, oh, you like so nice in that. It’s not just, you know, him.
He’s not, you know, and, but when someone else says it that doesn’t know me, I
think, oh, you know. That makes me feel good. Yeah. (LeTonya)
Yeah (try on clothing that she would not buy). Just to see how I would look in it.
Knowing in the back of mind that I, there’s no way possible that I could ever
afford this.... Yeah. It makes me feel better in that I can look at, you know,
myself in the mirror and I can get an image of, ooh, how I would look in it, you
know. And think about different settings and stuff. Um, how I would look in
this, like a pair of Guess jeans or something like that. You know, a $90 pair of
Guess jeans or whatever.... It makes me feel good. (Lecresia)
Yeah. Yeah (tries on clothing not going to buy). Just because, you know, I guess,
I also like to do that because if I’m not in a good mood and I’m not going to buy
it.... Um, if it looks good on me it will make me feel better because I know I
look good in a certain outfit. So, that helps me too.... And I never had a
problem with, you know, well, I don’t have to worry because I was like real thin.
And I was real in shape. And I didn’t have to worry about what would look good.

And, you know, I have to hide my fat or something, you know. So now it’s like
really, it’s gotten harder. I have to really try to find because I have to make
exceptions now that not everything looks good on me. And if, if something does
I’ll, you know, feel really good. (Mary)
Cametra did not try clothing on when she was mood shopping since she tried not
to buy anything on these occasions. To escape her troubles, she fantasized about buying
clothing while she was looking at these desired items in one of her favorite stores.
Yeah, it’s a, I didn’t have a good day at work or I didn’t get a good grade on a test
or, you know, something is not so right with my life. I’ll just go and casually
look. Usually, I try not to buy because I know that I’m depressed and I know that,
you know, I’m more likely to spend more money. You know, I would, I would go
to The Limited first, you know. Skip all these other stores. I, I don’t want to try
to find a sale, you know. I go to the most expensive store that I shop at which is
The Limited. And, you know, look through their racks.... And then I would
look through and see the things that I like and know, ok, maybe in a month or two
this will be on sale and I’ll be able to come get it. Maybe when I’m feeling better.
... I mean the looking around takes my mind off of whatever it is that’s, that’s
bothering me.... That’s pretty, you know, it just relieves me. (Cametra)
Planful daydreaming. The final type of fantasy behavior recreational shoppers
took part in was planful daydreaming. In contrast to playful daydreaming in which
fanciful wishes were entertained, planful daydreaming served a preparatory and
exploratory function for participants as they anticipated future purchases or were
considering buying an item. The qualitative data indicated that fantasizing in this manner
was an enjoyable activity. In addition, planful daydreaming seemed to serve a
motivational function for some informants.
There’s some nice shops that have some real nice clothes for, you know, the
business look. When, you know, when, like in the future when I’m going to
work. Because that’s, that’s one thing I look forward to, you know, having a job
in the future because I’m going to be able to buy good quality clothes and I’m
going to look professional. I like that.... And then, um, my cousin has a baby.
You know, she’ll always look at the baby clothes. So, that’s another thing, you
know. You don’t, I don’t usually look at that.... Yeah. Yeah. It’s fun because

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I know in the future that I’m going to do it and I kind of get excited. I like to do it
a lot. And, you know, it makes me think ahead. Think of the future. (Mary)
Um, for, for some reason, I guess, I’m getting ready to get my own place. So, I
love going into like house, house stores. Like, um, like kitchen knick knacks or
living room knick knacks. Um, for example, like Pier One, or, um, Lechters, or,
um, there’s a new store. I forgot the name of it, in the, um, Florida, in the Fashion
Square Mall. Um, I, I kind of like looking at that stuff because, because I know
I’m going to be able to some day finally move into an apartment. And then
design it myself. So I like doing that. (Christine)
But, you know, while I’m looking around at, um, I, I really want to get one of
their (Bombay) chests that they have. And I was looking at the chests and just
kind of dreaming and thinking, one day.... It’s the, the one that you put at the
foot of the bed. A trunk, but they’re made out of wood like the lane cedar chests
and stuff. Um, we have, Queen Anne, the traditional furniture in our house. In
the kind of mahogany, dark cherry, and we really like that and we’re, as we’re
fixing up the house we add pieces here and there. Um, so, I don’t know. One day
I’ll go out and buy it. (Jean)
And I wanted a couple of new shorts just for that weekend.... And so, it was
like all along, I was thinking about different, um, different short sets that I wanted
to buy, you know. Different like looks that I wanted to have for each day. And
so, I had like, I had like an image of it in my head. And so, I would go to, to the
malls on different occasions and then if I see some, you know, something that I
like that really fit the image, then I’ll buy it. (Lecresia)
In the following planful daydreaming examples, fantasy seemed to serve a
motivating role in recreational shoppers’ lives.
Like, if I go to the mall and say, you want to notice someone having all Liz
Claiborne. You know, that person does have money and that’s important for
them, for people to see it, I guess. Um, I’m going to be just like that. To have
clothing and have the money to buy it. So, like in the future, you know, when I’m
in the working world and, you know, I know I’m going to have money. I plan to.
And I’ll probably, you know, buy the best, you know. The best brands because
they have the best quality. And I probably won’t look as much at sales. I’ll
always look at the sales, but it probably won’t be as important because I’ll have
the money, you know. (Mary)
Like, I went on a diet one time and I was like if I lost 15 pounds then I can buy
myself a new outfit. Because I feel like if I look better, you know, maybe I’ll try
something on and I’ll think gosh, you look bad in that. You need to lose a couple
of pounds. And then I’ll tell myself. Ok, if you’ll lose, if you’ll baby sit once and

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get the money then lose, you know, ten pounds or something you can buy yourself
something. You know, an outfit. I’ve done that lots because that will help you. I
mean, if I, it will help me in school. It helps me in anything. Like, if I’m
studying real hard for a test. If I can see that light at the end of the tunnel,
something. You know, like ok, if I study tonight real hard for this test and make
myself do it then I can buy myself, you know, a pair of shoes or something....
But sometimes it’s good because it helps you to have a motivation to do good in
things. (Shannon)
Those, um, shoes that everyone’s wearing. Those shoes with the two buckles and
you just put your feet in. And all the kids on campus are wearing them. Audi
was like, man, those look really comfortable. They’re kind of expensive though.
But then you can find them like cheaper and everything. It’s like the shoe of the
official college student. You’ve gotta have these shoes. If you don’t have these
shoes then, it’s like, these shoes like say, you know, I’m just bumming around.
But I mean like, no not really because like I’ve seen like girls, like they’re
wearing nice shorts and nice t-shirts and they’re just wearing these shoes. Just
kind of hanging out. But it’s kind of like, you know, I didn’t even have time to
put on shoes. But I didn’t want to just put on flip flops so I put on these shoes.
These are the shoes. They’re comfortable and they’re cute. They come in these
little colors. Which you can get them in that brown that everybody wears. And
um, I was stressed out about a test or something and I kept seeing these shoes. I
was like, man, if I didn’t have to put these sneakers and these socks on. It’s hot
out here. I keep, everybody’s toes are hanging out. After I take this test and if I
do good, I’m getting these shoes. And I did. I got those shoes. (LeTonya)
At times, fantasy may not become reality as illustrated in the following excerpt.
I have a dress that I’ve never worn from The Limited which I feel so bad about
because I made my mom buy it because everybody at school had them. And a, it
was nice and I liked it, and I thought would look good on me after I dropped like
five pounds. I didn’t drop five pounds. Didn’t look good on me.... I still have
it. (Jennifer)
Unlike Shannon and LeTonya, who bought products after realizing their goals
(wishes), Jennifer made her purchase while her goal (wish) was still a dream.
The tendency for informants to engage in fantasy suggests that they may be
materialistic in nature since materialists are more likely to dream about product
ownership, as well as engage in planful and playful daydreamimg than nonmaterialists
(Fournier and Guiry 1993). The survey data did show that recreational shoppers were

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more materialistic than nonrecreational shoppers were, however, there was not a
significant difference in the fantasy behavior of materialistic recreational shoppers and
nonmaterialistic recreational shoppers. Nevertheless, it does appear that similar to
materilialists, recreational shoppers enjoy thinking about products in general, whether
they have future purchase intentions or not.
Looking at the leisure dimensions that are present in recreational shoppers’
shopping experiences as a whole suggests that shopping for clothing is an ongoing leisure
activity for recreational shoppers whether they are in a store or not. They think about
making future purchases, use shopping and products to entertain themselves, for
emotional uplift as well as self-enhancement and self-reinforcement even if they do not
make a purchase, enjoy the process of shopping and relish product acquisition, and
anticipate consuming a new clothing purchase for the positive reactions from others and
their own self-reflection. The recreational shopper’s reign spans beyond product
acquisition. It includes pre- and post-purchase activities as well. Positive consumption
experiences send them back to the marketplace looking for continued self-reinforcement,
while negative feedback sends recreational shoppers back to the mall to try again to look
for a new self. Hence, the use of products for emotional uplift and self-enhancement
extends beyond the domain of materialists and compulsive buyer.
Research Question 4
The survey data showed that recreational shoppers preferred shopping with a
companion compared to shopping alone and garnered more benefits from companionship
while shopping for clothing than nonrecreational shoppers did. Differences in perceived
social benefits from shopping with a partner were also seen among recreational shoppers

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as the number of recreational shoppers classified as social recreational shoppers
surpassed the number of nonsocial recreational shoppers 90 to 27. Compared to
nonsocial recreational shoppers, social recreational shoppers realized greater benefits
from interacting with companions and salespeople while shopping. In addition, they
were more likely to fantasize while shopping, socialize with family or friends and eat
lunch on a shopping trip, as well as shop for clothing from two “social” venues, i.e.,
catalogs and the Internet.
The qualitative data provided support for the existence of social recreational
shoppers and nonsocial recreational shoppers, but at the same time a third group of
recreational shoppers was identified, namely consumers who at times wanted to be alone
on a clothes shopping trip, while at other times they enjoyed companionship during their
marketplace experience. These three groups of recreational shoppers will be discussed
further in this section of Chapter 6, using informants’ comments to investigate Research
Question 4 and shed light on each group’s perspective about shopping with other people.
Three groups with different viewpoints about shopping with other people emerged
from the qualitative data: 1) recreational shoppers who preferred to shop alone, labeled
solo recreational shoppers 2) recreational shoppers who preferred to shop with a close
friend or family member, named social recreational shoppers, and 3) recreational
shoppers whose preference for companionship depended on the type of shopping
situation, labeled solo/social recreational shoppers. The last group, not previously
discussed in the consumer behavior, retailing, or marketing literature, preferred to shop
alone when they were mission shopping or mood shopping, but when they were window
shopping they preferred to shop with a companion.

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Solo recreational shoppers
The first group of recreational shoppers, solo recreational shoppers, preferred to
shop for clothing by themselves since they needed to be free and in control when
shopping. They wanted to shop at their own pace, choose which stores to patronize and
which merchandise to look at, evade pressure from companions to make a clothing
purchase, and avoid shopping with people who had incompatible shopping styles as well
as different tastes in clothing and stores.
Yes. I like to go by myself. Yeah, I do.... Well, because, um, I don’t have to, so
far as, um, limit my time in certain stores. You know, like when you’re with
someone else they may enjoy, um, another particular store then, you know, like
me with Stuart’s or whatever, you know. And, and then, um, um, you know, I
don’t have to, like say for example, if I’m looking for something for a certain
occasion a lot of times I have something in mind. You know, as I said before.
And then, if someone else, if someone else is with me and they aren’t trying to
shop or anything. They’re just going with me to help me look. They don’t know
what I have in mind. So, then they, well, how about this? Well, no, you know. I
don’t like that. And then, you know, and then it’s hard for me to say no too to a
person. That’s another complex that I have. So, I’m like, well, no, not really.
When, when really in the back of my mind I’m like, no. I don’t want to buy that,
you know. So, I just, especially when I’m shopping for it’s a special occasion. I
love to go by myself. (Lecresia)
Lecresia expressed similar sentiments about shopping with others when she was
window shopping as well.
Yeah, like if I’m just going to look. And then I may see something that I like, you
know. A lot of times it, it, it influences, it would influence me if I’m with
someone else and they’re buying, you know. And if I’m in that store and I see
something. It’ll encourage me to just go ahead and get it. Whereas, if I’m by
myself and, um, I originally just set out just to go look and I see something that I
like. I may be more hesitant to go ahead and buy it then if I went with someone
else.
As expressed by Lecresia and reiterated in the following excerpts, shopping with
a companion creates tension and conflict for the solo recreational shopper.

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Usually, I shop by myself. I shop better when I shop by myself.... Because I
take, usually, when you’re with someone either they’re rushing you or they’re too
slow. So, they’re either taking two hours where you only want to spend 30
minutes. Or they’re taking 30 minutes where you want to spend two hours. So, I
would rather take my time. You know, go by myself. When, I don’t know. I’ve
just had bad experiences with, even with my good girlfriends, it’s really hard for
me to shop. We have different types of tastes. So, the things that I’m looking at
they’re not looking at. You know, so, it’s really hard. And also comes in is a
little peer pressure. Me and this one girlfriend we do have the same kind of tastes.
And we usually don’t like staying in the mall very long. So, we’ll go to The
Limited together. But, we’ll end up spending like between us $250. And I’m
like, ok, I don’t go to the mall with you because you, you help me to spend more
money. So, I’ll just stay at home while you go. Then when you come back I’ll
leave and I’ll go or something, so. (Cametra)
I’ll go by myself with no problem.... Some people won’t shop by themselves.
They have to have a friend with them. Not me. I’ll still go.... I do it more
alone.... You know, I have a cousin, who will start at a store. Then we’ll have
to go to the other stores to see if they have the same outfit at a cheaper price and
then we wind up back at the first store. I don’t like to shop with people like that.
I just like to just take my time and go with the flow. And well, this is the outfit
that I like and I really don’t feel like walking all the way down there to check and
see if they have a cheaper price. I’ll just get it here.... There’s, when you shop
by yourself there’s like a peace that I can do what I want to do, go in a store.
When I want to go. I can run in and out. I can stay in there most of the afternoon
and just take my time. And you don’t have a, like when you go shopping with a
man. Are you done yet? Well, didn’t you try something on like that? You know,
when you go by yourself, you don’t have to deal with that. (Sabrina)
For Sabrina and the other solo recreational shoppers, shopping with others was
not recreational or a leisure experience because of their loss of perceived, lending support
to the notion that perceived freedom is a determinant of leisure. (See Chapter 3.)
Although, at times, solo recreational shoppers may go shopping with other people,
they definitely preferred to shop alone. As further evidence of their solo nature, they did
not have a compatible shopping companion, let alone a favorite shopping partner.
Interestingly, not until they were prompted by the researcher, did informants in this group
discuss shopping for clothing with other people.

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Social recreational shoppers
Informants who desired companionship while shopping for clothing, regardless of
the type of shopping situation, made up the second group of recreational shoppers, i.e.,
social recreational shoppers. They wanted someone to be with them so that they would
have someone to talk with, have fun with, discuss the clothing in the store with, help
them while they were in the dressing room, provide advice about clothing options, shield
them from salespeople, and stop and get something to eat or drink with. Social
recreational shoppers were social people who felt lonely when they shopped by
themselves. In the shopping experiences they discussed, a favorite companion was
present.
Not usually. I don’t like to go shopping by myself.... It’s quiet. No one talks to
you. It’s awkward, you know.... But um, no one talks to you. I mean, you feel
stupid talking to yourself. Even if, even if you go with, even if I go with my
boyfriend he’s not paying attention to me. He’s there and I pick something, oh,
that’s cute. He’s not even, even listening to me. But he’s there. Or my mother,
oh, that’s cute. I don’t want that. Or when I’m with. But when you’re by
yourself, it’s like you hear that, you hear your, the, the hangers banging the thing.
Shh, shh, shh. No one’s saying anything to. So, it’s like, and the salesperson’s
like, burning holes in your back, like, you know. Usually when you’re with
another person, it takes the pressure off, I guess. It makes it, it makes it better for
me. I like to shop with other people. (LeTonya)
Um, yeah, there’s a big difference. I, I enjoy it much more when I’m with
someone else.... I really don’t like to go shopping alone because I, um, it’s like,
I’ll find something and it’s, it’s either it’s not a good price or it looks kind of
strange on me. So, I’ll just leave it and I’ll end up not buying something. But if I,
I usually end up taking my sister or my mother with me. That day I had Melinda
with me because she was coming to school with me. Um, I just need that extra
opinion sometimes that will put me over the boarder line of whether I’m going to
get it or not, you know.... I think a lot of times I don’t like to do it without
somebody else there just so I know that I’m not the only one that thinks this looks
good on me, you know. I don’t base my, my opinion of myself or how I look on
other people. But it’s always nice to, you know. And that’s why I always bring a
close friend with me. (Ian)

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No. No. I like having people around and we discuss things that look ugly and
such. Um, I can’t make a decision if something looks right on me. That kind of
thing. That way I have someone else around me to decide for me.... No. No. I
like to go with other people. I like them to say that looks good on you. Or don’t,
don’t get that. Or, I, no. I don’t care for doing it on my own. I’m not a loner, I
guess. I like people around me.... Mmm. I guess, I mean, it’s just more
convenient, you know. Ah, if I’m in the dressing room and this is just too large,
you know. And I don’t want to deal with the salesperson. I mean, that’s out of
convenience, I guess. And decision making. I suppose that’s the two reasons I
take other people with me. (Jen)
One of the people Jen enjoyed shopping with was her roommate at school.
Despite their different tastes in clothing and stores, they are compatible shopping
partners. Enjoying each other’s company appeared to outweigh their different
preferences.
And my roommate, she likes to do a lot of shopping also. We get along with that
respect. We get along real well.... And I mean, let’s go to the mall. No
questions asked.... You, I, you know, when we go to the mall and such, not this
time. But when I pick out something totally outrageous, you should see her
expression. That to me, I won’t buy it, I mean, if I don’t like it. But just to see
her expression. I mean, if I don’t like it. But if I do like it, I will buy it regardless
of her opinion. Ah, I do like to see her freak out though. Ido. Ido.... That’s
what makes it fun, you know. That’s what makes it fun. I mean, she’s not going
to say, I mean, she’ll say, well, gees, Jen that’s a little far fetched. Do you think
you should tone that down? And, I mean, she’ll make that kind of comment. She
won’t say, God! That is the ugliest, tackiest thing. But you, we get along. I
mean, it’s, it’s like the odd couple, I guess. We do have totally different tastes
though. (Jen)
When LeTonya, Ian, and Jen went shopping with somebody else they stayed with
their companions throughout the entire shopping trip. In the case of Jennifer, although
she also preferred to go shopping with another person, instead of going alone, she
indicated that she liked to be by herself during the actual shopping process, i.e., looking
at the clothing in the store and trying on clothing, since she is a very deliberate and
thorough shopper. For Jennifer, companionship is very important during the other parts

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of her shopping trip, i.e., driving to and from the mall, walking through the mall, stopping
to get something to eat and drink, and showing merchandise before and after it is
purchased to receive approval and encouragement.
Just because I, actually I like shopping with somebody else, but um, I don’t.
Because I take so much longer in stores than they do. Like at TJ Maxx, I’ll go
through the entire store, every section. You know, go through every bathing suit
and a, she’ll (her sister) just walk through the aisles and everything. I get really
frustrated because she’s ready to leave and I’m like half way through the store.
But um, I guess I like going places to shop with somebody, but I need to be left
alone while I’m shopping. Or they can go do their thing and then meet me back
somewhere because I take my time.... It doesn’t, I mean, it doesn’t really bother
me shopping by myself. But um, I just don’t like going in the car by myself. And
a, I really shouldn’t say that, but I just like company to talk about going shopping
and, and like in the car and show them what I pick out and. It doesn’t bother me
shopping by myself. I hardly ever go to the mall by myself up at school even
though it’s that close. Unless I have to run up and get, like pantyhose or
underwear or something really quick. I always try to like ask somebody if they
want to go.... Um, to um, to encourage me. Like, oh, that does look good on
you. Or, well, that is a good price for a Polo or Liz Claiborne. Or I did see that at
Burdines for 60 bucks and it’s here for 20. I’m like, well heck, then I’ve got to go
get it, you know. (Jennifer)
Jennifer’s favorite shopping companion is her twin sister, who not only provides
companionship during the “nonshopping” parts of a shopping trip, but also plays the role
of the shopper’s helper.
My sister. She’s my twin sister. But um, yeah. But my sister will tell me, no. I
look awful and I’m like, ok, well, maybe you’re right. She kind of understands
me and she knows what I like. And she’ll pick things out for me, like two rows
ahead, and I’ll be like, oh, hold it for me. Yeah, she’s a very good person to go
shopping with. (Jennifer)
Solo/social recreational shoppers
Depending on the type of shopping situation they were in, the third group of
recreational shoppers, namely solo/social recreational shoppers, felt comfortable

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shopping alone or with a companion. Informants that fell into this category of
recreational shoppers, discussed shopping for clothing from both perspectives.
If they were going to be mission shopping or mood shopping, solo/social
recreational shoppers preferred to shop by themselves. In these situations, solo/social
recreational shoppers had the same traits as solo recreational shoppers. They wanted to
be free from companion imposed encumbrances and in control of their shopping trip.
I take a long time (shopping for herself) and people don’t like to wait for me. I’m
very fussy.... Oh, I check the seams to make sure it’s sewn. It’s well made.
Um, interfacings. Um, if it’s dry clean or hand wash. ... Um, it has to be the
right style. And, and if you go with friends, I notice that they try to push you into
a new look or something. Um, that I’m not comfortable in. Um, and when, if I
go with them and they do push me into something that I’m not comfortable in, I
do end up returning it when they’re not around. But I don’t want to hurt their
feelings. So, I end up, oh, yeah, well maybe it will look ok and maybe I’ll wear it.
And I know I won’t wear it. So I’ll just bring it back later. (Pat)
Ah, I think I do that by myself (shopping to buy something) because, um, when
you go with other people it’s just like you need to like go with the flow and do
what everybody wants. Whereas, if I were to go with someone else when I know
I have to buy something in a certain place, where they might be bored or
something, then, um, it kind of wouldn’t make it as fun, I guess, you know. Um,
that’s one thing I’ve noticed like when you go shopping with people. You gotta
be able to go with the flow because if you don’t then, you know, there’s going to
be somebody that’s bored or, you know. Or they might go into a different store
that you don’t like and like take forever.... Or I’m not, I really don’t want to
buy anything because I, I know that there’s someone with me that really doesn’t
want to be there. And I hate being rushed when I’m looking for things.... Ah,
because when I’m by myself I do spend a lot more time because I’m trying to
decide if I really do like it the way it fits on me or if I don’t. (Christine)
Christine also preferred to shop alone when she mood shopped.
I guess, I guess it depends on what kind of mood I’m in. Um, like if I had, like
say, for example, a long day like in school or something. I’d rather just kind of
like, like to go on my own and just kind of like spend the time on my own just
basically thinking about nothing that is really important. But just kind of like
browsing through the stores. (Christine)

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Similar to Christine, Michelle went shopping by herself when she was on a
mission to buy something or in a bad mood.
If I really want to get some shopping done I’ll go by myself. Or if I just want to
meander around or just run into something, you know. If I want to get stuff done,
I’ll go by myself. Because, when I’m with friends I, you know, I feel bad if I’m
dragging them into these stores or, you know, if they don’t feel like going to that
store and I really want to go in there.... Like, if I’m down I like to be alone....
I may not have enough patience or whatever (to be with someone).... I mean,
like I’ve gone shopping (alone) at Builders Square and gotten little plants and just
been happy as can be with just getting the cheapest little plants I could get. It’s
buying something. You’re out. It makes you feel better. (Michelle)
When under stress or unhappy, shopping alone seemed to help informants
“escape” their troubles and be free.
Yeah. When I’m by myself it’s more, it’s either, when I’m by myself it’s either
because I’m, I’m really in a serious mood that I want to get something
accomplished. There’s something I want to buy. Or it’s because I’m kind of
depressed and I want to do it myself. And I kind of want to walk around and, you
know, get something to drink and just kind of look at some different outfits.... I
want to just make myself feel better. (Shannon)
And then there’s another experience when I’m upset. Or after an exam when I’m
under stress, I go to the mall. Because that’s the best reliever for me because, um,
you know, I’m doing the thing that I love to do most. So, I always go on my own
when I have, when I have, after an exam or after some stressful situation. I go to
the mall. I always get coffee every time I go to the mall too. I go to Barney’s and
get a cup of coffee. The flavor of the day. And then my heart is content....
When I’m stressed I’m going at my own pace.... And when I’m going because
of stress I’m going for myself. Because it makes me feel better because I know
I’m going to look better when I buy new clothes. I guess that’s, you know, why I
like to go alone because it’s at my own pace and I’m looking at things I want to
look at. And if someone wants to go somewhere I don’t want to go there.
Because I’m here for myself. (Mary)
In the next two excerpts, informants discuss their preference for shopping alone
when they were shopping to buy clothing. Being by themselves, helped them concentrate
on their objective and achieve their mission of making a clothing purchase.

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And I usually shop better when I’m by myself because then I can take the time
that I want to take. I don’t have to worry about, because I hate to make people
wait for me. I feel bad. You know, it’s like they’re sitting there thinking, gosh
come on hurry up.... Yeah. I don’t like shopping with people. I mean, unless
you’re window shopping. You’re just kind of walking around. But when I’m
shopping with people either one, I feel like I have to follow them around and I get
bored and I don’t want to look at the things. Because, most of my friends like that
popular stuff. And I have to sit there, you know, while they go in and look at all
the real expensive stuff. And I’m sitting there, God, this is ridiculous. And I get
bored. Or if I’m looking at stuff, I feel like they’re bored and I don’t want them
to be there waiting.... Most people don’t like to shop by themselves.... Yeah.
I like it because nobody bugs me. (Shannon)
If I’m shopping and have a mission, I usually want to go by myself. Um, except
the swimsuit thing. Nancy (her friend) went with me and that was a situation
where she did more of the critiquing and she didn’t really look for anything. But
we knew that I was going to buy a swimsuit. That’s what we were looking for.
So we both had a, a mission.... Yeah. I, I think for me now it would be more
recreation if I went by myself because then I, um, I can take as much time in a
store as I want. When I’m ready to eat I can eat. Um, if I want to go into a store
and that maybe Nancy’s not interested in, in going into, I can do that. ... Um,
but, I don’t know. Because now that I say that I can think of times that it’s, it’s
really fun to be out with her. Um, and that, but then again that’s usually a time
where I’m not buying anything. It’s where I’m just walking, I’m tagging along
with her. (Jean)
As alluded to by Shannon and Jean, solo/social recreational shoppers enjoyed
shopping for clothing with a companion when they were window shopping. In this
situation, informants were not planning to make a clothing purchase so shopping took on
a more carefree, relaxed air. Informants went shopping to browse through stores to see
what they could find, fill free time, and socialize. Although they might make a clothing
purchase that did not seem to be the objective as it was in the cases of mission shopping
and mood shopping. While window shopping with a companion, informants indicated
that they might play the role of confidante, advisor, and helper.
If I’m just leisurely shopping, I don’t mind being with another person.... Um,
usually I, I’ll look through and she’ll (Nancy) pick out all these clothes and go try
them on, and I end up being the, you know, the critique person to tell her how

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something looks. And that’s fine. I don’t mind.... And that was an all day
thing for us. But it was, it was kind of socialization. I really enjoyed just, I don’t
know. For Nancy, the girl that went with me, a woman, it was kind of relaxing in
away. And it was fun. It was like we were kids again. You know, you’re trying
on different things and, and you’re like posing and jumping all around in the
dressing room. And you’re laughing and stuff. And we, we, we were like ten
year old kids or something. And, and you’d pull out stuff and you’d start giggling
about, wow, look at this. And, I mean, the same thing, when a real good friend of
mine, I went out with her to look for a dress for her stepdaughter’s wedding. And
we looked and looked, and after a while you get kind of punchy, and you just start
pulling out this god awful stuff that you wouldn’t put on your dog, you know. It
was like, here this is it! Wear this one, you know. But it was fun. And another
place that I go for shopping, and I really just started getting into this was
consignment shops. And my girlfriend, Nancy, goes all the time. And she can
always find stuff at consignment stores. I don’t always find anything. And
usually it’s because I don’t need, I just, I’m going with her. And I’m, and it’s just
to keep her company. It’s not, or to give her an opinion on how something looks.
Not because I need to buy something. (Jean)
I like to do that (window shopping). Like, if you don’t have anything better to do.
You know, with a bunch of people you go out and just walk the mall and talk and
look at the people and look at the clothes and maybe even try stuff on.... I
usually don’t go window shopping by myself unless I’m really bored. It’s more
of a social thing I think if you go window shopping with a bunch of friends or
somebody. You know, you stop and get ice cream and look around, you know.
Or you go with family and get coffee or something like that. ... If, if you’re with
friends and stuff and you’re making it fun. By yourself it’s not fun to window
shop really. I mean, maybe if you’re in that kind of mood, but I wouldn’t think
that that’s very common to just walk around that much by yourself. If you’re with
friends it’s a different kind of fun. I mean, it’s, it’s like you’re having fun
socially.... But it’s fun to have a friend along if you’re not too serious and you
have all day to kind of make a day of it and stuff. It can be fun. (Shannon)
I’ll look for things for them (friends). Or watch their children while they’re
shopping. Because usually it’s to help them. Um, occasionally I’ll see
something. But I usually don’t go with, with, you know, the intention of buying
anything for myself.... You know, I’m tagging along with someone else. Or
they want your opinion so I’ll go with them and give them a hand. (Pat)
Christine enjoyed going window shopping with her roommates and boyfriend to
fill free time.
Um, for example, if you go with girlfriends, it’s really fun. You could spend
almost the whole day shopping and not like. Um, it, it depends. Um, like, for

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example, my roommates and I go out shopping and it’s fun because you can go in
and like, you can just like pick stuff up and try it on. And you’re like, you can get
someone else’s opinion.... Or if I’m looking for like company or something, I
like to be with my girlfriends because then we can like go around, fool around
while we’re trying on stuff. Um, sometimes just for something to do we go out
and look in the mall, my boyfriend and I. Like during the day or something like
that. (Christine)
Mary enjoyed going window shopping with a number of different people. Each
companion helped create a different type of shopping trip.
And she (her sister) loves to shop too. I mean, the same way. My sister goes at
her, her own pace. And when we shop, we shop the same way. We like the same
stores. And when I go with a friend or Brian (her boyfriend) it’s different because
they, you know, have a different style of shopping and the different stores....
It’s just, you know, different. You know, everything’s different. Going with
different people. The different day at the mall, you know. So, with my sister, we
both wear the same things. And she’ll say, oh, I like this. And she’ll look at it for
herself. And I’ll be like, ooh, I want to try it on too, you know. So, it’s fun like
that. And when you’re with your girlfriend, you know. You know, with, you
have different hair color, different color eyes, different, you know, height.
Everything, you know, it’ll look different on the girlfriend. Whereas, my sister
and I we pretty much look good in the same things. And so, if she likes
something then I know I’m going to like it too. Just because it’ll look the same on
me. Close to the same. But um, that’s really it. That’s why. So, that’s why, you
know, it’s different when I go with my sister and when I’m with my friends or
when I go with my boyfriend. (Mary)
Shopping with her friends exposed Mary to new stores and merchandise.
That’s why I like it too because they look at different things and, you know, make
me want to look at something I wouldn’t have looked at. Yeah. Kind of like, um,
you know, going into, um, I think it’s, I’m, I know it’s not Athlete’s Foot. But
it’s one of those athletic stores on the other side of the mall. I can’t think of the
name of it. But, like one of my girlfriends, she loves to go in there and look at
everything. And, so I’ll look at, you know, a lot of the, you know, the college
teams. And, you know, sports and stuff. Different shirts, different shorts, you
know. Stuff for a workout. Different things, so. Stuff I wouldn’t normally look
at. And that’s, that’s one of the examples. Um, I never used to go upstairs to look
at, you know, all the bedroom, the bathroom things. I will just go occasionally
and buy things. But now, I do because my girlfriend, Shane, she loves to do that.
So, we used to go to the mall quite often. Um, that’s why I started doing that
because I, I liked it. (Mary)

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Mary’s boyfriend was her favorite shopping companion.
Yeah. Like, I love to shop with him (her boyfriend) because we, you know, we’re
looking for both of us, you know. You know, I love him. And so, I want to get
things for him and look for him. I’m not being selfish and say, well, I want to
look here. So, we have a good time because I, I want to shop for him and he
wants to shop for me. And we have fun because. And we’re always together.
We don’t, you know, he doesn’t go and sit down while I’m looking at clothes or
anything like that. He likes to come with me and help pick things out. (Mary)
Mother/daughter shopping relationships
A possible explanation for the different perspectives informants had about
shopping with a companion emerged from their comments about shopping for clothing
with their mothers. Solo recreational shoppers did not have a strong shopping
relationship with their mothers while they were growing up or at the present time. On the
other hand, the majority of social and solo/social recreational shoppers had positive
experiences shopping for clothing with their mothers when they were younger and even
after leaving home continued to shop with their mothers when the opportunity presented
itself.
Solo recreational shoppers. Looking first at solo recreational shoppers shopping
relationships with their mothers, when Lecresia was younger she did not go shopping
very often with her mother due to her mother’s need based approach to shopping, limited
financial resources, and safety concerns.
Now my, now my Mom is the type of person, she only goes shopping basically
when she has to, you know. When she needs something to wear and then she’ll
go and she’ll look for that. And if she doesn’t find it in, oh, say, three or four
hours then she’s done for that day, you know. She’s not going to make a whole
day out of it and go and eat lunch in the mall and stuff like that.... Because
she’s not one, she’s not a shopper. She’s not really a shopper.... But I didn’t do
it (clothes shopping) as much as I do now because, you know, I didn’t have a job.
And it was up to my Mom to go shopping. And she wasn’t one, like I said, to just
be going shopping or even to give me money to just go shopping because she had

206
bills to pay and stuff like that. So, basically when I was, you know, when my
Mom was, um, shopping for me. When she was shopping for me, I would only, I
would only get new stuff on special occasions. Like if, at the beginning of the
school year, you know or something like that. ... And, um, also like when I, um,
I basically grew up in, you know, in Miami. And, um, a lot of the, a lot of times,
you know, we, we, my Mom and I, we chose not to go out shopping a lot of times
basically because things weren’t safe, you know. It’s, it’s very rough down there.
And it’s like, if you, if you aren’t worried about someone snatching your purse
you gotta worry about your car in the parking lot. That’s someone’s trying to rip
it off. (Lecresia)
When Cametra was growing up she did not enjoy going shopping with her mother
since she did not have the freedom to choose the clothing she wanted to wear. Now
Cametra, who does not live at home, rarely goes shopping with her mother since their
shopping styles are not compatible.
Now, the only thing is, my mother, you know, everybody’s mother shops for
them. But it took her awhile to find a style of clothing that I, that I, I like. You
know, she’s still trying to dress me how she likes to see me look.... Mmm, not
often (go shopping with mother). Um, I did when I was younger because she was
dressing me as she wanted to see me. So, um, no, once I’ve gotten older and
moved out of the house I won’t shop with her because she’ll take all day. You
know, my mother will leave at 8:00 in the morning. I’m like, the stores don’t
even open until 10. I don’t know where you’re going at 8:00. And not come
home until 11:30. And I’m like, the stores close at 9. Where were you for the last
two hours? You know, so. I don’t know how she does it, but I usually don’t shop
with her. (Cametra)
Sabrina also does not enjoy shopping with her mother because of the pressure she
still gets from her mother to wear clothing her mother likes.
Occasionally. Mmm, mmm. Occasionally and it’s a different experience (going
shopping with her mother). When you go shopping with your parents you’re still
that 16 and 17 year old kid. So you have to kind of play the role and, well, you
know, I don’t really like that Mom. Well, you know, well, try it on anyway. But
I don’t like it. Try it on. Don’t you think that will look nice on my daughter?
So, it’s a few and far between times (going shopping with her mother) that the
situation like I was mentioning with the, um, if an outfit that she thinks will look
nice on me. Oh, come on over, we’ll go together. You know.... I enjoy it
(clothes shopping) now because as a child when someone else is paying for
something you have a tendency to wear it because they bought it. And, you

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know, but now I don’t feel that way, you know. And she, she has a pretty good
feel of what I’m going to like. And she might try to push me into buying an outfit
and if I give in, you know, eventually, I’m going to take it back. So I, I’m
stronger now. (Sabrina)
Social Recreational Shoppers. The next three excerpts illustrate
mother/daughter shopping relationships among social recreational shoppers. For each
case, during her formative years, the informant regularly shopped with her mother and
the relationship remains strong even though they make fewer shopping trips together
since the informant is now on her own. As they were growing up, these informants’
mothers served as powerful socializing agents (Moore-Shay and Lutz 1988)
indoctrinating them into the culture of recreational shopping.
Yes. She (her mother) very much does (enjoys shopping). Um, she likes shoes.
That’s her thing. Shoes. So. But, you know, you could spend an afternoon
looking for belts, if you’ve got to, you know. She doesn’t care.... Yeah, she’s a
saler too. She really likes to do sales too. Um, she doesn’t like paying full price.
It doesn’t bother me as much. But it’s nice when you come across something
worth buying on sale. But she likes the sales. She likes those a lot. She likes
them.... Yeah, we would go to New York. Just the two of us and be with them
(her relatives). And she’d shop. We’d shop. We’d make killings. It’s
genetically programmed, I think. (Jen)
If she wants to go to the store for one quick thing, I do not mind going with her. I
do not mind taking her. I love spending time with my Mom. So, you know, I’m a
very family oriented, oriented person. So, if she wants to just go in. Get the one
thing she needs. Get it and go. I have no problem with that.... I think my
Mom’s the best at picking out clothes for me. She’s just, she knows what gets
me, you know.... But it’s, me and my Mom can not go shopping without getting
anything for ourselves because we share clothes. So, we, it’s just impossible....
It’s, I don’t know why. It’s just we can not walk by a store and like. Well, we’ll
go in and say, well, let’s just look. And we will undoubtedly find something that
we love. I’ll be like, ok. Well, let’s get this. You know, always. It never fails.
(Ian)
Yeah. She’s, she’s (her mother) a good shopper.... She’s got a good eye. She’s
a, um, she’s a very good dresser. She knows how to make things match and that
kind of thing. So she’s really good. I wonder if I inherited that from her....
Yeah. I guess it’s (going shopping with mother) a chance to talk. We don’t really

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talk that much. My mother’s not really an open person. So sometimes when we
go to shop and we don’t just talk about what’s going on in the store. We talk
about school and, you know, life.... Not very often (go shopping with mother)
because I don’t get home, but every time I get home I do. That’s just a thing that
we do. I mean, I get home on Friday night, late. We get up early Saturday and
we, you know, we go shopping. Spend about four hours and we usually get
something to eat and come back home. It’s usually a thing we do.... Yeah.
Now that I’m away it’s kind of a girl thing to do. Kind of like a girlfriend going
out thing, you know. She’s not really my mother when we go shopping.... My
friend, you know like she tells me what, you know, she’ll tell me what looks nice
on me. What Bill would like. That’s my boyfriend. Oh, he might not like that or.
You know, she’s got a really, um, hip taste. She’s pretty, she’s very young
compared to my friends’ mothers. She’s very, you know, into to what’s going on
today. And she’s always up to date. She knows what’s, you know, what’s in
fashion. Always, you know, always is very, she wasn’t, she was never one of
those mothers that would say, oh, that’s too short or that’s too tight or, you know,
I mean, I mean trampy. You see or, you know, all mothers. But, she was always
pretty innovative compared to my other friends’ mothers. You know, they’re just
pretty old, even now they’re just like old people wearing those polyester things.
My mother’s pretty cool though when it comes to that. Clothes. You know.
(LeTonya)
Solo/social recreational shoppers. Similar to the social recreational shoppers,
solo/social recreational shoppers have had positive long-term shopping relationships with
their mothers.
Ah, yeah. Yeah. When I was little I used to go out with my Mom shopping a lot.
Because, I guess, because she likes to shop too. So maybe it’s something I just
grew up around. I don’t know.... Oh, yeah, when I get the chance to (go
shopping with her mother). Like, um, if she comes up or something. I like to
bring her around the stores around here (Orlando) because they’re different from
where I’m from. So, um, if there’s a neat store that has something very different
because she likes buying different stuff too. Then I like to bring her there. And I,
I, I still kind of, I like to go clothes shopping with her. I know I can’t really do it
as much as I used to. Because, um, my mother and I are best friends. So, like
when we’re trying on stuff her opinion of it is like very highly valued....
Because she, she kind of likes the stuff like I shop for. And she likes spending for
her own store too. She’s my favorite. (Christine)
Jean’s shopping relationship with her mother appears to have evolved over time
from a potentially stressful situation when she was living at home to a pleasant and

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cherished experience now that she is on her own. Despite the fact that they live in
different parts of the U. S. and do not shop together as often as they did in the past, Jean
and her mother now have a closer, more compatible shopping relationship. Jean credits
the change in their shopping relationship to her mother being less critical about the
clothes she buys, together with her own product interests and tastes becoming more
similar to her mother’s.
Usually, well she lives in Virginia. So, I don’t see her that often, but I like
shopping with my Mom. Because I like, not so much because she’s going to buy
me something, but I like seeing things that she likes. It gives me ideas. Um, and I
just enjoy spending time with my Mom. Now my sisters both live, um, within 25
minutes from my Mom. And I think when they go shopping it’s more stressful
than when I go shopping with my Mom because they see each other all the time.
And my Mom and I, we will look, but we spend at lot of time talking to each
other. And where my sisters, they talk to her all the time.... And that’s why I’m
saying I think it’s different (shopping with her mother now that Jean lives in
Florida), my, my sisters are probably experiencing the same thing that I
experienced when I lived in Virginia. Um, Mom knew exactly what I had,
especially when I was living at home. And it was, well, why are you buying?
You have a pair of blue pants. It was like what my husband does now. Well, you
have, you have three pairs of blue pants at home. Why do you need another pair?
You’re just wasting your money. Um, where now, she doesn’t know what I have
or what I don’t have. And, and, she does, she will offer more. She will say, oh, I
really think that this, this would look nice on you. And I may tell her, oh, well, I
already have something that color or similar to that. Oh, ok. And I think with my
sisters, Mom because she does do the shopping where she’s shopping for them.
She does do, go out shopping where she’s shopping for her and they’re with her.
And then they’re pulling things like, oh look at this, oh, look at that. And she’s
like, I’m not looking for you today. I’m looking for me. And so, when she and I
are together she wants to do a lot of looking for me and I want to do a lot of
looking for her. So it’s like, we keep pulling out each other’s clothes. It’s like,
oh, look at this Mom. This would look really good on you. And she’s like, oh
this would look really good on you. And um, and it’s like we’re trying to please
each other in a way. Um, and trying not be selfish or something. Um, as I’ve
gotten older my Mom and I would do more, you do more talking, um, sit down
and, and have something to eat and you talk more. Um, and I guess now I’m at an
age and I’m doing things where I appreciate more things that she’s looking for.
You know, when I was younger, it was just clothes shopping. Then as I got a
little bit older and, and moved out of my first, the first time I moved out before I
went back to graduate school, it was looking for household items, dishes and

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stuff. And Mom really enjoyed doing stuff like that. And now it’s, um, our tastes
are a lot alike. So it’s picking out, you know, um, oh, this would really look nice
in the kitchen or this would really look nice in this room or, or that room. As
opposed to clothes. As, as opposed to things for me, it’s things for my house.
And that’s what, for the longest time Mom’s been doing more house shopping.
And she would buy things for her house as opposed to clothes. So we kind of
relate more on that level. (Jean)
Mary does not go shopping as often with her mother since she moved away from
home. She seemed to miss that part of her relationship with her mother.
Yeah. Yeah, we would, you know, quite, probably once a month (when Mary
was living at home). She would, yeah, like, she would buy me something once a
month. So, that’s how it was. And that was good, you know. A day that we
could spend together and it would pretty much just being alone with me. And my
sister, like she, you know, would go with my Mom one day. Because I was
always with my sister. We’ve always been real close. So, it’s not like we ever
fight and not want to go to the mall together with my Mom. But it’s just the way
it was. You now, like, I’ll go with my Mom. Go there a day, so.... I haven’t
lately (gone shopping with her mother) because when I go home we usually, we
go home and we’re spending time with family. We don’t go to shop. Um, like
we’ll go out to dinner, you know. Stuff like that. But we don’t go to the mall that
often. Like, the last time I went with my Mom was probably for Christmas. Or
my sister’s birthday, actually, in March. And then before that it was Christmas.
So, really if there’s a reason to go I’ll go with my Mom because I’m, you know,
two hours away. Because they live in Sarasota. So, it’s far away. So, I don’t go
as much with her anymore because I’m not there. You know. (Mary)
Shannon enjoyed shopping with her mother if they went window shopping, but
not on a mission shopping trip. This view is consistent with Shannon’s solo/social
shopping style that she attributed to her mother in a previous excerpt in this section of
Chapter 6. Like Shannon, Shannon’s mother preferred to shop alone when she was
mission shopping.
My Mom’s fun to shop with. But, I don’t know, if we’re window shopping.
She’s not as fun as, I guess, I mean when I’m shopping seriously. Because
usually when I’m shopping like really seriously I want to by myself. But, my
Mom sometimes will suggest too many things or kind of bug me, you know. Or
be like, I, and one thing is her, sometimes she’s too honest. She’ll, you know, that
doesn’t look very good. Instead of being nice about it. And I’m just like, Mom.

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You know, I don’t need that. You know, I know what it looks like. Just keep
your mouth shut. Especially because it’s your Mom you just like, I don’t know.
So she’s not, I mean she’s fun to go socially shopping with, you know. Just kind
of look around. Have a good time. I mean, we’ll go and we’ll have lunch and
make a day and just kind of look around. And the good thing about shopping
with my Mom is if I find something that really looks good and she really likes it,
she might buy it for me. So that’s, that’s good. (Shannon)
The last statement by Shannon reveals a selfish and economic motive for
shopping with her mother, i.e., having a desired item bought for her by her mother.
Mary expressed similar sentiments when describing shopping with her mother.
I like going with my Mom to the mall, you know, because you really don’t have
to worry about prices. And you just, you know, say, well, let’s go get some ice
cream, you know. And not have to worry about spending a couple of dollars. Or,
you know, go grab something for lunch or something like that, you know. So, it
was a lot of fun. (Mary)
Negative cases. Two informants, one social recreational shopper and one
solo/social recreational shopper, did not have strong shopping relationships with their
mothers and disliked shopping with them. Nevertheless, they still periodically went
shopping with their mothers since, on occasion, their mothers would still buy them
clothing, for example at the beginning of the school year.
When Michelle was living at home she did not enjoy shopping for clothing with
her mother since her mother tried to influence her clothing choices. Their relationship
has not changed over time and now that Michelle is at school she bears shopping with her
mother out of need.
And I don’t really have too much money to shop right now. That’s why I go with
my Mom. Money source.... No. I used to hate it (shopping with her mother)
when I was younger. Because my Mom would always try to help me, oh, you like
this. No. And I’m very picky about my clothes. I guess that’s another reason
why it’s better that I, she doesn’t come along. Because she always, oh, well this
is great. This is really cute. No, I don’t want it. And then she would get irritated.

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I’d get irritated because she was trying to force clothes on me. And I, you know,
it used to be terrible. I didn’t enjoy that at all. (Michelle)
Jennifer does not enjoy shopping with her mother since their shopping styles are
incompatible, but similar to Michelle, she goes shopping with her mother with the
anticipation that her mother will buy clothing for her.
Yeah. All the time (went shopping with her mother when she was growing up).
She says she doesn’t like to shop anymore.... She’s like, I used to be like you. I
used to love to shop and that’s all I would do all day. But um, she doesn’t like to
do it that much anymore.... My Mom, no (not a good person to go shopping
with).... She’s good some of the times, but she gets tired so easily. We went to
TJ Maxx yesterday and she wanted to go to Barnes & Noble. I’m like, Mom, go
their first. I want to go there too. I’ll meet you there. She’s like, no, I’ll go here
first. We went to TJ Maxx and about ten minutes later she was done with the
entire store and I was still looking through the summer dresses or something.
She’s like, we really have to go now. I’m like, Mom, I hate shopping with you.
You want to- leave as soon as we get here. You know I like to take my time. And
I expect her to buy something for me when I go with her. She winds up not
spending money on me and I get upset. (Jennifer)
For both Michelle and Jennifer, having products purchased for them outweighs
the loss of perceived freedom that occurs when they shop with their mothers.
Research Question 6
While the survey data suggested that recreational shoppers value the presence of a
salesperson when they are shopping for clothing, for such benefits as conversation, being
waited on, and being known on a first-name basis, a different picture emerged from the
qualitative data. Most informants wanted to minimize their interaction with salespeople
and did not need much attention and help while they were shopping. They were more
concerned with salespeople interfering with their shopping experiences than with
granting salespeople a significant role in their shopping activity. Informants did indicate
that occasionally salespeople might be needed to facilitate the shopping process. The

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divergent results from the survey and interview data suggests that additional research is
necessary to understand the relationship between recreational shoppers and salespeople.
Nevertheless, the present research shows that recreational shoppers have very
clear ideas regarding the way salespeople should conduct themselves in a store.
Throughout the interviews, informants expressed common complaints and expectations
about salespeople.
Complaints about salespeople
Recreational shoppers had two major concerns about retail store salespeople.
They disliked salespeople who were pushy and followed them around the store while
they shopped. Pushy and badgering salespeople created an uncomfortable and
dissatisfying experience for recreational shoppers since they impinged upon recreational
shoppers freedom to roam around the store, browse, and make purchase decisions.
But if there’s nice people helping you and stuff that’s always good. You don’t
want pushy people. Sometimes they’re all pushy trying to make you, shoving
everything in there, try this on. (Shannon)
They always tend to push you into more, oh, oh, doesn’t this look good. You
know.... No. If I had liked it I would have picked it out. Oh, well, well, what
about this. You know. It’s in your size and everything.... I can’t wait to get out
of that store if they’re real pushy, you know. You know, I’ll let you know when I
want to buy something or try something on. Oh, can I help you. You know, I
just, I tend to want to get out of stores that are, that are very pushy, you know. I
guess it’s been enough. (Michelle)
But here in Orlando (at Wet Seal), they kind of bother me. They just follow you
around. And like one person will be taking care of you, and like I was there a
month ago and two other salespeople, I guess they couldn’t tell I was being
helped already. And they were like, oh, have you seen this? This goes with this.
And I’m like, yes, I have. Thank you. Are you being helped? Yes, I am. Well,
do you want me to go ahead and put this in your room for you? No, thank you.
I’m already being helped. You know, I mean, sometimes when I shop I don’t
want to be bothered. I just want to do my own thing and, um, get out of there.
(Jennifer)

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The only thing that bothers me there (The Gap and Contempo) is when like
salespeople follow you around. And they’re very insistent on you trying certain
things on when that’s what you might not be there looking for. And um, of
course, you know, they’re always trying to show you the, the top price item when
you’re really not interested in it. Um, as long as they like leave me alone. And I
just tell them that I’m just browsing. And if I need them I’ll go get them.
(Christine)
Expectations of salespeople
Recreational shoppers expected salespeople to greet and acknowledge them when
they entered a store or department. They appreciated salespeople who were friendly and
non-intrusive. Once recreational shoppers were in a store they wanted salespeople to
give them personal space so that they could freely move around the store browsing or
seeking out a specific item. Even though they required their own space, recreational
shoppers expected salespeople to be available to provide assistance when needed by
staying within sight or earshot. For if they wanted help while shopping, recreational
shoppers did not hesitate to ask for it.
They should like, of course, say hi and stuff. Because that’s always nice. That
makes you feel good when you come in the store. And not be so much like, can I
help you? Can I help you? And like, when I’m up to the register. I understand
that they work on commission, but not like, well, who, who picked this out for
you? Or if they’re all fighting to get the register to ring up your order. If they
could just let, you know, like if there’s anything I could help you with, just let me
know. And, you know, let, let you, you know, browse around. And if you do
have a question, then you go up and ask them. (Christine)
Well, I want, when I walk in I want them to, you know, to talk to me and be
aware that I’m there, you know. Say, you know, hi, how are you doing or
whatever. And they can tell since I, I used to work in a clothing store and I know
that when somebody walks in you can tell if they want you to help them or not.
Or then you can tell if they want you to leave them alone. I want them to be able
to sense that. I mean, it’s not hard.... And not, not show me anything
unnecessary. Not try to fool me into buying more. You can tell when people are
trying to fool you. Trying to push things on you and it just makes you want to
leave the store. I’ve done that before. Right in the middle of trying stuff on just
give it to them and leave. (Shannon)

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I’m glad you asked me that question. I think a salesperson should greet you. I
mean, I don’t mind, I don’t, I’m not saying, I don’t want them not to say anything
to me. Because I get offended when I go in the store and nobody says, can I help
you? Either, but, and then I also get offended if before I can get in the store this
person’s like over me. Like, you know, can I help you? Do you need anything? I
think the ideal salesperson for me would be a person that when I came in the store
said, hello, how are you? I said, fine. And they say, if you need anything, just
holler or whatever. And they go and sit in the comer. Do whatever they do. And
leave me alone. And maybe, I wouldn’t even mind if I picked something up and
they said, oh, that just came in today. Or I just sold four of those, you know.
And, and they, you know, and they looked nice or whatever. They’re very
functional, you know. You’d be surprised that this does this and that does that
and it’s got a zipper here. That I don’t mind. But what I do mind, it’s every two
seconds coming over and saying, you know, can I help you? Is there something I
can help you with? And just like, just that, that person, like just right there behind
you, you know. Just kind of, just staring at you, following you. It’s like, you,
you’re on one side and they’re on the other side. And you move over here and
you’re on one side and they’re on the other side. And that’s like just the worst to
me. It’s like the worst shopping experience on earth. (LeTonya)
Um, well, I don’t like people to be hounding me, you know. I like them to let me
know that they’re there if I have any questions or whatever. And I like them to be
around. I don’t like to have to ran all around trying to find someone to help me if
I have a question. But, you know, I don’t need anybody trying to help me pick
out, you know, something. Just let me know you’re there and I, if I need I’ll, I’ll
go tell you. (Lecresia)
Lecresia continued by discussing the salespeople at her favorite store, Stuart’s, a
dress shop.
Yes. Yes. Just, just like I like it. They don’t, they aren’t hounding you all the
time. And they’re, you know, they tell you their names. Well, I’m here for you if
you have any questions. And they go on about their business. But they aren’t too
far away where you have to find them. So, yeah, they meet my expectations.
(Lecresia)
Two other informants were also satisfied with the salespeople at their favorite
stores.
But, um, I like the people in there (Limited Express). The girls are always real
friendly. And they don’t follow you around the store and try to, you know, they
give you your space. Um, but yet, they are friendly. (Mary)

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Well, they’re very, um, you know, they’ll come to you right (at Katos). When
you walk in there’s two people at the door. And, you know, they’ll be like, how
you doing? I’m ok. And then, you know, they really, they haven’t followed me.
Or, you know, there’s maybe like five, five or six people all together in the store.
There’s two in the front kind of watching who comes in and out. And then the
two guys are kind of, you know, roaming around the store fixing things up. And
then there’s two girls behind the counter. And they really don’t follow you
around or anything. You know, every once in awhile they’ll be like are you
finding everything ok. Yeah, I’m fine. Ok, you know, then they’ll leave you
alone. (Ian)
Negative case. Although some informants did indicate in their comments that
sometimes they wanted salespeople to play a more significant role in their shopping
experiences, there was only one informant who always wanted a salesperson to help
while she was shopping for clothing. In fact, Sabrina desired a salesperson’s assistance
and company during her entire shopping process, from the moment she entered a store
until “they ring you out,” including the time she spent trying on clothing in the fitting
room.
If it’s a women, a store for heavy women, I expect her to be heavy. Pleasant. It
will be really nice if she was there to help me through the process.... I go in a
store and I tell, if she’s, you know, can I help you? Yes, I’m looking for a red
pantsuit. Um, preferably I need in a size, can you help me? I would expect her to
go exactly to the rack, and you know, and pull out three or four. Well, let’s try on
these. That’s what I’d call good quality in their personnel. Some stores you’re
going to have to scan and, or even, if I’m going to scan check on me periodically.
You know, well, have you made up your mind? Is there something else I can help
you with? Just don’t leave me. You don’t want to walk in the store and, oh, let’s
stand here. So, it’s nice when you go to a store, well, and, how are you doing
today?... Stay with me because they know what’s in the store. And if I
described it, like I said, they should immediately go directly to it. Or at least the
color.... You know what I really expect when I’m in the dressing room? That
she’s looking out there for other outfits that I could try on. (Sabrina)
Salespeople’s opinions
Another topic pertaining to salespeople that was discussed during the interviews
was how recreational shoppers felt about salespeople commenting on the way clothing

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looked on them when they were trying it on. Recreational shoppers did not trust
salespeople’s opinions since they felt that they were only trying to make a sale. This
issue was not as critical to recreational shoppers as overly aggressive salespeople were
since they were confident about their own judgment when trying on clothing. In addition,
they could easily deal with unsolicited opinions by ignoring them, relying on the advice
of a shopping companion, or avoiding salespeople all together by staying inside the
fitting room when trying on their clothes.
Ah, sometimes, you know, it’s nice when someone’s along. Oh, do you think this
is, you know, nice? Do you think it looks good on me? And that kind of deal.
But the, you know, sometimes it’s nice to have a second opinion because you
can’t trust the store clerk’s opinion. Oh, yeah, that’s great. Yeah. Let me, let me
charge that for you. You know, everything looks good to them. So, you have to
trust your own opinion. (Michelle)
No. No. I don’t trust them for some reason. It’s, it’s like when you’re in the
changing room and they’re like, ah, you need any help in there? Because like,
when I try something on I take a long time to like look at every little detail of how
it fits me. And, I guess they feel like you should just zoom in there, throw it on,
if, if you can get it on your body then it fits. And then you zoom back out. And
when they’re always bothering me when I’m in the, in the dressing room, I
understand, you know, they’re worried about shop lifting and stuff like that. But
um, you know, and then you come out and they’re like, oh, how’d you do? And
I’m like, ah, just fine, you know. I just, that’s because I’m, I’m kind of a very
modest person and I don’t run over and just like, hey, how do I look in this? It’s
not me. I only like people that I trust. For their opinions and stuff like that.
(Christine)
Oh, a friend is, weighs much more. I think my Mom and my sister’s opinions
weigh the most. You know, because they’re probably the closest two people to
me. They’re, they’re like my best friends. Um, then next are like, my close
friends. But salespeople .... I don’t ask them just because I don’t know. I just
don’t see any importance in their opinion. You know, they’re, they’re going to
tell me it looks good usually most of the time because they want to sell it. (Ian)
You can never tell if they’re lying or not though. Especially if they get that, I
don’t know, it looks good. You’re like, yeah right. You want them to be honest
with you. I mean, I like to hear them say, oh my gosh that looks awesome on you.
I’ve never seen anybody look so good in that. But yet, I also want them to say,

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you know, those kind of pants probably aren’t the best for you. Here, let me show
you another pair.... I think they should be honest with you. (Shannon)
Negative case. Unlike the other informants, Sabrina, who wanted to be helped
throughout her entire shopping experience, relied more on a salesperson’s opinions about
clothing she was trying on than her own feelings or the advice of shopping companions
and other shoppers in the store.
And you might ask, well, what do you think? Does this look nice on me? Or, or
women will always, if you don’t even know the person, gosh, that looks really
sharp on you. You should get that outfit. And that helps. Positive reinforcement
helps. And also be honest, you know. If it doesn’t look right, tell me, you know.
We really don’t need to get that, you know. Why don’t you try another size on?
Or another color, or? ... It doesn’t matter. If I’m shopping alone, I will ask
someone that might be in the mirror next to me. Or the person, the attendant that
works there. I might say, what do you think about this outfit? If I’m with friends
I just get a general consensus. Well, what do you guys think about this? ... You
know, you might think that you, you would, but I don’t. I put more on the person,
the attendant. The person that’s working in the store. And it’s bad because I
know that they want to sell the outfit. But I feel like, well, they’ve seen people try
on things all day. In the back of your mind, you’re like, they would tell me if it
doesn’t look right. Or, you know, if I tried this other size it would look much
better. Or just don’t get it, no. And there’s a few departments where some
attendants will say, no, why don’t you try this one rather than that? There’s a nice
way you could say it. (Sabrina)
Salespeople’s knowledge
A number of informants also indicated that it was important for salespeople to be
knowledgeable about the merchandise in the store and their customers.
Really, I expect the salesperson to leave me alone. I would rather have someone,
I mean unless you’re going to be really really helpful. And to me being helpful is,
if I ask you, excuse me, do you have this in another size? You say, well, no,
we’re out of that. Or maybe, let me check the other store. You know, maybe they
have the same item in another size. Then, you know, is this your size? Or, you
know, if I ask you, where’s the dressing room? Different questions that you, you
may not know by going to different department stores. Um, I, I had a bad
experience at Gayfers here.... Um, I went in and I was looking for a suit.
Sometimes I will ask a salesperson to help me. You know your store better than I
do. Um, I’m looking for a red suit. You know, kind of high material quality.

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Not, you know, just some flimsy stuff. I don’t want just a polyester suit. I want a
nice suit. You know, but I said, I want it in this price range.... So, it, the
salesperson was just like, well, I don’t think I have any of that. You can look over
here. You know, and point out a big general area. Look, I don’t have all day to
spend here and just look through all this to find what I want, you know. And I, it
was like, well, where’s the dressing room. And she, oh, it’s over there. Oh,
thanks a lot. You know, that really helped me. I can go over there and look
myself, you know. If you don’t, if you can’t take the time to really help me and
show me where these things are. Then, you know, why should I shop at your
store? You’re supposed to be here to help me and you’re not. I’m fending for
myself, so. (Cametra)
I guess I’m from the old school. I like courtesy. I don’t like to pushed.... I’d
prefer if they would just, you know, welcome me to the store which they do at
The Gap and at Chico’s. They’re very customer oriented. Um, they try to find
sizes for you. Um, it’s more, more to the, the way it used to be when you’d go
shopping. That you would go in. Um, people would pretty much know you
because you would go to the same place over and over. And, they would even
start, the buyers would know the kinds of clothing that certain customers would
like. Um, and I get that kind of a feel because The Gap is geared to certain types
of people in their clothing and to certain types of activities. So I get that feeling
in those stores. Um, usually, they don’t push things on you. If something doesn’t
look good, they’ll tell you it doesn’t look good. Instead of talking you into it.
Um, and I appreciate the honesty. Ah, also they are quick to point out things that
are on sale. Um, and at Chico’s they know me in there. And so, they also send
you cards when they’re having a sale. Or a, the other place I like and it is in a
mall, but they closed, was Unit. And they will call you on the phone and tell you
what sales. Or send you a newsletter or a flyer or something, you know. I like
that. (Pat)
August Max is excellent.... They’re top quality. August Max is the best. Just
like the, accommodating in their, they are it. And I’ve gotten spoiled. I like it
and their women are heavy.... The women that work there almost seem like
large Southern belle like, you know. They’re just, I don’t know. They’re just
different. They’re happy. They all have their hair done perfectly. And it looks
like they wear some of the clothes that are in the store. They’re just different.
Maybe almost the attitude, you know they have to work or they wouldn’t be there.
But they have the attitude, I just love to shop and I just want to help you, you
know. I want you to feel like I feel. I don’t know if they go through, a kind of
intense training. I don't know. But they're very good at what they do.... Um,
when I was shopping regular they knew me by face, you know. When I’d walk
in, well, how are you doing? You know, what do you want today? That was nice.
(Sabrina)

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Although, as indicated in the preceding excerpts, some recreational shoppers
seemed to appreciate being recognized by salespeople at stores they patronized regularly,
there was not a desire on their part to form personal relationships with the salespeople as
occurs in the case of lonely consumers (Forman and Sriram 1991) and compulsive buyers
(O’Guinn and Faber 1989). Unlike lonely consumers and compulsive buyers,
recreational shoppers appear to have strong relationships outside the retail environment
with family members, friends, or significant others. Hence, they do not need to rely on
interacting with salespeople to receive positive attention, emotional nutrition, enhanced
self-esteem, and social support.
Discrimination in retail stores
The last finding that emerged from the interviews was that a number of minority
shoppers had gone through the unpleasant and upsetting experience of feeling that they
were being singled out as potential shoplifters in a store because of their race or ethnic
background. Informants felt that they were targeted when they were followed and closely
watched by salespeople and noticed that white shoppers were not receiving the same
treatment.
When you go in the store and if you’re by yourself then the salespeople really, I
don’t like the salespeople bothering me. I don’t like them, don’t, don’t, unless I
ask you. Don’t bother me. I’m usually really pretty mean to them. I’m just
prepared for them. Because I think, I have my guard up. I think, no. I’m not
going to steal your stuff. Get away from me, you know. Even if maybe that’s not
what their intentions are, it’s just I, I’ve just gone through that crap so much.
(LeTonya)
Um, when the Katos was over by our house there was another store next to it
called, um, Simply Six. And, um, the people there just did not like me. I would
go in there and they would just watch me. Every step I took through the store
they would have to, I mean, know exactly, the lady, the, the tenant just followed
me around the whole store. And after like and we used to go there a lot because
the, I think they opened it around Christmas. So, we were doing a lot of our

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Christmas shopping. And I was in there maybe three times that week. And, um, I
finally turned around and I said to the lady, I said, do you have a problem with
me? And she says, no. We just have to make sure that, you know, you’re not
taking anything. And I said, well, nobody else is being followed and there were
three other people in the store. And I noticed they were all white. And I, I’m
Spanish. And I don’t have a Spanish accent even though I was bom in Puerto
Rico. And, um, I’ve never been, you know, like discriminated against. That was
the first time and it really, it just ticked me off really. You know, I was like, well,
I said, I really don’t need this. You know, I can find all this stuff in other stores
and these same basic prices. So, if you want to follow me, if you want to follow
someone around, follow somebody else around because. And I left the stuff there
and I left. (Ian)
Don’t, and I experience this more maybe because I’m African American. When I
walk in the store don’t assume that I’m going to seal from you, you know. If I
carry a big purse at least try to camouflage, you know, that, that you think she’s
going to steal from me. Don’t follow me. You do everything but approach me.
If you’re concerned about it, why don’t you try to help me look for something?
And then, you can tell whether or not I’m going to steal from you. Don’t stand
here. Or if I move, then you move over there. That’s ridiculous.... You know,
judge people individually. And I’ve had experiences where it’s been, you know,
the spying and the looking, carrying on. And you’ve approached the person, well,
no, no, no. I’m not watching you. And then you kind of look around and they
don’t do the same for the whites. (Sabrina)
These experiences were angrily described by informants and seemed to have left
an indelible mark on their persona, as they have become wary of retail store salespeople’s
advances and intentions.
A Priori Theme 2
The analysis of the interview data did suggest that even though all the informants
enjoyed shopping for clothing there were differences in informants’ level of involvement
in shopping for clothing. As seen in the interview excerpts throughout this chapter, some
informants considered shopping to be a hobby (e.g., Christine), indicated it was one their
favorite activities (e.g., Mary), were enamored with the process, i.e., I love to shop (e.g.,
Jennifer), or just seemed to spend a significant amount of time thinking about or going

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shopping (e.g., Jean). Moreover, while the interviews were being conducted some
informants spoke about shopping in such a highly enthusiastic manner (e.g., Christine,
Jean, LeTonya, Mary, and Shannon) that one could surmise that they had a high level of
involvement in and passion for the activity.
Despite the differences in shopping involvement among informants, the analysis
of the interview data did not indicate that their level of shopping involvement influenced
the nature and personal meaning of their shopping experiences. Independent of their
level of shopping involvement, as subjectively determined by the researcher, there was
consensus among informants that shopping for clothing was a leisure activity, there were
different types of clothes shopping (i.e., mission shopping, window shopping, and mood
shopping), shopping for clothing was intrinsically satisfying, provided feelings of
mastery, could be spontaneous in nature, and encouraged participants to fantasize.
Hence, A Priori Theme 2 was not backed by the interview data.
Although the personal meaning that informants realized from and ascribed to
shopping for clothing was similar, their different levels of involvement may influence the
importance of shopping for clothing to their self-concepts (Laurent and Kapferer 1985;
Richins and Bloch 1986). Those informants with a high level of involvement in shopping
for clothing appear to have enduring involvement with the activity, whereas those with a
low level of involvement seem to experience situational involvement for shopping for
clothing. Thus, both groups of informants may seem to view shopping for clothing from
the same point of view, but for high involvement recreational shoppers the personal
meaning attained from and attributed to shopping for clothing is enduring in nature and

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important for their self-concepts whereas for low involvement recreational shopping
these meanings are temporal in nature.
The data analysis did uncover a group of informants who appear to have
incorporated shopping for clothing into their self-concepts, thus, exhibit enduring
involvement with shopping for clothing. This issue will be explained in more detail
during the discussion of A Priori Theme 5, later in this chapter.
Research Question 7
In light of the lack of support for A Priori Theme 2, the interview data did not
reveal differences among informants in the meaning and importance of the leisure
dimensions they experienced while shopping. As indicated above, the informants
concurred that not only was shopping for clothing intrinsically satisfying to them, but it
also gave them feelings of mastery and spontaneity as well as provoking fantasy
behavior.
Although the interview data was not fruitful for answering Research Question 7,
as discussed in Chapter 5, the survey data did indicate that high involvement recreational
shoppers realized significantly higher levels of intrinsic satisfaction, mastery, and
spontaneity from shopping for clothing than low involvement recreational shoppers did.
Thus, the level of involvement in recreational shopping does appear to influence the
nature and importance of the leisure dimensions experienced while shopping for clothing,
i.e., there is a progression of meaning and evolution of motives for highly involved
leisure participants (McIntyre 1989; Celsi et al. 1993).

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A Priori Theme 3
The preceding assumption that high involvement recreational shoppers experience
enduring involvement with shopping for clothing, together with the evidence that at
higher levels of involvement recreational shoppers incorporate shopping for clothing into
their self-concepts provide support for A Priori Theme 3. High involvement recreational
shoppers shop for clothing on an ongoing basis not only because of their interest in and
enjoyment from the activity, but also because it is a means of self-expression and central
to their lifestyles.
A Priori Theme 4
Support for A Priori Theme 4 follows from the preceding discussion of A Priori
Themes 2 and 3. Although the qualitative data indicated that low involvement
recreational shoppers derive similar meanings from shopping for clothing as high
involvement recreational shoppers, it is presumed that low involvement recreational
shoppers have only situational involvement with shopping for clothing. Therefore, they
shop for clothing on an intermittent basis primarily because of their interest in and the
enjoyment they expect to receive from a particular shopping trip.
A Priori Theme 5
The qualitative data provided evidence that some recreational shoppers
incorporate shopping into their self-concepts as a recreational shopper identity. During
the course of the interviews, a group of informants, who based on their comments seemed
to have a high level of involvement in and commitment to shopping for clothing, defined
(identified) themselves as a particular type of shopper by referring to themselves with a
descriptive shopper label (e.g., bargain shopper, competitive shopper, or value shopper).

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These labels which usually were exclaimed early in the interviews, without prompting by
the interviewer, were indicative of their high level of involvement, enthusiasm, and
passion for shopping for clothing, in addition to representing a salient leisure identity
(Shamir 1992). In essence, shopping for clothing was part of these informants’ extended
self (Belk 1988).
And um, when I go clothes shopping, I’m a very competitive shopper. I just like
looking for the best bargains. And I’m very particular. I could spend like two or
three hours in one store and like leave there without anything in my hands
because I’m kind of fussy when I, when I choose something.... I consider that a
hobby almost. Um, when I, when I go out shopping, I do it for recreation. Um, I
like to go to all different shops. It’s not just like if I, if I need to buy something. I
just like to go and look at the different clothes. And I like to find something
different and not just like what everybody’s wearing at the same time and it’s
uniform. Um, I get, I remember when I was in high school my parents brought
me clothes shopping. We’d go to the mall at 9:00 in the morning and we
wouldn’t leave until they closed because I would constantly run back and forth to
the different stores, comparing the prices to see what I could get for the money at
the cheapest price, you know. But, you know, at reasonably good quality so
they’d last. (Christine)
So I am really now more of a value shopper.... The, I, I don’t go to the name
brand stores anymore. I used to. I used to all the time. That was, and my mother
still does and I grew up like that. That you go to, in Virginia it was Thalheimers,
Miller & Rhodes, Hecht. You would go to those very, stores like, um, like
Dillards or Burdines here. And you, that’s where we did all of our shopping.
And now I find that I go more to um, Ross or Steinmart. Um, I even picked out a
couple of outfits at like Wal Mart that I, that I thought, I looked at them and they
were very nice. And I know how to sew so I, you can check the quality. And
they were very good quality. (Jean)
Oh, man. I am a bargain shopping queen. I, I have this thing. I call it a, the $10
rule. If I really, I will try to get, I don’t know why. I go in the store and I think
that price tag is for the other people. I go and try to bargain with the people. I, I
think, I don’t pay a lot of money for, I don’t ever pay a lot. I’ve never bought
anything that I think maybe I paid, if, if I paid $30 for it, it was a, it was a really
awesome outfit. Probably silk. I was going somewhere really, you know, fancy
that I needed. Normally, I don’t, I mean, I try to get things for under $10. If it’s,
if I paid 10, 10 to $12 for it, it’s like a really awesome thing. My friends are
usually pretty surprised about what I can find, you know. For instance, I would
spend $60 and come back with two bags of stuff. And if you spend $60 and come

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back to go to the dorm and, you know, everybody’s comparing. Everybody’s
always, number one has come back with a hat, a belt, and a shirt or something.
(LeTonya)
Slowly went through the front of the store, but a mainly concentrated on getting to
the back of the store and seeing what I can save and, um, I’m like a major bargain
hunter. I mean, my Mom yells at me because I cut out coupons still. And a, I roll
coins. I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m cheap or anything because I like to spend
money on other people and. But a, I just like to save and get the best deal, the
best bargain. But definitely, when I see a sale rack or, um, I don’t know I just try
to get the best deal on everything.... I got to go. It’s like I have to beat
everybody to the store so I can get what I want first. Not greedy, but....
Because, um, compared to my other friends I’m definitely shopping three times
more than they are. I don’t know if it’s because they spend more time on campus
because they’re closer to campus and I’m right by the mall or just because I enjoy
shopping a lot more than they do. Because that’s like one of my hobbies and
they’re interested in whatever else they are. (Jennifer)
And I have this thing, I mean, I’ve got, I’ll have the same amount of money to
spend to go shopping as my next door neighbor. My best friend. And um, she
has to have, she’ll buy like one thing with it because it’s the in thing and it’s real
expensive. And I would rather spread it and buy, like six different things that
aren’t in but, still look great. You know, because I don’t care how much they are.
If something looks good, I don’t care if it’s in or if it’s you know 100 bucks. So, I
have more clothes. I have like a whole bunch of clothes that everybody thinks, oh
my God, she has so many clothes. But really, I spend like a lot less. I mean I’m a
bargain shopper. I bargain shop. I’m really into that. (Shannon)
The identity that these informants had bestowed upon themselves was being a
bargain shopper. Throughout the interviews, they spoke enthusiastically and passionately
not only about clothing and clothes shopping, but also about getting the best deal or value
for their money. While the other informants were bargain shoppers too, the self-
identified bargain shoppers seemed to be especially involved and committed to shopping
for bargains as indicated by their avowed shopper identity. These informants had always
enjoyed shopping for clothing and considered it to be one of their favorite activities.
Shopping for clothing provided an opportunity for them to prove their mettle and they
were proud of their shopping prowess. They enjoyed the process of shopping around,

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comparing prices, looking for sales, and going to lower price and nontraditional retailers
in search for the best deals. Their enthusiasm for and enduring involvement with
shopping, together with their self avowed bargain shopper identities, seems to justify
labeling these informants recreational shopping enthusiasts, i.e., the group of consumers
proposed to exist at the high end of the recreational shopping continuum. (See Chapter 4.)
There was one informant, Mary, who did not specifically identify herself as a
particular type of shopper, but given her comments and reported shopping experiences
seemed to be a recreational shopping enthusiast. Looking at the excerpts from Mary’s
interview that have been included in this chapter, reveals that she is highly enthusiastic
about and very involved in shopping for clothing and appears to have incorporated the
activity into her self-concept.
Because that’s the best reliever for me because, um, you know, I’m doing the
thing that I love to do most.... I think so. I think it is (shopping for clothing is
her favorite activity to do). I can’t think of anything that’s, other than going out
and partying, you know. Different type of fun, you know. But I would say, yeah.
Different day things. The funnest day thing I like to do. Because at night I really
like to go out with friends and, you know, drink. I like to drink beer, you know.
So, that’s, that’s one of my other favorite things. Go out and dance. And when
you’re shopping you have all these things to think about. Because it ties into
everything, you know. You have to buy a certain outfit for when you go out, you
know. And when you’re in school. For work. And that’s. I think shopping is just
fun because it ties into everything. You know, if you’re going to be home, you
know, all day long and you just want something real real casual to wear then, you
know, you have to, even buy stuff for that. Or, you know, swimsuit season, you
know. There’s, it ties into everything. That’s why I like it.... And then when I
go shopping it’s going to make me feel good because things are going to look
good on me.... Yeah. It gets my mind off everything that has to do with daily
stress or daily activities. (Mary)
A Priori Theme 6
In light of the support for A Priori Theme 5, A Priori Theme 6 was also supported
by the interview data. The previously referred to recreational shopping enthusiasts

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engaged in clothes shopping as a means of self-enhancement and self-identification. The
process of shopping and acquisition of clothing appears to have been incorporated into
their self-concepts and is a central part of their lives. Clearly, these informants define
themselves in terms of being bargain shoppers and the act of shopping, not just buying
and possessing clothing, is an extension of their selves. By having a salient leisure
identity, they express and affirm their individual talents or capabilities, endow themselves
with social recognition, and/or affirm their central values (Shamir 1992). Through
shopping, they have become masters of their domain, i.e., the retail marketplace.
The support found for A Priori Themes 5 and 6 extends the concept of the
extended self (Belkl988) beyond having and consuming possessions to preacquisition
processes as well. Similar to the way possessions take on special meaning and are
incorporated into the self (Hoyer and Maclnnis 1997), shopping also has symbolic value,
mood-altering properties, and instrumental value for recreational shopping enthusiasts.
A Priori Theme 7
Earlier in this chapter, mood shopping was identified as one of the three types of
shopping that recreational shoppers participate in. This finding substantiates A Priori
Theme 7 since not only recreational shopping enthusiasts, but also recreational shoppers
in general described going clothes shopping to alleviate unhappiness, depression, and
stress. Of the six informants with salient recreational shopping identities, who were
labeled recreational shopping enthusiasts, only Jean did not go mood shopping at this
stage in her life. It was an activity she had engaged in before she was married and had
settled into her current life.

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You know, I used to go to the mall every week and just to waste time. Look in
and out of every store. And that was until, let’s see, I’m 33 now. I got married at
30. So that was, I can even think when I was 26, even later than that. I’d go to
the mall just because it’s a Saturday and what else is there to do. Go to the mall.
It was, it was recreational. But know, well, when I went to graduate school, I quit
my job and went to graduate school. So I didn’t have the money to do that. And
so I found that the best way for me to handle it was just not to go. And if you
don’t have the money coming in to spend, you don’t see anything that you want.
You’re not tempted to charge it. (Jean)
As for the second part of A Priori Theme 7, i.e., recreational shopping enthusiasts
engage in shopping as a means of bolstering positive self-feelings, the interview data
revealed that that some recreational shopping enthusiasts, as well as recreational shoppers
in general, ventured into the marketplace when charged with happiness or on an
emotional high. These positive feelings were typically associated with achieving a
personal goal and the resulting product acquisition served as a tangible reward for the
accomplishment.
Yeah. Oh, I’ve done that (buy clothing to reward myself) lots. Like, I went on a
diet one time and I was like if I lost 15 pounds then I can buy myself a new outfit.
Because I feel like if I look better, you know, maybe I’ll try something on and I’ll
think gosh, you look bad in that. You need to lose a couple of pounds. And then
I’ll tell myself. Ok, if you’ll lose, if you’ll baby sit once and get the money then
lose, you know, ten pounds or something you can buy yourself something. You
know, an outfit. I’ve done that lots because that will help you. I mean, if I, it will
help me in school. It helps me in anything. Like, if I’m studying real hard for a
test. If I can see that light at the end of the tunnel, something. You know, like ok,
if I study tonight real hard for this test and make myself do it then I can buy
myself, you know, a pair of shoes or something. (Shannon)
When I’m in a mood. When I, when I’m, when everything’s done. Like, um, it’s
kind of like a reward thing. I will never go shopping when I’m stressed out, I’ve
got four papers, and a test. My room’s a wreck. My life’s a mess. But I like to
go shopping when it’s sunny outside. My tests are behind me. My room is clean.
I’ve just taken a shower. I don’t know why. You know, I feel my freshest. I’ve
just taken a shower. Hah, it’s nice. It’s, it’s sunny. Not hot hot, but hot. It’s hot,
but not like unbearable heat. Um, because then the mall’s cool, you know. But I
like, it’s, it’s kind of like my reward, you know. That’s how my roommates and I
will reward ourselves after midterms. Like, oh, we’re going shopping after this.

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You know, after this week we’re going to just blow a hole through the mall. Let’s
just go. So you feel like that. Having a reward.... Like I accomplished
something. I usually either, I’ll buy myself food or buy myself something nice.
And then when I look at that, you know, I usually can look at whatever I bought
even months later and say, oh, yeah, I bought that when I made that A on that test.
You know, it always, something always symbolizes something. It’s not all the
time, but when I’m in that frame of mind. You know, say, oh that’s the first thing
that I bought when I first got here or, you know. (LeTonya)
As the interview continued, LeTonya described a specific example of rewarding
herself with a product purchase.
Those, um, shoes that everyone’s wearing. Those shoes with the two buckles and
you just put your feet in. And all the kids on campus are wearing them. And I
was like, man, those look really comfortable. They’re kind of expensive though.
But then you can find them like cheaper and everything. It’s like the shoe of the
official college student. You’ve gotta have these shoes. If you don’t have these
shoes then, it’s like, these shoes like say, you know, I’m just bumming around.
But I mean like, no not really because like I’ve seen like girls, like they’re
wearing nice shorts and nice t-shirts and they’re just wearing these shoes. Just
kind of hanging out. But it’s kind of like, you know, I didn’t even have time to
put on shoes. But I didn’t want to just put on flip flops so I put on these shoes.
These are the shoes. They’re comfortable and they’re cute. They come in these
little colors. Which you can get them in that brown that everybody wears. And
um, I was stressed out about a test or something and I kept seeing these shoes. I
was like, man, if I didn’t have to put these sneakers and these socks on. It’s hot
out here. I keep, everybody’s toes are hanging out. After I take this test and if I
do good, I’m getting these shoes. And I did. I got those shoes. Every time when,
you know, you know, when I’m in the mood. Mood. I think, yeah, look at my
shoes. I think, you ain’t got something done and I got my shoes, you know. It’s
kind of my little reward. Yeah. (LeTonya)
Lecresia and Cametra, who were not considered to be recreational shopping
enthusiasts, exhibited the same type of behavior as Shannon and LeTonya, who were
self-proclaimed bargain shoppers.
Especially, when it comes around to food. Not so much as clothes. I don’t really
buy, um, clothes to reward myself. But like food, like say for example, if I’ve
done good on a test. If I did good on a test. Or if I, um, worked out, you know, or
something and, and I was like, well, I want some ice cream. I deserve it. And
then I’ll go out and buy it. So, yeah, I basically, I, I like to buy food to reward
myself. Yeah. (Lecresia)

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Oh, when I’m feeling well I buy myself something. I always think of any
occasion to buy something for myself.... Yeah, yeah. Every Christmas I get a
gift. Because I was good to go out there and buy everybody else’s gift. So, it’s
like, hey, I got to get something for myself too. You know, I mean, it takes a lot
for me to go out and buy people’s gifts.... So, I always say, well, I have to
reward myself because I did good this year. I sat down. You know, I bought the
gifts. You know, it’s, it’s like a task, you know. I completed that task. Now I
owe myself something. So, I always buy myself a Christmas gift too. (Cametra)
Cametra rewarded herself for other accomplishments too.
I usually don’t buy anything when I do well in school. Um, ah, I don’t want to
say I’m, I don’t know, self conscious or not really self conscious or self conceited
or whatever. But I usually do well in school. So, to buy something when I do
well I’d be buying something all the time. You know, like, ugh, you know, that’s
not good enough. Even, even when I do well. I had like a 4.0 one semester. I
still didn’t buy anything for myself.... Usually, it’s like when I’ve done
something like, I’ve dealt with a problem. A really big problem, you know. I’m
just not going to ignore this person, you know, that just really aggravates me.
And like when I can look at them and be like, hey how you doing? You know,
even though they’re doing everything they can to get me down, you know. And
they’re doing all those things that I know get on my nerves, but I can handle the
situation. I can handle them well. That’s when I feel like I’ve accomplished
something. I’m going to like, hey, you know, I deserve a new outfit for this
because I put up with a lot, you know. And when you, I make it through hard
times in my life, you know. Like probably when I graduate I’ll go buy myself a
very big gift. Just for the fact that I’ve, I’ve taken the time to spend, you know,
those four years in school and finally accomplished something. I have my degree.
When I feel like I’ve accomplished something that’s when I’ll buy something for
myself. (Cametra)
Going shopping to reward one’s self for fulfilling a personal goal provides
additional evidence that recreational shoppers take part in self-gift behavior. (See earlier
discussion of mood shopping in this chapter.) By doing so, they are engaging in the self¬
communication process described by Mick and DeMoss (1990b) that helped maintain
their emotional high and sustain their self-concepts.
Self-gift behavior in response to positive feelings was also seen when informants
felt the need to periodically treat or splurge on themselves because they worked hard for

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their money and deserved a reward. This situation appears similar to the circumstance
referred to by Mick and DeMoss (1990a) as had not bought for self in awhile.
And then, as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve gotten my own money, like I, like, when I
first started like baby sitting and stuff like that when I was in, you know, the
beginning of high school. When you don’t really have a job yet, but you have
something to get money. I’d baby sit and get a little bit of money. And, you
know, I’d want to go spend it on, because I felt like oh, I earned it. I can go and
spend my $50, you know, I spent, and get myself an outfit.... You worked for it.
You can go spend it. (Shannon)
Yeah. Mmm, mmm. And something expensive. Because I deserve that.... And
it makes you feel good. And then you also feel like I’m not working for someone
else (when shopping). I deserve something new every once in awhile.... You
know how you work every day and then when you get your check all you’re
doing is paying bills. You want to do something for yourself sometimes.
(Sabrina)
Absolutely. I work hard for my money. Yep. Um, sometimes you can’t, you
know, and that’s ok. It’s nice to, um, splurge on yourself every once in awhile or
on your family. But, we would just get something that my husband and I could
both enjoy for the house. Um, so that’s fun. That kind of shopping is fun. (Pat)
Finally, Christine made self-gift purchases when it was her birthday or had extra
money on hand (Mick and DeMoss 1990a).
Um, there was, actually there was a watch I bought for myself. Um, I don’t do
that all the time though. I mean, if there’s like, um, if I save up, I can save up for
it, like for awhile. And then I’ll treat myself for my birthday. Or like a lot of
times I noticed, um, my relatives and stuff for my birthday they’d send me
money. Because. I guess, they weren’t really sure what I liked. And then that
would give me an opportunity to go out and buy something. (Christine)
A Priori Theme 8
The interview data did not provide support for A Priori Theme 8. The data
analysis did not reveal that recreational shopping enthusiasts’ shopping experiences were
more meaningful when their shopping trips were inspired by positive self-feelings as
opposed to negative feelings. One possible explanation for this result is that the

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informants in this research did not define their shopping experiences in terms of being in
a positive mood or emotional state, whereas one of the types of shopping trips they did
describe with fervor was mood shopping (i.e., shopping when they were feeling down or
under stress) which was detailed earlier in this chapter. Thus, shopping that is inspired
by negative emotional or psychological states appears to be more salient and memorable
to recreational shoppers than shopping when in a positive state of mind. Furthermore,
research on self-gifts (Mick and DeMoss 1990b) suggests that if a mood shopping trip
results in a purchase that is viewed as a self-gift, the shopping experience and ensuing
product acquisition may be considered special or held in high regard.
The following interview excerpts, together with the previous discussion on mood
shopping suggest that a shopping trip that is motivated by a negative mood or state of
mind is more important to recreational shoppers than shopping encouraged by positive
feelings.
Oh, yeah (goes shopping when in a good mood). But um, I’m more driven to find
something when I’m in a bad mood. Because I know it makes me feel better for
the moment when I buy something. Um, it just makes me feel better. It comforts
me. It really does. I sit at home. Look at it for a couple of minutes. Put together
different outfits with it. Feel satisfied that I got something I can work with. Then
I’ll think about the test later. (Jennifer)
Because I think when I’m in a bad mood I’m on a mission. I think I want
someone to say, oh, you look nice in that. Or I’m more aggressive when I go
shopping. It’s not like going to buy anything. I’m going to feel better. So I go
and try to find a thing that I’ll look the best in. And when I’m in a good mood
I’m, I’m there to, I’m there to shop. You know, I’m there to buy something....
So when I’m in a good mood I’m not as aggressive because I think, oh, it will
come along. Or if I didn’t see something I didn’t like it’s not, you know, a big
deal. (LeTonya)
I don’t have, if I, if it’s a stressful day like that I don’t have to worry about if it’s
on sale or not. I’ll just buy things that I like. ... To reward myself, when I’m
upset and make me feel better, you know. That’s a reward, I think, when I, you

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know.... So, it’s just rewarding when you find stuff you really like and are
satisfied.... Um, when I was up in Michigan. I went up there for a week and a
half. I just got back last week. And um, I was at, you know, there were some
days where I didn’t have anything to do. It was hot out and I was just like, I’m
just going to go to the mall. And I was, you know, there all day. And, you know,
I was, um, that was the day when my, Brian’s birthday’s coming up. I bought him
some clothes for his birthday. And it wasn’t on sale. It was something that I
liked. And it was, it was something that he doesn’t have. Different types of
clothing. And it was going to look really good. And I didn’t care what the price
was. I just cared that it looked good. (Mary)
Another possible explanation for the lack of support for A Priori Theme 8 is a
lack of probing on this issue on the part of the researcher. Hence, additional research
would be prudent to further investigate how positive and negative emotional states
influence recreational shoppers’ shopping experiences.
Emergent Themes
To further describe and understand recreational shoppers and their marketplace
experiences, the following emergent themes were developed: 1) Need for Uniqueness, 2)
Creativity, 3) Product Attachment, 4) Gift Shopping, and 5) Negative Consequences.
These new themes emerged during the process of data analysis and shed further light on
the role that shopping plays in recreational shoppers’ identity construction and
reaffirmation, their attachment to and possessiveness of the clothing and fashion
accessories they purchase, and enhancing their self-esteem. Furthermore, the potential
for shopping to lead to financial and emotional troubles for recreational shoppers was
unveiled during the interviews and subsequent data analysis.
Need for Uniqueness
A common characteristic among the recreational shoppers interviewed was a
strong desire to be unique. This need for uniqueness (Snyder and Fromkin 1980) was
manifested in the type of clothing that recreational shoppers wanted to buy and wear.

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They look for clothing that reflects their personality and that they feel “comfortable”
wearing so that they can construct their own identity.
I wear what I like and I wear what feels good on me. I like bright vibrant colors.
Um, I like um, I like clothes that aren’t really plain. Clothes that have some type
of, a little bit of flair to them.... Um, I like, it really, a lot of times it depends on
my mood too. Um, because sometimes I like to wear like, the umbros and the
biker shorts. And, and to me that’s kind of more a tomboyish look. And other
times, I like to wear a very nice sundress with a hat and, um, you know, kind of
the beachy scene. And we used to live at the beach and, and so I really like airy
beach clothes. But you can’t wear them everywhere. Um, I like, when we go out
I like getting dressed up. (Jean)
Recreational shoppers are concerned about their appearance. They want to look
attractive but make their own fashion statement. Hence, they want to stand apart from
the crowd and shun fashionable or “hot” items.
I just like to go and look at the different clothes. And I like to find something
different and not just like what everybody’s wearing at the same time and it’s
uniform.... Because, um, I, I kind of like to pick stuff out that I consider as me
not just some, you know, something that fashion dictated, you know, to everyone.
... Um, well, recently I’ve kind of like, I, I sort of dress to an extreme now. I’m,
I’m a nonconformist sort of, I guess you could say. (Christine)
Christine gave an example of the type of clothing she would wear out at night and
that she considered her style.
I’d probably wear, um, like a, I have like, um, the baby doll dresses, you know.
I’d wear that with, um, a pair of tights with, um, my shoes, my black shoes. Or,
um, sometimes I have, um, a pair of black boots which are like combat boots with
like a hat. Um, a have one outfit that’s, it’s a black, um, hat with a baby doll dress
that’s black. And it has, um, like a white design on it. And I wear usually like
black tights with it to go with the shoes. (Christine)
Michelle has very strong feelings about her clothing choices and her need to
construct a unique look. She seems to be personally affronted by others who dare to look
the same.

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I like a wide range.... Ah, I have dressy clothes, like dresses and. I don’t wear
skirts. I don’t like skirts. Ah, I have dresses, but I usually don’t wear them to
school because I don’t like to dress up in school. Usually it’s shorts and a t-shirt.
Sometimes a nice shirt. Ah, I wear kind of alternative clothes with Doc Martens
and, steel toed Doc Martens. The whole bit. And then I have very preppy, a
white t-shirt with little pink pinstripe shorts. I, I vary. I like to be original, I
guess. And so I vary ah, extremely between the two styles.... I don’t, I don’t
like to be like other people. It’s not, that’s why it bothers me a lot of times with
the department stores (referring to mass produced clothing that is similar in style
and everybody is wearing). So, yeah I like to, I don’t like to see other people with
the same outfit. It annoys me.
Similar to Christine and Michelle, Shannon dictates her own fashion and style.
She seems to relish her individuality and the self that she has created.
I’ve always been one to not like the style that everybody is wearing.... Like, if
everybody’s wearing, like for awhile The Limited, certain little shirts or whatever
everybody’s wearing it. I won’t want to wear it because I don’t like to look like
everybody else.... I like to be different. I don’t want to be, to look like
everyone else. Because, I don’t want, I mean, I want to be my individual self.
Everybody kind of knows that. Because, they’re like, you know, she is a little
weird. Either that or I just want to be comfortable and happy and not try to be in
and all that stuff.
Later in this segment of the interview, Shannon gave an example of how she
expresses her individual self.
But then I’ve got like, back in high school when it wasn’t in to wear like, the real,
the big black boots that were, I mean, I wore them. I had, I bought a pair just to
be weird. You know, and dress up and wear really cool. You know, it looked
cool, but everybody’s like she’s weird. I had to wear my weird boots. And then,
I, I’ve had like, to church I have this pair of weird shoes that everybody talks
about. That’s funny. They’re like those big platform type shoes. You know, and
you wear your nice church dress and then a pair of funky platform shoes. They
look cool. It makes you look like more, it’s kind of the stuff that the fashion
models wear or whatever. And most people are afraid to wear it because it looks
different and most people don’t like to look different. So, I have a couple of pairs
of shoes that make my outfits look different. (Shannon)
Informants seemed to enjoy the reaction they would get from others regarding
their unique attire as they exhibited their social selves.

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I just like to look, wear something different.... I just, wearing something that
they’d say, you need to bag that. It makes me happy when people say, gosh,
that’s a little off there, Jen. (Jen)
Yeah, because, because then they know it’s me. Everybody thinks of me as an
individual. Nobody has ever thought of me as following the crowd. And I’m
glad because I don’t want, you know, when I see something like, when I’m
walking through and I see something that I think is cool I’m going to buy it
because I like it. Not, I’m not going to buy it so that people look at me funny, you
know. I really like the stuff that I see. I think it looks really neat so I’ll buy it.
And I don’t care if, if they don’t like it or whatever. And, and just because of that
reason I usually do get comments. You know, like people, you know, I can tell
that they’re like, look at you in your funny boots.... But they just, they always
laugh at me. There goes Shannon in her funny shoes. (Shannon)
Part of the allure of shopping for the recreational shopper is the opportunity to
find clothing that no one else has. Their need for uniqueness drives recreational shoppers
from traditional stores, i.e., department and specialty clothing stores, in shopping malls to
factory outlet stores, off-price stores, thrift stores, consignment shops, and flea markets,
not only to search for a bargain, but also to find their holy grail.
In this excerpt, Jennifer recalls when she found her Tommy Hilfiger red, white,
and blue striped rugby, which is one of her favorite things, at TJ Maxx.
Especially at discount stores, there’s always like, you know, this is going to sound
so stupid, like a little treasure that, you know, will mean so much to you and
somebody else might find it. Like that rugby was, I keep on going back to the
rugby. That was like the only rugby on the rack and it was just like the best thing
in there. And I felt so good because I got the last one or the only one, or
whatever. So um, I just feel like, if I’ve gotten a good price on something that
there’s only one of, or something, I feel like, hey, I got it. Nobody else did. I’m
going to be the only one wearing this. (Jennifer)
Michelle, who is bothered by the similarity of clothing in department stores,
enjoys going to thrift stores to find her unique items.
Ah, sometimes it’s kind of an adventure. You find, you find, like sometimes
department stores bother me because you’ll see three or four people with the same
outfit. And ah, so you go to a thrift store, you know. I have this little jacket from

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Paris. And that other jacket from Canada. You know, you get different things
that nobody will have because it’s an old item. And, you know, it could be from
some, somewhere totally different. And sometimes you find, I found a, I have a
leather suede jacket and it comes down to here. Very comfortable. I got it for 7
bucks. Yeah, it was hidden. And, and ah, I’m very happy with it. And so, just
once in awhile you find those. (Michelle)
To satisfy her thirst to be unique, every summer, Jen makes an annual trek from
Florida to the New York metropolitan area and goes on a week long shopping
“extrvaganza.” She hunts for bargains and buried treasures in a variety of outlet, off-
price, and thrift stores.
Because I guess I, I a, I like to have things that no one else around here (Orlando)
has. So, you go, you know, you go somewhere else (New York/New Jersey).
Just to be unique, I suppose. And just to have different things. I mean, some
stores you’re going to just bump into, everyone has, like Bass and stuff. But, but
other than that these, these places have a, have the lines before the lines come out.
... Like I, I like to buy Espirit. It’s a brand that I like to buy. I like that a lot.
And a, when I, the, Little Marcie’s, the name of the store that I go to. Is a, takes
the lines that don’t get sold very much at the big department stores. And I just
purchase those. That line. So no one really sees what I’ve got.
In the following excerpt, Jen recounts a scene from her last “conquest” when she
was with her roommate from school.
Well, I went and a, we went to a, like I said we went to upstate New York. And
picked up these a, we went to Anne Taylor’s Outlet. And we picked up this, I
thought, I thought it was a great pair of bell bottoms. And my roommate just
totally despised them and rag and rag and rag rag rag. And then I bought a, we
got a plaid short knit top and a pair of like brown clogs. And she about died. She
didn’t think that I’d wear this. And, and um, I’ve been wearing it. And, and a,
she looks the other way out of embarrassment because she doesn’t do things like
that. I mean she’s more like the flowery kind of pastel kind of thing. And, and I
like to switch my clothing around. I like to do different things. I don’t know. I
guess that’s what you’d call different, unique. I haven’t seen anybody wearing
like that here.
Even for those who prefer to shop at department stores, there is a desire to be
unique and concern for dressing like the rest of the crowd.

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I like the uniqueness of an outfit. I like to see just one or two or three on the rack.
You know, if I see a rack full of them, it’s like, oh, no. Unless, I know that other
people, I hate to see people in my, my peers or my age group or something,
wearing the same things that I’m wearing. You know, it’s just like, ugh, man.
You know, if, if Karen’s wearing the same thing that I’m wearing then what I’m
wearing isn’t too special. You know what I mean? ... But if someone or, you
know, the type of people that I’m in contact with every day. If they’re going to
have on the same outfit then I usually won’t buy it. Or if I see like a whole rack
and it’s nothing but that one outfit, I’m like, no way. You know, I, I don’t buy it.
(Cametra)
Even if recreational shoppers buy clothing that is readily available to the masses,
they will wear it in a different way to create their own look and identity.
I try and not to be dressed normal. I like to wear what other people are wearing,
but not how they’re wearing it. Like I’ll wear the, whatever’s in now. But I may
wear a hat with it. Or I might wear like different shoes with it. Or, I try to do
something different even if it’s just one little thing. So, I will never take, buy
something in a store and wear it, just what they had hanging up there. And I
never do that, you know. Nah. I always try to put something else.... Even if it’s
just a scrungie for my hair. (LeTonya)
Recreational shoppers who have a need for uniqueness seem to be similar to two
types of shoppers identified in previous research, i.e., individualistic shoppers (Chicago
Tribune 1955) and fashion conscious shoppers (Tatzel 1982). As discussed in Chapter 2,
individualistic shoppers liked to express themselves in shopping by finding unusual and
individualistic merchandise, while fashion conscious shoppers were very interested in
fashion and had innovative and stylish tastes. The finding that recreational shoppers have
a need for uniqueness supports Tatzel’s (1982) proposition that fashion conscious
shoppers, who had innovative and stylish tastes, existed in the marketplace and that they
were similar to recreational shoppers.
The need for uniqueness theme also gives credence to Bloch’s (1986) proposal
that product enthusiasts’ high level of involvement in a product category satisfied their

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need for uniqueness. In the present research, the informants who were considered to be
recreational shopping enthusiasts, due to their stated shopping identity, all expressed their
need for uniqueness during their interviews, suggesting that a need for uniqueness
influences the development and maintenance of a recreational shopper identity.
For recreational shopping enthusiasts, as well as recreational shoppers in general,
shopping is the means through which their need for uniqueness is satisfied. This suggests
that the extent of their involvement in shopping as a leisure pursuit along with the
strength of their recreational shopper identity will be influenced by the intensity of their
need for uniqueness.
Creativity
Related to the theme of uniqueness is the desire that recreational shoppers have to
be creative while shopping for clothing. Being creative while shopping is characteristic
of individualistic shoppers tChicago Tribune 1955). Recreational shoppers can express
their creativity by putting outfits together and mixing and matching items.
Um, I have this outfit I just bought. I considered it. It’s just a, a white linen top
with little shorts with little white things on it. I got it at Express.... I like that
it’s white because I figure it’s a nice, ah, mix and match thing. You know, it’s
one of those basic things that everyone should have. ... And basically I did that
all on my own. I pieced it together in different areas. It wasn’t like up on the
wall. And, oh, isn’t that cute. That was different. (Michelle)
Informants expressed a strong preference for putting their own outfits together
while shopping, in addition to buying items to go with clothing that they already owned,
instead of buying an outfit that the store had displayed.
Because I really enjoy just looking around, pick up maybe about 15 items and
wind up getting two. That’s just the, um, the fun of matching things and picking
things out and putting together outfits.... Yeah. I mean, that’s definitely part of
shopping. I kind of feel guilty when I only get, like just two shirts and not get a

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complete outfit. Because, that’s one thing I really, you know, enjoy doing, is
putting things together and a making a complete outfit. (Jennifer)
Yeah, I usually do because I usually don’t like what the store puts together. Um,
like mannequins, I rarely look at a mannequin. You know, unless, I’ve seen like,
a pair of pants. I’m like, ooh, that’s a nice pair of pants, you know. I don’t like
that whole ensemble that they have there. But, you know, I’ll go in the store and
I’ll get the pants. And I’ll put them with something else. And I’ll keep going....
You know, that, that kind of gets me away from having the same kind of things
that other people have. You know, because even though me and, da, I don’t
know, Jade might have the same pair of pants. I have a different shirt, you know.
You know, I wear it with these shoes. So, it’s, it’s a completely different type
outfit on me then it would be on her. (Cametra)
Um, recently though, um, some friends and I, we’ve gotten together and we kind
of like going to thrift stores. And you’re able to find, like some barely used
clothes really cheap, if you like looking around. And it’s kind of fun to do that
because, you know, it’s not like. A lot of stores when you go in they have the
whole outfit set up and you’re just, you know, just take it off the rack and buy it.
And I like, I think it’s, it’s a lot funner to go ahead and pick a piece and then try to
find something to match with it.... It’s kind of like creative to come up with
something different than the other person. (Christine)
Being creative while shopping is not only enjoyable and fulfilling for recreational
shoppers, but it also enables them to construct and sustain their individual selves on their
own. In this service, shopping for clothing makes it possible for recreational shoppers to
manage and experiment with their possible selves.
As seen in the next set of excerpts, Mary, LeTonya, and Cametra are already
considering future role transitions that they will undergo and the positive implications
their new roles will have for shopping.
There’s some nice shops that have some real nice clothes for, you know, the
business look. When, you know, when, like in the future when I’m going to
work. Because that’s, that’s one thing I look forward to, you know, having a job
in the future because I’m going to be able to buy good quality clothes and I’m
going to look professional. I like that. (Mary)
I have this thing. I want to work in an office because I have this thing. I just want
to wear suits. I just love nice tailored suits. Um, I think clothing, I, people, I

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don’t know, but people will probably jump on me. But I think clothing do make
the person. I think people do judge you by what you wear. ... Last year, I used to
like the, um, the, like cool hip stores. Like, 579 and, um, what’s that other store?
Body Shop. And now it’s like the clothes are too young for me. I think what it is,
is that I’m about ready to graduate and I’m thinking, you know, I don’t need
those, I don’t really need those little shorts with the fringes onto them. I need
like, you know, nice slacks. So, I, so now I’m like into like the, the, you know,
the stores like department stores, I guess you call them. Like Burdines or Sears
or, um. (LeTonya)
Now I’m getting into, like a career kind of mode. I see that Dillard’s has a lot of
things that I need. The Limited too. I saw a lot at The Limited. And they have a
lot of casual separates that you can combine. Like different things. So, I’m going
to be a teacher so I have to have, you know, nice clothes for every day. So, I need
things that can, kind of be combined and thrown together and make a good style.
(Cametra)
By mixing and matching, recreational shoppers can also stretch the life of
individual clothing items and realize greater value from their purchases.
But um, a lot of times I, you know, it gives me pleasure to, um, you know, mix
and match and coordinate different, different looks and stuff like that. Yeah.
Because it, it makes me feel as though, you know, I went out and bought a new
outfit, but it’s something that I already had. I just, you know, combined it in a
different way. (Lecresia)
I don’t like wearing whatever they have.... I want to buy something that I can
wear with other things. Like, I want to buy a shirt and a pair of pants that go
together, but a shirt that will go with a pair of jeans I have at home and a pair of
pants that will go with shirts that I already have at home. Whereas if you just buy
something that just goes together that limits you, you can’t wear it with other
things.... And I have, you know, shirts and pants and jeans or whatever. And I
can mix them all. And I mean, I have so much more varied clothes. I mean, I
wear so many different things all the time. I’d rather have more that’s cheaper
and more, I don’t know. Get more for your money I think, if you can mix and
match. (Shannon)
In addition to browsing in stores, Shannon regularly looks through clothing
catalogs and fashion magazines for new ideas for designing herself.
Another thing I look at a lot is hairstyles when I’m looking through a magazine.
Just because I have, I change my hair like every couple of months, you know.
Different colors, you know. Different everything. So I like to look at, I just like

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to look at every, the way everybody’s wearing different things. And try, I, I
guess, I guess I try to pull different things together to get my own look. So that I
never look like anyone, but yet I like to look at every, all the stuff and see how it
looks. And if I see something and I like the way it looks I think, that’s what I
want, you know. I like the way it made, it made her look, you know. It made her
look taller. I like that. You know, and then I’ll be looking for something like
that. I get ideas. I guess I’m kind of creative. I like to pull things together and
make my own look. (Shannon)
Some informants also discussed going shopping with their friends to help them
put outfits together. They enjoyed being personal shoppers and fashion consultants for
those not sure of themselves when shopping for clothing.
Like, I had a friend that I went, I go with whenever he needs to buy clothes. He
buys clothes, like two or three times a year. And ever, like ever since I’ve been
here at college we’ve been really good friends. And he calls me up, I need to buy
some clothes. Come help me pick some stuff out. Because I, he never knows.
So, I always tell him, you know, what will look good and stuff. And, you know, I
like to put clothes together. And, you know, it, if someone has money to spend
I’ll go help him spend it, you know. Help him pick stuff out. (Mary)
Yeah, because most people I think, I mean, all of my friends they don’t like to
shop by themselves. So they’ll call me up, hey come with me. You know, I have
to find a pair of shoes. And they need my opinion. You know, and they need me
to help. Do these look all right? Do these look all right? A lot of my friends
aren’t secure enough to, you know, to think, I think it looks good so I’ll wear it.
They want to hear another person’s, say hey, those look great on you.... But
then I have like another friend, a friend of mine Kelly. She won’t go shopping
without me because she, she gets so stupid. She doesn’t know what goes
together. And she likes the way I dress. But she doesn’t know how to put things
together.... So a lot of times she’ll want me to go with her and she’ll be like, ok,
help me Shannon. (Shannon)
The relationship between shopping, creativity, and possible selves touched on
earlier in this section was also seen when informants were shopping for nonclothing
products while undergoing a role transition.
Um, right now I’m really into decorating our house. Like the big thing now. We
had another guy that came in and gave us a price on the reupholstering the two
sofas. Um, we buy the fabric and he told us how much to buy. So now that’s my
next big, I’m going to, um, go out and buy the fabric for that.... But, in the

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process of doing some, the house that we’re buying. We’re already in the house
right now and we’re buying it from the builder and there are some renovations
that they’re doing. They’re putting in a pool. And they converted our garage into
a finished room. And they’re building a, a built in grill. And so I’ve gotten, been
able to pick out the tile, the colors for everything. (Jean)
Um, for, for some reason, I guess, I’m getting ready to get my own place. So, I
love going into like house, house stores. Like, um, like kitchen knick knacks or
living room knick knacks. Um, for example, like Pier One, or, um, Lechters, or,
um, there’s a new store. I forgot the name of it, in the, um, Florida, in the Fashion
Square Mall. Um, I, I kind of like looking at that stuff because, because I know
I’m going to be able to some day finally move into an apartment. And then
design it myself. So I like doing that. (Christine)
And it’s almost like you take an old place and refurbish it. Something new.
When I bought, um, my living room set (after moving into her apartment) I
already had a dining room set. And when I saw this other dining room set with
the China cabinet to match, I said, that will look really nice and then everything
will match. Well, I ended up buying the China cabinet and, and a new dining
room set. Because then I sold the other one to someone else. I like that. A clean
and fresh look, you know. Everything matches.... But when you set up your
house or apartment it’s a reflection of the inner person. This is what I am. This is
what I represent. So, it has to be just so. (Sabrina)
When I first came up to college it was a lot of things. I had a lot of things, you
know, of my own. But there were a lot of things that I needed to buy on my, on
my own too. So, um, and then these things will also come in handy. You know,
when I get my own apartment.... Um, like, well, the last time I was in Lechters,
for an example, I bought a little, um, bookshelf kind of thing. It, it look, they look
like crates, but they aren’t. They stack. They have little holes and they stack on
top of one another. It’s something to put my books in. And, um, I use it, it’s like
a bedside, a night stand for when I’m in the dorm. And, um, um, let’s see. What
else? Like, um, I wanted to, I wanted to decorate my room. To like put, the, the
desk, the study desk in the dorms are awful. The color is like this dull ugly color.
And I wanted to make it a little brighter because the, the, um, the comforter set
that I had bought for my bed was like white with a lot of little pink flowers and
stuff. And so, I, I bought, like, um, it was, like shelving paper, but I put on my,
on my desk. And I like wallpapered my little desk. Into a, a thing that, a color, a
pattern that blended in with my, with my, um. So, just different stuff like that.
Pictures and, um, different little things like that. (Lecresia)
Shopping for and purchasing symbolic and self-expressive products, such as
clothing and household furnishings and accessories, “are important for successful role

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transitions since they aid in the exploration, establishment, and ongoing support of new
roles and identities” (Schouten 1991, p. 422). Drawing on the research by Schouten
(1991) on the relationship among role transitions, control and efficacy, and identity play
in the consumption of aesthetic plastic surgery suggests that recreational shoppers desire
to express their creativity while shopping, together with their ability to fulfill their need
for uniqueness by shopping for clothing and other symbolic, self-expressive products
suggest that shopping provides the means by which recreational shoppers can exert and
maintain control over their lives.
Product Attachment
In support of the survey results that indicated that recreational shoppers were
more clothing-focused than nonrecreational shoppers were, the qualitative data provided
evidence that recreational shoppers not only had a high level of interest in the clothing
they bought, but also became strongly attached to their clothing purchases as well.
Comments by informants suggested that they could become attached to clothing before as
well as after buying an item. The high level of interest and strong product attachment
was manifested in seven different ways in the interview data: 1) continually thinking
about an item before it was purchased even when not in a store, 2) discovering clothing in
a store, 3) falling in love with items while shopping, 4) looking forward to wearing new
clothing and showing it to others, 5) having favorite clothing items, 6) having clothing
and accessory collections, and 6) saving clothing that was no longer being worn or had
never been worn.
The comments by some informants suggested that recreational shoppers could
become attached to clothing well before it is purchased. They might see an item either in

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a store or being worn by someone else and then become infatuated with it, continuously
thinking about the product until it is bought. One informant characterized her infatuation
with a clothing item as feeling like she was being haunted by the object. She could not
escape her obsession until she gave into her craving and purchased the desired product.
Um, and sometimes there are items that I really don’t need, but I like them so
much that I know, if I go home I’ll keep thinking about it. And I’ve done that
before where I haven’t purchased something, I’ve gone home and I keep thinking
about it. And I end up going back and getting it. So, I know that if I have that
feeling for an item to go ahead and get it because it will haunt me if I don’t....
It’s usually a piece of clothing. Um, one that I can think of in particular was a, a
jacket that was multicolored and it really wasn’t that expensive for a jacket. It
was unlined, but I thought, do I really need to spend? Ah, it, this was a few years
ago so I don’t remember. It was over 50, but I don’t think it was like 75. So it
was between 50 and 75. And, and it was, do I really need to spend that much
money for one piece of clothing that’s unlined? That you can really only wear in
the summertime. And at the time I was living in Virginia. So, you know, in the
wintertime you couldn’t wear it. Um, but I went home. I didn’t get it. I went
home and I just kept thinking about this jacket. Thinking about it. So I went on
and bought it. And then when I moved down to Florida, I went to Steinmart, they
had this skirt to match it. So it worked out really well.... So that worked out. I
wear that jacket all the time.... Um, but I just think that jacket just kept coming
in my mind and it was, I really like that jacket. And I kept seeing it and every
time, in the mornings when I would go in, pull out something to wear, man, that
jacket would look really good with this. It really would have pulled this together.
So, that’s what I mean when I say it haunts me. (Jean)
Another informant described her longing for a pair of shoes that she had seen
other people wearing.
Those, um, shoes that everyone’s wearing. Those shoes with the two buckles and
you just put your feet in. And all the kids on campus are wearing them. And I
was like, man, those look really comfortable. They’re kind of expensive though.
But then you can find them like cheaper and everything. It’s like the shoe of the
official college student. You’ve gotta have these shoes. If you don’t have these
shoes then, it’s like, these shoes like say, you know, I’m just bumming around.
But I mean like, no not really because like I’ve seen like girls, like they’re
wearing nice shorts and nice t-shirts and they’re just wearing these shoes. Just
kind of hanging out. But it’s kind of like, you know, I didn’t even have time to
put on shoes. But I didn’t want to just put on flip flops so I put on these shoes.
These are the shoes. They’re comfortable and they’re cute. They come in these

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little colors. Which you can get them in that brown that everybody wears. And
um, I was stressed out about a test or something and I kept seeing these shoes. I
was like, man, if I didn’t have to put these sneakers and these socks on. It’s hot
out here. I keep, everybody’s toes are hanging out. After I take this test and if I
do good, I’m getting these shoes. And I did. I got those shoes. (LeTonya)
Mary also gave an example of becoming attached to an item over an extended
period of time.
But one time, you know, a pair of shoes. There’s a pair of shoes that I just liked
so much. And I would look at them and think about them. It was two months.
And then finally, I decided, I was going, and I tried them on. And about two
months later I finally said, yeah, I’m going to get them.... You know, so, um, I
did that. I don’t, I don’t know how often I do it though because usually
everything is new. With clothes, things are coming out all the time. And if you
try something on and decide you’re not going to get it because you don’t really
need it. Something new is going to come out anyway. (Mary)
The three examples cited above appear to support Campbell’s (1987) contention
(later reiterated by Sherry and McGrath (1989) in their gift store ethnography) that “the
desiring mode constitutes a state of enjoyable discomfort, and wanting rather than having
is the main focus of pleasure seeking” (Campbell 1987, 86-87) in modem consumer
culture. Although the three informants did give into their desires and purchase the object
of affection, in a strange way they did seem to derive a great deal of enjoyment from their
longing, even becoming attached to the product before it was in their possession. Plus, as
Mary noted, even if she does not give in and purchase a wanted product another product
will come along to catch her fancy and be yearned for. While Sherry and McGrath
(1989) proposed that Campbell’s (1987) “modem autonomous imaginative hedonism”
was present in consumers’ search behavior in a gift store setting, the data in the present
research suggests this phenomenon can occur away from the marketplace creating tension
in one’s head.

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A second way that recreational shoppers may become strongly attached to
clothing is when they are looking through the merchandise in a store and discover the
object they have been knowingly (or perhaps unknowingly when window shopping)
searching for. This discovery process, which appears similar to the selection process
observed by Sherry and McGrath (1989) in gift stores, was reflected in informants’
descriptions of finding clothing that “grabs me” or “catches my eye,” suggesting that they
saw a reflection of themselves in a special item that was calling out to them or waiting to
be found. Informants stated that they would not buy an item unless it grabbed their
attention or caught their eye, which seems to indicate that they had to feel attached to the
product before they could leave the store with it in hand.
I won’t buy anything unless it really grabs me. You know, it has to just really
grab me and be at the right price. (Ian)
You know, if I went to the mall, there, there are times when I go and I’m looking
for something, this special outfit. I don’t buy it unless it catches my attention.
And if, you know, by looking at it on the rack it doesn’t catch my attention than
forget it, you know.... You know, it, it just, there has to be something about the
outfit that attracts me. So, there have been many times when I go to the mall and
I’ll look around and look and look and look. And nothing just actually catches
my eye, you know. So, I just leave without anything. (Cametra)
Whereas, ah, the Coral Square in Coral Springs that has a younger crowd and ah,
the Burdines here has a larger, they just have a larger Juniors section with a better
variety. I tend to find better things because usually I, I find something. You
know, something grabs my eye.... Ah, well usually I go around the outside of
the store first and ah, I just look at the racks and if a certain pattern catches my
eye.... It’s just, the, the color of the clothes usually catches my eye first before
the style. Whereas, sometimes it’s the style, but ah, you know, I, it can be a really
nice style, but if the colors are ugly, you know, it doesn’t mean anything.
(Michelle)
See with clothing, I feel like I’ve got to look through everything because I might
miss something that, that will be my favorite thing.... Especially at discount
stores, there’s always like, you know, like a little treasure that, you know, will
mean so much to you and somebody else might find it. (Jennifer)

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Related to the previous notion of discovering a special find, the third means of
product attachment, described by informants, was falling in love with clothing that they
eventually bought while they were in a store. Informants’ comments showed strong
affection for items that were especially attractive, unique, very good deals, or were
exactly what they were looking for. This expression of love personalizes the item,
perhaps enabling recreational shoppers to free the product from the mundane impersonal
setting of the store to prepare it for incorporation into the self. This process seems akin to
what Belk et al. (1989) described as the sacralization of profane objects through ritual.
I, I usually try to get the sale items. Ah, but if I find something that I really like
I’m, I’m more than willing to pay a stupid astronomical fee for it. Like I, I was in
Express and there was this little, I guess it was kind of a tight, they call it a tricod.
It had little lace on it. And it had little flowers on it. And ah, it was full price. I
guess it was like $30, 30 or $40 or something. But it, I just loved it and it was
sold, you know. (Michelle)
Maybe a month and a half ago that I bought the dress. It was on a Saturday
afternoon. And I just decided to go to the mall just to check. And there’s, my
favorite store is Stuart’s. It’s a dress shop. And I happened to be looking on the,
um, on the clearance racks. And I saw this dress. It was really pretty. And it was
like the style that I had in mind that I wanted to wear. And it had been marked
down from like $60 to $30. So, I was like, it was the only one left. It was the
only one in my size. And everything, so, I got really excited about that. And, um,
let’s see. Then I tried the dress on and then I bought it that same day. And so, I
love that dress now. (Lecresia)
Um, that is just basically like the brown suit that I found. I saw it and when I saw
it on the hanger I loved it. You know, I thought this is exactly, the material was
kind of like the potato sack material. And it was that color brown. But I mean,
granted it wasn’t the itchy stuff. Um, and I love it. I loved the color. I loved the
way it was earthy. And it looked soft. The material was real thin. So, it didn’t
look like it was stiff. And I thought this is really really nice, you know. (Ian)
Well, when I was in Jacksonville, at this store called The Body Shop, I bought
this, um. I’m into a lot of beiges and browns, stuff like, and blacks. Those are
like neutral that I really feel comfortable in. There was this pair of shorts that
looked like it was a skirt in the front. So, if you looked at it from the back it
looked like shorts. But it buttoned over. Um, and it looked like a skirt in the

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front. And I, I saw somebody else wear it once and I just fell in love with it. And
a, it didn’t matter to me how much it was because I knew a lot of people at school
didn’t have it. Tried it on because it was shorts. And a, loved it.... But I knew I
had to get it. Because it was close to my style, but something different that
nobody had. (Jennifer)
And I went shopping with my boyfriend. He needed new clothes for work. And I
hadn’t planned on buying anything. I just was going to go along with him. Help
him pick out clothes.... Trying to help him pick things out. I saw a shirt and it
really struck me because it was, you know, the World Cup’s coming up. It was,
you know, you know, going to be there and it was a shirt with flags all over it. It
was really, you know, a great shirt. And we both loved it. And I just thought of
my Dad because he used to play soccer. And I was like, oh, my Dad would love
this. I’m going to get him one. I’m like, no. I want it, you know. I was just, you
know, because I, you know, when I see something I really like I, and it was a
good quality. And it was a good price. So, that was, you know, why I had, I
wanted to buy it. And the fact that we both had liked it. My boyfriend and I.
And, you know, I knew, I knew it was worth it. (Mary)
The bonding between consumer and object described above has also been
observed in gift stores as consumers shopped for others (Sherry and McGrath 1989).
However, unlike in Sherry and McGrath’s research where consumers’ expressions of love
and attachment for a product were couched in a dyadic relationship between giver and
receiver, in the present study recreational shoppers were giving the product of affection to
themselves. Therefore, since the product will remain in one’s possession and care, the
ensuing love and attachment between consumer and product may be at a deeper and more
meaningful level than that which occurs in a gift-giving context.
The love bond that may develop between a recreational shopper and her new
clothing purchase is further illustrated in the comments by some informants that they
could not wait to wear their new clothing and show it off to others. Taken together, the
public display and social sanction of the new purchase make up the fourth means of
achieving product attachment. Informants’ comments indicated that they were not only

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proud of their purchase and how it made them look and feel, but also they wanted
everyone else to know about their clothing find so that they would be complimented on
their purchase and new appearance. In addition to bolstering their self-esteem, the
positive comments recreational shoppers received may serve to intensify the consumer¬
clothing bond.
But, if I got a really good deal and I had the money to spend. And it looks good
and I’m happy. You know, then I feel great. Because then, you know, you get to
wear it the next day or something.... Just because it does make you feel good, to
look good. It makes your image. You know, you feel happy.... I think
everybody wears it, everything they buy they411 wear like, it immediately. Just
because you are so excited and you’re happy. I mean, I don’t see how you can
buy something and just sit it in the closet. That was that point that you bought it.
You want to wear it. You want to show it off. (Shannon)
So, I, I don’t know. I a, I think it’s, I think it’s actually kind of fun.... It makes
me happy.... Ah, coming back to school and, and wearing your clothes. And
having people say, oh, that, that looks kind of cute. Where you’d get that? ...
Just, just makes you feel good that you found something that you like and it looks
good on you. And, and you got a positive response. I guess, it makes me feel
good. (Jen)
But, when I get a new outfit I just feel like, not quote unquote, a new person, but
well, kind of. You present yourself in a new way that nobody’s seen you before.
So I really feel good when I wear a new outfit.... I showed everybody at, in
Jacksonville that I, you know, what I bought (pair of shorts). They were like, oh
my gosh, those are so neat. Went back to school. Wore them all the time. Got
the big, you know, the most compliments on it because nobody else had them....
Um, actually a lot of people asked where, where’d I get it, where can they get it.
And a, I thought that was really neat. (Jennifer)
The idea of having something on you makes you feel good. Especially, if you go
get your hair done too. And everything is new from head to toe, including your
purse, pantyhose, shoes. Everything. Even earrings. When I shop I like to go all
the way. So then someone says, oh, Sabrina, that looks really sharp. And you
look in the mirror and you feel like you look sharp too.... Elated. I feel good
inside and out. It’s, it’s a hard, it’s hard to describe the feeling. You feel that
when you walk down the street, yes, I know they’re looking at me because I look
sharp. That’s the way you feel. (Sabrina)

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In light of the preceding excerpts, the process of displaying new clothing as well
as a new self to the public for physical and emotional self-enhancement, in addition to
social adulation and confirmation, may be a ritual for some recreational shoppers that
transforms their new clothing symbolically, infusing it with sacred properties (Belk et al.
1989).
The fifth way that a strong consumer-clothing attachment occurred was by having
favorite clothing items. Comments by informants, who had favorite clothing items,
indicated that these items are held with high regard and have become part of the
informant’s self. The clothing is worn regularly, feels comfortable (i.e., part of the self)
and in the eyes of informants can not be replaced.
But if I, when I’m at home on Saturdays, I have a pair of, um, the bikers shorts
and umbros over that and a t-shirt. And that’s the first thing I put on as soon as,
you know, in the mornings to go out and get the newspaper or something. Or just,
you can mill around the house, just.... It’s like, ok, it’s very comfortable. And
when I go home from work it’s what I, I put that on. It’s very comfortable.
(Jean)
So, like right now the jeans that I have right now, you know. If I would like, like
I would love to get another pair of jeans just like them because I love the way
they fit me, you know. But I know I would never find them. Even if I went right
back to the store. To the same aisle. To the same, you know, little shelf that they
were in. There would be a different pair of jeans. Because, you know, maybe
mine would be loose fitting and these would be straight leg.... But I would love
to get another pair of jeans. But I know that my chances of finding them are next
to nothing. (Ian)
Um, my Gap clothes I really like. And I wouldn’t let other people borrow them
just because I’m scared that. I’ve already had like clothes ruined by other people
and I don’t want them to touch them. But just like, um, my Tommy Hilfiger red
white and blue striped rugby. It’s one of my favorite things. It’s a extra large. I
got it at TJ Maxx. And I have to roll the sleeves up, but I just. It’s my favorite
thing in my wardrobe. It’s something that I got for $36 when it was supposed to
be 80. That’s probably why it’s one of my favorite things. (Jennifer)

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I would say that I wear everyday (shoes), I’ve got, like your standard, maybe five
pair. You know, your brown, your black, your white, a red, um, and a pump for
dressy. So, but I wear them all the time. So, and they usually last a long time for
me. I take really good care of them. So I can go 10 years with a pair of shoes.
It’s hard to part with them because they’re comfortable. And they’ve gone out,
they don’t make them anymore. I guess the moral is to find more than one pair of
the same kind at the same time. Who can afford that? (Pat)
In addition to having strong affection for particular clothing items and
accessories, informants also spoke enthusiastically about large interrelated sets of favored
clothing and other fashion items (e.g., shoes, hats, purses, jewelry, and hair accessories)
that they owned. These comments revealed a sixth way to form strong product
attachments, treating sets of clothing or other fashion items as a collection.
Three informants specifically indicated without prompting that they had a
clothing collection.
And I’m basically a pack rat.... Um, I can never throw anything anyway. And I
like to accumulate, accumulate a lot of junk. And a, you know, something new.
Like it’s a little kind of collection. Sort of like a stamp collection or something.
And I like to hold onto my clothing. I save my old clothing. So, I mean, I have
like a clothing collection too. (Christine)
I, I usually try to get the sale items. Ah, but if I find something that I really like
I’m kind of, uh, well, yeah, I’d like to add that to my clothes collection, but do I
really need it. I’ll, you know, if it goes on sale, then I’ll get it then.... Oh, yeah.
I have a good amount. I have a good amount of clothes. A lot of the stuff I never
wear and I even go thrift store shopping. And ah, um, get a few things there. I
have a nice jacket, brown neutral colored thing that I wear with my other neutral
colored clothes. Ah, yeah, I, I think, I, I think I do. Yeah, I think of it as a
collection and you add on to it. And you can mix and match easier that way. And
you, you have more clothes to choose from, you know. More groups. You can
vary more. (Michelle)
I mean, I guess it’s because I have so many clothes and I don’t collect things, but
I guess, I mean, now that I think, I guess my clothing is like a collection. I just
like always wearing something different out and being in style and having
somebody say, oh, my gosh, where did you get that. That’s so nice. Oh, I just got
it the other day.... My style changes all the time. My closet is the most mixed
you’ve ever seen. Um, I enjoy wearing, um, Polo type shirts and loafers a lot and

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um. But like on school when you don’t, at school when you don’t feel like
dressing up, you just wear t-shirts and umbros and tennis shoes and flip flops.
And then I’ve got when I go out, you know, the ruffled little shirts which I tend
not to wear much anymore, even though I still buy.... Um, like midriffs that I
bought like last semester.... But um, dresses, I have a lot of dresses. (Jennifer)
Collections have the capacity to become special possessions and may even
become sacred (Belk et al. 1989) when consumers view them as extensions of the self.
The time and energy recreational shoppers devote to finding the appropriate clothing item
to fit into their collection is an investment of the self and the subsequent wearing and
displaying of items from the collection serve as expressions of the self.
Some informants’ collections are defined by color and design as in the case of
Mary and Michelle who are known for wearing clothing with a flower design.
Anything that I, you know, just the fact, you know, a pattern, the flower patterns,
I love. They have so many different flower patterns. And the majority of my
clothes have flower patterns. And if something has flowers on it that’s my
favorite thing to shop for because, you know, they don’t always have the same
thing on.... Well, like, everyone classifies my clothing, you know. I’ve got, you
know, I, I wear cute outfits and I wear nice outfits. And, you know, like, I like the
rayons and the silks. And I like them in flower prints. And that’s my style....
And when I go with my girlfriends they, every, we all have like. We all don’t
dress the same. But yet, we can say, gosh that looks like so and so. Or, you
know, if it’s like a flower pattern. It’s bright. They’ll say that looks like you.
You know, that would look good on you. (Mary)
I have a million different blouses, dresses black with flowers on it. I have so
many outfits like that. People are like, they pick up on that quick. Oh, you like a
black background with flowers on it. Yeah, I guess so. I have so many dresses
and blouses like that. (Michelle)
The most popular type of collection that informants discussed was a shoe
collection. Most informants had a large number of shoes and seemed to be running out of
closet space to keep them. In addition, they really liked shoes and enjoyed shopping for
them. Shoes are very popular to collect since there are so many different types of shoes

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in a wide variety of styles and colors. Moreover, shoes can change the look of an outfit
and the availability of “unusual” shoes satisfied recreational shoppers need for
uniqueness.
I like shoes.... I like unusual shoes. So I should qualify that. Unusual shoes
and comfortable shoes. It’s another expression of yourself. ... I don’t have as
many as Marcos. What’s her name? Not quite that many.... Well, not that, um,
I’ve got some that are sort of a gray color flat and they have pink triangles of
leather on them. So it would be, so it would, it’s sort of being like dots on your
shoes. You’ve got triangles and then in the front of the shoe there is a wedge of
the pink triangle. And they, um, have holes on the side. So you can lace them up,
if want, up your legs or wrap them around your ankles. Or take the lacing out.
Those kinds of shoes. Sixties shoes.... And it never fails that when we go
shopping for my husband’s shoes, we come back with shoes for me instead of
him. Because they have such a good sale on shoes that it’s crazy not to get them
when they’re on sale. (Pat)
And I like shoes. So, I go in all the shoe stores. That’s just me.... I, I don’t
know. I have a million pairs of shoes. I don’t know why I like shoes so much. I
like shoes.... And shoes, I guess, it can make, it can change a whole outfit....
But, I do have a whole lot of shoes... . Well, I wear tennis shoes most of the
time. But then I’ve got like, back in high school when it wasn’t in to wear like,
the real, the big black boots that were, I mean, I wore them. I had, I bought a pair
just to be weird. You know, and dress up and wear really cool. You know, it
looked cool, but everybody’s like she’s weird. I had to wear my weird boots.
And then, I, I’ve had like, to church I have this pair of weird shoes that everybody
talks about. That’s funny. They’re like those big platform type shoes. You
know, and you wear your nice church dress and then a pair of funky platform
shoes. They look cool. It makes you look like more, it’s kind of the stuff that the
fashion models wear or whatever.... So, I have a couple of pairs of shoes that
make my outfits look different. (Shannon)
I like shoes. Um. It makes your feet look different.... Yes. I a, I guess that’s
kind of inherited. You know, my Mom’s the same way. She’s the same. She a,
her closets are crazy. We could never live together. No room for closet space.
Here, in school. Gosh. Um, 30, 35 pairs. At home, you know, there’s more too.
But those are just pairs that I have to use when I’m home. Sandals. That kind of
thing. I live on the beach. ... When you’re at the mall you’ll just kind of make a
stop at, you know, Kool Hahn or whoever’s there. You know, Bass or. So, I
guess, anytime I go for clothes. And if I pick up something, I’ve gotta find a pair
of shoes to match. (Jen)
Similar to Jen, Ian felt her mother had influenced her interest in shoes.

256
I think I enjoy shopping for shoes the most. I love shoes.... Um, but me and my
Mom, we love shoes. I think we have shoes from everywhere we’ve ever gone.
You know, I have them from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela. I
have them from all over. Um, I don’t know why I’m so crazy about shoes. I
think probably it’s part of my Mom. You know, my Mom has more high heel
shoes because she dresses up more being a pastor’s wife.... Um, she has a closet
full of shoes. And I have basically, like this huge drawer full of shoes. I, I could
never take all my shoes anywhere because it’s just too much.... Um, me, I have
a lot of sandals, a lot of brown flats. Um, a couple of pairs of tennis shoes. But I,
I love shopping. I love shoes stores. I love shoe stores.... And shoes you could
just go crazy. There’s so many things that shoes could be. Um, and I have my,
my times where I like, like summer is only sandals. Very rarely do I wear
anything that my toes don’t show. Um, sandals are comfortable for me.... Um,
I don’t wear heels. Very, only like for formáis do I wear heels. And then, even
then it’s just a real tiny little heel. Um, I love flats. I love, um, right now the
sandals that are in are the brown sandals and they have straps, straps going
everywhere. And I love them. I just think those are so cute. I don’t, I don’t
know why I’m so crazy about shoes. I, everybody asks me, why are you so crazy
about shoes? I have no clue. I just know that I go into a shoe store and I could
just go nuts. (Ian)
Sabrina also liked shoes more than clothes and similar to Ian was not able to
explain her strong affection for them.
I have two closets with shoes on the floor and boxes on the shelf. I like shoes
more than clothes. And I don’t know why. I just do. And maybe because, I wear
a size 10. So, if you find a nice shoe that’s, that’s pretty reasonable, where you
feel like you want to go the extra mile for it, you’ll buy it. And I keep the
everyday shoes for work in the bottom. The quality shoes in a box on the shelf...
. Mmmm. I like the swing back. I like the tight, like the shoes, they have tiny
straps, you know. A little bit more design, bows. And the bows they can, you
know, take them off or they could be permanent. Um, two and a half to three inch
heels. That’s about it. And most of my shoes seem to have a consistence in the
style. (Sabrina)
The next two excerpts suggest that some informants had lost control of their shoe
collections.
As a matter of fact, my Mom and I just got into it a few days ago about. Well, she
thinks I have a lot of shoes. But I don’t. She went in my closet and counted, you
know, pairs. The shoe boxes in my closet. And she counted 34. I don’t think
that’s a lot of shoes.... And then, she, she tells me you didn’t have that, that
many pairs of shoes when you were with me in December. So you had to have

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bought a, most of those shoes, um, over this time period. And you’re buying too
many shoes and da da da da. But I like to shop for shoes because you can never, I
feel, you can never have too many shoes.... And, um, yeah, all of them are
shoes that I actually wear, you know. Oh, yeah. A couple, a couple of them, a
couple of, like, my dress shoes. I have a pair of pumps and a pair of green pumps.
At the moment I don’t have a dress or whatever to wear with them. So, I haven’t
worn them in awhile. But I will wear them, you know, once I fix it, if I find
something that, that color to go with them. (Lecresia)
I have them stacked along the ceiling.... Yeah, my shoes. Just stacked along the
ceiling. I forget that I have them sometimes. I got to figure out what to do with,
you know, I got to figure out what to do.... I don’t really know (how many
pairs). I, I don’t know. I guess that’s, I don’t know.... They’re always pretty...
. I don’t like, like red shoes or orange shoes. I don’t like colored shoes. But like,
I don’t like, I like browns, navy blues. They’re may be imitation leather. But
they’re usually pretty cute. (LeTonya)
Consistent with the view that recreational shoppers’ clothing and fashion items
constitute a collection, informants engaged in both acquisition (shopping) and
consumption (public display) rituals that served to personify and sanctify the collection.
But um, I know I’m going to have to get a new bathing suit before school comes.
I feel like whenever a new year starts I’ve got to get brand new clothes. Like
every summer, I always get a new bathing suit. Just so when I lay out I’m not
wearing the old bathing suit.... And then of course when fall starts, I always go
out and get sweaters and sweatshirts. (Jennifer)
When informants went shopping for clothing they kept in mind the clothing that
was already in their collection and used the concept of mixing and matching while
looking for and choosing new items. Mixing and matching was used to extend the life of
existing clothing items and served as a basis for adding new clothing to a collection.
But now, I went out and bought a pair of shorts. I got one style of shorts because
I like the style, in like five different colors. And who cares. They, they’re
comfortable, they’re easy to care of, and they came in all these different colors.
So, and I like to, I like to try to get clothes that I can mix and match. Um, I really
don’t want to get an outfit that you can only wear with that one thing. (Jean)
I really like black a lot lately.... Um, I can pretty much wear it anytime of the
year. It really doesn’t, it’s a color that can be worn during the day if you want or

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at night. It’s not like you have to go into, like three different wardrobes, you
know, with the color. Or you can’t wear it in the fall. And, you know, you can
get away with it in the summer. It’s a, you know, it’s, it’s kind of like a color you
can use everyday, sort of. I also like dark greens and burgundys. And, um, I’ve
always liked the traditional white blouse. I like, I like stuff that’s more sort of
considered a classic or a basic element that you can mix and match. It’s, it’s not
just like one article of clothing that you can only wear at one certain time. And
like everybody’s going to notice what, when, you know, when you wore it.
(Christine)
Christine explained what she meant by mix and match.
Ok, um, if you get a piece in the store, like a shirt for example and a pair of pants,
you could like, um, mix and match it with your wardrobe. As in, like you could
take the, the blouse you bought and you could wear it with either pants, either
shorts, or either a skirt. It’s not like limited to like, what type of, like uniform
clothing you’re trying to get, get. (Christine)
Being able to mix and match clothing was a source of pride for recreational
shoppers.
I try to buy things that don’t just go together. That I can wear with things that I
already have. That I can build on my own wardrobe.... I want to buy something
that I can wear with other things. Like, I want to buy a shirt and a pair of pants
that go together, but a shirt that will go with a pair of jeans I have at home and a
pair of pants that will go with shirts that I already have at home. Whereas if you
just buy something that just goes together that limits you, you can’t wear it with
other things.... And I have, you know, shirts and pants and jeans or whatever.
And I can mix them all. And I mean, I have so much more varied clothes. I
mean, I wear so many different things all the time.... I’d rather have more that’s
cheaper and more, I don’t know. Get more for your money I think, if you can mix
and match. (Shannon)
But um, a lot of times I, you know, it gives me pleasure to, um, you know, mix
and match and coordinate different, different looks and stuff like that. Yeah.
Because it, it makes me feel as though, you know, I went out and bought a new
outfit, but it’s something that I already had. I just, you know, combined it in a
different way. (Lecresia)
The last way informants bared their strong attachment to clothing was by saving
clothing that was no longer being worn or had never been worn. Some informants saved
clothing that was worn out, no longer fit, out of style, had been purchased for a single

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occasion, or was not needed due to a change in lifestyle, occupation, or geographical
location. Even though this clothing was no longer worn, informants were not willing to
part with it since it had special meaning to them. If they gave or threw away this valued
clothing, they would be discarding a part of their self.
Because if I were to go out and spend, go out and buy new clothes, my husband
says, you’ve got two closets full of clothes. Well, it’s a closet and a half. Full of
clothes. This one closet by itself, you don’t ever wear anything in that closet. I,
and he’s like, I don’t know why you’re keeping sweaters that you had in Virginia.
You’re never going to wear sweaters down here in Florida. But they’re beautiful
sweaters and I just can’t give it away. ... And I was looking through, I did give
some stuff away to Goodwill, yesterday. And I took some stuff to a consignment
shop. And, but still I, I have formáis that I can’t wear anymore either. (Jean)
Um, stick them (clothing that she is not presently wearing and does not have room
for in her apartment) in the closet back home with my parents. But a, between me
and my sister, because we share a lot of clothes. We have so many clothes. Give
them a lot to our cousins when we grow out of them or when we don’t like them
anymore. But um, some of the stuff I don’t like to give away because if it was my
favorite sweater three years ago, I’ll just hold onto it instead of giving it away.
Even though I’ll never wear it again. (Jennifer)
In some instances, informants felt that there was a possibility that they might wear
or use the clothing again.
Because there’s like a piece of clothing and you’re like, ah, well, you don’t wear
it now. But then you’re like, oh, I know I’m going to need it sometime in the
future. So, I’ll just hold onto it. Or like, if you’ve outgrown something or, or if
you gained weight, you’re like, oh, well, I’ll lose the weight. So, I’ll save that
because I just might want to wear it because I really like it. Um, I had a sweater
when I was like 8 years old I saved for some reason because I just thought it was
adorable. And I thought I would save it for my kids when I have kids. I mean, I
think I finally threw that away, but it took a really long time until I finally did
that. Because it’s always that, you know, I can use it some other time so I’ll save
it. (Christine)
I have this red plaid, ah, jacket. It has little peace sign buttons. That I got at a
thrift store. It was made in Canada. And ah, I don’t think I’ve ever worn it....
It’s neat, but I, I guess I’m never in the mood to wear it. One of those things. It’s
very, it’s bright red and plaid. I just have to be in that I want to be noticed mood,
I guess. That kind of deal. (Michelle)

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And I know I’m never going to wear it, but I think just maybe. I might have
something to wear it to. That stuff I bought, like when I used to work at a store
called Contempo. I used to buy it on my discount. Well, this is cute, I’ll wear it.
It’s a little different style than I usually wear, but I might go somewhere where I
might, it might be a different, you know. But um, I figure it’s too good to give
away or pass on to somebody else, so I’ll just hold onto it. (Jennifer)
Jennifer also described how she is trying to lose weight so that she can wear the
bottom of a two-piece bathing suit. Up until now, she has only worn the top of this
swimsuit. But still, it was one of her favorite bathing suits. Holding onto the bathing suit
may remind Jennifer of her desired self and serve as a motivational device.
I, last Spring Break I bought a bathing suit. Well, I don’t know if I can succeed,
but um, I bought a bathing suit for $56 on Spring Break because we were in a
beach town. And I was like, ok, I‘ve got to get something. We were, um, I
wasn’t happy with the bathing suit I had. And a, this bathing suit I fell in love
with in the store. It was the only one that I liked, but it was very, the butt was
small, smaller than my other one. And so I said, well, I have to get this any ways.
HI just lose weight between now and summer and have this incredible bathing
suit for summer. So I bought the bathing suit. I was very excited.... And um,
took it home with me. I wound up not losing the weight this summer. Trying, but
I don’t have the, you know, the will power to do it right now. But I just wound up
wearing the top and regular shorts. Just so I could get use out of the top which I
kind of felt bad about.... I wish I could have worn the whole bathing suit. But it
was something I had to have. It’s still one of my favorite, favorite bathing suits.
But, I never wear it in front of other people completely.... But, I don’t know. I
like it. (Jennifer)
Some informants also kept items that they had bought but had never worn.
Similar to the recreational shoppers discussed above, they were afraid to discard these
items since they had invested their self into obtaining the items or hoped to wear them
someday.
I, I have one formal that I have never worn in my life. I bought it to go to a, um,
some function and ended up not going. And we have a dog that’s afraid of
thunder and lighting. And it was hanging in the closet and it was a real bad storm
and he chewed the dress. And it can’t be fixed. And Bill is like, why is this still
sitting on its hanger? Why is this? And I don’t know why it’s still hanging there.
I can’t even give it to Goodwill. I mean, nobody can do anything. I ought to just

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throw it away. Although I just can’t, I mean, I don’t know, I probably. I got it a
few years ago. I don’t remember how much I paid for it. But for a dress that
you’ve never worn in your life, you just can’t throw it away. (Jean)
I’ve still got things in my closet now that I have labels on them. That I have not
worn. Just because at the time they were on sale. And I said, I’ll wear it later.
And I never got around to it. Is that unusual? ... They looked good at the time
that I bought them. But then it just, there was no particular place to wear them.
You know what I mean? I have a tendency too to buy things that are after 5....
Um, black tie. Black tie affairs. That I don’t really frequent. Then if I look at
them. I say, oh, that looks nice. I might wear it one day. You know, like a
sequin outfit or something like that. That you’re not going to wear that often.
And those are most of the things that still have the tags on them... . Oh, yeah.
You never can tell, Michael. I might one day want to wear it. ... There’s the fear
that if I give it away or if I sell it then I’m going to need it. And I can’t get it
back. So I will keep it. And there’s one dress I’ve had in the closet for about
three or four years. I’ve never worn it. With the tags still on it. I’m just afraid to
give it away. (Sabrina)
But um, dresses, I have a lot of dresses, but I don’t ever wear them. I have a dress
that I’ve never worn from The Limited which I feel so bad about because I made
my mom buy it because everybody at school had them. And a, it was nice and I
liked it, and I thought would look good on me after I dropped like five pounds. I
didn’t drop five pounds. Didn’t look good on me. Thought I’d look good with a
necklace, so I bought a necklace to go with it. Not quite my style, but I kept it. I
still have it. I figure, I’ll do something with it. Sometime. (Jennifer)
Although the last two excerpts appear symptomatic of compulsive buying
behavior (O’Guinn and Faber 1989), especially given the tendency that Sabrina and
Jennifer had to go mood shopping, the fact that they saved their unworn clothing seems to
indicate that they are attached to these items even though they have not been worn. This
purposeful saving of clothing based on the rationalization that it could be needed in the
future seems to differentiate Sabrina and Jennifer’s behavior from compulsive buyers
who exhibit a lower level of product attachment compared to noncompulsive buyers.
The strong product attachment exhibited by informants is consistent with the
survey results that showed that recreational shoppers were more clothing-focused and

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materialistic than nonrecreational shoppers. Their high product attachment, together with
their high interest in shopping and clothing is also indicative of fixated consumption
behavior. Fixated consumers, who are speculated to lie somewhere between materialists
and compulsive buyers, not only have an enduring involvement in a product category
itself, but also have a considerable amount of involvement in the process of acquiring
(i.e., shopping for) the product (Schiffrnan and Kanuk 1997). This profile seems to fit
most of the informants in this research.
Gift Shopping
Another important part of being a recreational shopper is shopping for gifts for
parents, siblings, significant others, and close friends. Recreational shoppers consider
gifts for these recipients to be personal and expressions of the self. Therefore, this type
of gift is fun and enjoyable to shop for. The planned nature of gift buying suggests that
gift shopping is a mission shopping trip.
The interviews revealed that most informants are avid gift shoppers and are
enamored with the gift buying/giving process as illustrated in the following excerpts.
Oh, I love giving gifts. (Ian)
Oh, yes. I love buying gifts for people. (Christine)
Oh, I love shopping for gifts. (Jean)
I love buying gifts for people. (Jennifer)
Gift shopping seemed to provide social utility to recreational shoppers. For some
informants, gift shopping is a selfless act. It is enjoyable and personally rewarding
because of the happiness they bring to the gift recipient (Sherry 1983).
And I like, my part of it is, when they open the gift I love to see the expression on
their face. That’s the best part. (Christine)

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Trying to pick out an item to, to match a person, to match their personality. Um,
picking an item and trying to anticipate how the person is going to react to it.
(Jean)
You know, um, I know Amy. She loves Precious Moments. So, I can get her
anything Precious Moments and know she’s going to like it. Um, she’s very tiny.
So, there’s a very wide array of clothes that I could get her. And I know basically
what style of clothes. Um, but I think the thing I like most is seeing their faces
when I give them the gift. (Ian)
Because it makes them feel good and I feel like that was really nice. Because,
you know, it just makes them, you know, feel good, so. When you’re buying
something and they feel good, you feel good. I mean, and I pretty much know
what everyone likes, so. You know, like for my girlfriend, Cynthia, I got her a
really nice planter. Or, you know, my girlfriend, Shane, she loves lipstick. So, I
got her, you know, a big set of lipstick. And, you know, some body lotions. You
know, with the scented body lotions. She loves that stuff. And so, that just makes
her feel really good and, you know, excited, so. You know, it’s cool. I like that.
(Mary)
The social benefit of making gift recipients happy may be similar to the desire to
please that compulsive buyers attach to gift giving (O’Guinn and Faber 1989). However,
there was not any indication in the data that recreational shoppers were giving gifts to get
positive attention and to be liked as is the case with compulsive buyers.
Other informants enjoy shopping for gifts for more selfish reasons. By giving
gifts they make themselves happy and enhance their self-esteem (Sherry 1983). This type
of benefit is also derived by compulsive buyers from gift giving (O’Guinn and Faber
1989).
But, you know, you get satisfaction from giving things to other people too. Um,
so, I like shopping for other people just, just for the warm feeling that I get when I
give it to them, you know. And then a lot of times, um, I don’t have to
specifically go out and buy something for somebody. It could be just a deed that I
do or just an act that I do. Just that feeling for me is, that’s satisfying. (Lecresia)
But um, I love buying things for people. But I think it also has to do with me just
wanting to spend money. And I’m making myself happy by spending the money

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and getting something which I think is, you know, a great thing for somebody.
And them, you know, appreciating that I got them something. (Jennifer)
But it, you know, I like, I like to give someone something that I know that they’ll
like, you know. I feel really good about that. Or something of mine that I know
they’ll like or something like that. I feel good about doing something like that.
(Michelle)
Oh, yeah. I love buying for my parents, I think more so than anybody else.
Because you like your parents to look like that certain look. Like for Father’s
Day. We just finished that. And um, my Mom told me. She said, well, your Dad
needs this sort of suspenders. And I was like, no. I know what I want Dad to
have. And I want him to have those leather suspenders, you know, with the
intertwining. And I shopped until I found them. And they were twice as much.
But I wanted him to have that look. The same thing for her. I always have an
idea what I want to get for her. And it’s almost like shopping for me. Because
it’s like, and then I’ll see him with them on. And it’s like, oh, God, that looks so
good. Or, you know, I like that cologne on you, Dad that I bought. I guess, it’s
almost just like a parent shopping for a kid, you know. (Sabrina)
Recreational shoppers’ do not limit their gift shopping to birthdays, holidays, and
special occasions such as weddings. Some informants indicated that they enjoy buying
and giving gifts spontaneously.
I’ll give gifts for no reason. You know, just, I’ll just come out of the blue. Buy
someone a card or buy them a bookmark, you know. Or even, you know, go as
far, like with Amy, getting her a figurine. I just, like the other day. My sister
collects rhinoceroses. Figurines of rhinoceroses. And her wall is wallpapered in
pictures of them. And the environmental society was selling rhino t-shirts. So, I
have no reason. I mean, her birthday’s not any time soon. But I know she likes
that. So, why not? You know, I know she’s going to be happy. And I don’t
really do it for any reason, but because I enjoy.... I love giving gifts. I will give
gifts any day of the week and twice on Sundays. (Ian)
And I do enjoy it because I know it’s something that they will receive well. Um,
and I like to give gifts that are surprises. That aren’t expected. Like, if it’s not
your birthday kind of thing. Mmm, Christmas in July, you know. That’s when
our, we send our cards at, in July for Christmas. It’s unusual things like that.
Um, everybody has a birthday. But it’s nice to be remembered when it’s not
some special day. So. So, shopping for friends. I like to do that. (Pat)
I mean, I, I almost get more excited buying something for someone else if I know
that they really really want it then for myself. I mean, I’ll save a whole lot of

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money. I, I remember I went, I traveled and um, when I was in high school I went
over with my church to England. And um, you know, you buy them souvenirs
and stuff. I bought myself like maybe one thing.... I bought everybody else
presents just because I’d, I’d see something and I’d think that reminds me of my
sister. I’ll buy it. So I enjoy buying stuff for everybody else. I’ve always been
like that. (Shannon)
These spontaneous gift buying episodes suggest that at times gift shopping occurs
while window shopping.
While most recreational shoppers interviewed truly enjoyed shopping for gifts,
there were three informants who loathed the gift buying process. Cametra and Jen
strongly disliked shopping for gifts since they did not know gift recipients tastes.
I, I, I usually don’t go shopping to buy for other people. Um, like if it’s Mother’s
Day or something I’ll go buy a card. You know, so, I’m buying my Mom
something. But to actually buy, because you don’t know people’s tastes. You
know, you don’t know what they like.... And, you know, I mean, I hate
Christmas. That’s like one of the worst times of the year for me. You know,
because I have to decide, ok, what does everyone want? You know, how can I
kind of coordinate these personalities with these gifts. And if they don’t like it
can they go back to that store, particular store and buy something that they like,
you know. But then I’ll hate doing something like buying a gift certificate to use.
Because that seems so impersonal. You know, so, it’s just like a catch-22
situation for me. I really don’t like buying for other people though. (Cametra)
I don’t like to look for other people.... Well, I, I don’t know other people’s
likes, dislikes, taste, size. That kind of thing. And that upsets me. I mean, I
don’t, I don’t like to do that. And if I do have to do that I like to bring somebody
else along with me to help me make a decision. Like a gift or a birthday present.
That kind of thing. I, I don’t like, I can’t size people very well. (Jen)
Similar to Jen, if Cametra has to buy a gift, she has tactics that she will use to try
to ease the process.
I don’t usually buy birthday gifts. Um, unless the person has specifically said
something that they wanted, you know. That’s, usually, that’s how I buy most
gifts. People have said, well, I want this or, you know, I was looking at that.
Then I’m like, ok, you know, I can go get it for you. But for me to just come up
with the idea of what to get you. You know, unless your somebody that I’m very
very very close to and I know exactly what you like. I know exactly what you

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want. You know, like maybe my best friends. Yeah, I can go out and go gift
shopping for them. But other people that are not very close to me, you know,
they’re close, they’re friends. But they’re not like really really, have, you know,
very very close intimate relationship with me. I really, I don’t, I don’t, you know,
I’m not sure about their taste and what they like and what they want. So, I’d
rather them tell me something that they wanted. You know, and me go out and
get it. (Cametra)
The other informant, who disliked shopping for gifts, felt that way for a selfish
reason. When LeTonya was gift shopping she would become attached to the gift item
and would want to buy it for herself instead of giving it to the other person.
I’ll never buy somebody, somebody something really crappy that I wouldn’t want
myself. So, if I buy some, them something that I want then it kind of like, should
I just give them a card and keep this, you know. Because I won’t just buy any, I
won’t just buy somebody anything. So if I see something really nice that I would
want myself and then, you know, and then I think, but if I, but I would, I would
never buy them something that I want myself and then buy myself the same thing.
Which is what I should just do because I just like fall in love with whatever I buy
somebody. It’s something and I think, maybe I should have gotten myself one of
those. But it is kind of stupid. Why would we walk around like twins? Man, that
would bother me. So I just assume, you know, giving it to them. Or I end up
getting them a card is what I do because I can not make up my mind. I think, I
can not bear this person wearing this shirt. I’m just going to loan her the shirt.
I’m not giving it up. So I buy them a card or something I. But I’ve never, I never
buy somebody something I wouldn’t like myself. Never. No. Sometimes it
depends on who the person is too. You know, like my roommates and stuff, I
really like them. They’re cool. So I end up buying them like, you know, really
cool things. But I’ll borrow it from them because we live together, you know. So
I would borrow it from them, expensive earrings or something, and say, hey. And
I would, you know, when I buy it I would think of that. And I also would think, I
can borrow it from, from them. (LeTonya)
Interestingly, Jean, who loves shopping for gifts, often faces the same situation as
LeTonya.
I found for a long time that whenever I went shopping I always wanted the item
myself. Um, not always, but if it was something really nice and, and especially
Christmas shopping. Oh, this would be nice for so and so. You know, I’d like to
have that too. (Jean)

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Rather than being a negative situation as in the case of LeTonya, Jean viewed this
type of occurrence as being positive for herself since she was also able to not only find a
gift, but also was able to find something that she liked as well. When Jean finds a
product that she would also like to have she does not hesitate to buy one for herself.
Just usually it meant that I bought two. Um, I said earlier that I wasn’t a
compulsive shopper. Now I wonder. Because, you know, if I see an item, and
I’m trying to think of what I’ve. I know, I bought, one time a Black and Decker,
it’s a flashlight that has, sits on a base and you can plug it in. It’s a rechargeable
flashlight. And my sister was living by herself. So she was away. She was living
out of town. And I bought it for her. But it was on sale. They were on sale for
like $7 and I thought, heck, I need one. So, I bought one for me. Um, I bought a
tea maker for my Mom one year, and I thought I need one for me. I make tea
every day. It’s all my husband drinks. And I thought, I need one of these. Um,
and I was going to buy one, but we ended up getting one as a gift. (Jean)
The strong product attachment felt by LeTonya and Jean appears to differentiate
recreational shoppers from compulsive buyers, who have a low level of interest in
products purchased, including gifts (O’Guinn and Faber 1989). Although they did not
discuss being attached to a gift, the other informants who enjoyed gift shopping seemed
to be interested in the product being purchased.
I knew one of my friends, she was a DG, but she was transferring. She didn’t
have an anchor. I saw a anchor over Christmas, a silver anchor. She likes silver..
.. I got it for her just to get it for her because I knew she didn’t have one.
Partially because, you know, an anchor means something to me. (Jennifer)
The preceding discussion of the themes of need for uniqueness, creativity, product
attachment, and gift shopping brought to light additional self-relevant meanings and
positive benefits that recreational shoppers obtain from shopping for clothing, in addition
to reinforcing the view that shopping for clothing is not only a pathway to product
acquisition, but also a road to self construction, maintenance, and affirmation. In contrast

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to this positive view of recreational shopping, in the next section of this chapter, a darker
side of recreational shopping that emerged from the data is described.
Negative Consequences
A number of informants had experienced negative consequences from shopping
for clothing including overspending, carrying credit card balances, buying items that
were worn only once or maybe not at all, and feeling guilty about buying expensive or
unneeded items. The following interview excerpts illustrate the types of problems
recreational shoppers face.
I just went and found three shirts that I’d probably wear. And a, it doesn’t matter,
I mean, I try to spend around, under $60, because my bills add up. And I see it at
the end of the month and I get really nervous. But um, I got three shirts. It was
getting ready to be summer, and they’re all long sleeve shirts. But um, I spent
about $55.... And I felt good about it. I got home and then I’m like I’m never
going to wear these. I’ve worn one shirt once, gave another shirt to my sister,
and, um, wore the other shirt maybe three times. But it’s just the fact that I got
something on sale. I thought I got a really good bargain. It made me feel good
because I saved, you know, 50% or whatever. And a, for the time it made me feel
good about myself and now I see all these clothes sitting in the closet and I’m just
like. I don’t know if that was right. (Jennifer)
I, I used to be like that and then I got in big trouble with my credit card. So, I’ve
learned to appreciate looking at things. And, and I’ve learned to like leave the
store without something in my hands. But when I was younger, I definitely, every
time I went in a store I had to get something. Even though, see I bought a lot of
clothes that I never wore because of that. So, I’ve become a little bit wiser in that
aspect. (Christine)
But, I’m not one to buy something just because I have to buy something when I’m
shopping. You know, because I’ve done that before and you end up with these
outfits. A month later, ugh, why did I get that? (Michelle)
These negative consequences are similar to the types of economic and emotional
problems encountered by compulsive buyers (O’Guinn and Faber 1989) suggesting that
some of the informants could be compulsive buyers or may be prone to compulsive
buying behavior.

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The negative consequences from recreational shopping appeared to stem from
recreational shoppers’ inability to control their urge to buy when in the retail
marketplace. Informants commonly discussed how difficult it was to leave a store
without buying something.
Me and my sister were in the mall for about an hour and I couldn’t find anything,
but I couldn’t leave the mall until I got something. It’s just something that I, if I
get a pair of socks and earrings, it’s just something I had to do. So I went into
Wet Seal, it’s a clothing store, um, not cheap clothing, but you can say teeny
hopper type, you know, clothing store. And um, I made myself find something...
. But um, I really like make myself find something. I can always use, um,
underwear and bras because they’re always like really cheap. Or I can always use
socks and earrings. So I’ll just go ahead and get that. It’s just, I feel that I need to
buy something, if that’s my motive for going out, you know. (Jennifer)
If I have the money and I go with the idea that I’m going to come back home with
something, I’m very disappointed if I don’t find something. Then it becomes a
mission. I’ll keep going until I find something that I want. (Sabrina)
Um, if I go out shopping I feel like I have to get something to bring home.... So
maybe that’s your need to feel somehow fulfilled or not that you wasted the whole
day and you didn’t come home with something. I think that’s kind of what’s
moving the feeling of the people. A shopper’s thing. (Pat)
Recreational shoppers seemed to be most susceptible to overspending or making
careless purchases when they were mood shopping.
Like, if you’re in a really bad mood, you have to buy something to make yourself
feel better. And sometimes you don’t have any idea what you’re going to buy.
You just want to buy something that makes you look great. Because, you’re in a
bad mood. And you’re just, I’m going to the mall. (Shannon)
Usually, when I’m depressed I’ll treat myself to something, you know. Well, hey,
I’ve been good this month. I only spent this much money on shopping, so. I
deserve this $100 outfit. You know, usually, I’ll get depressed after I get the bill.
And, oh, my God, I shouldn’t have went and bought that. (Cametra)

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Recognizing their vulnerability when emotionally distraught and during periods
of low self-esteem, both Shannon and Cametra tried to take preventative actions to
control their behavior.
I don’t think most of the time when I shop, I don’t, I don’t shop because I’m
depressed. I try not to because I know it’s not a good idea because you buy more.
You probably don’t need it. So I try to shop when I’m in a good mood. Just
because I make wiser decisions. (Shannon)
Yeah, it’s a, I didn’t have a good day at work or I didn’t get a good grade on a test
or, you know, something is not so right with my life. I’ll just go and casually
look. Usually, I try not to buy because I know that I’m depressed and I know that,
you know, I’m more likely to spend more money. But, usually, when I’m
depressed, you know, I, I leave my purse at home with all my credit cards, all my
checkbooks. Everything at home so I can’t spend money. (Cametra)
The interviews uncovered three perspectives that recreational shoppers had
regarding the possibility of experiencing negative consequences from shopping for
clothing: 1) recreational shoppers who had experienced financial and emotional problems
in the past and had taken actions to change their behavior, 2) recreational shoppers who
were currently suffering financial and emotional difficulties, but were not willing or able
to address their situation, and 3) recreational shoppers who had not experienced negative
consequences from shopping, but were aware that such problems could occur.
Some recreational shoppers recognized that their shopping behavior had gotten
out of control and decided to remedy the situation by taking such actions as leaving credit
cards and checkbooks at home when shopping, closing credit card accounts, and not
shopping when feeling depressed.
In the case of Jean who was plagued by overspending and carrying credit card
balances, shopping filled a void in her life, giving her something to do with her free time.
In addition, having credit cards gave her the power to buy what she wanted, when she

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wanted it. Shortly before she was married, with the help of her husband, she changed her
shopping and spending behavior.
I usually just don’t even want to go out and look. Because if I don’t know it’s
there then it doesn’t bother me. And I guess that’s kind of how I’ve handled that,
you know, you go out and see that thing that haunts you. I just don’t, I don’t do
as much of the leisurely mall type. You know, I used to go to the mall every
week and just to waste time. Look in and out of every store. And that was until,
let’s see, I’m 33 now. I got married at 30. So that was, I can even think when I
was 26, even later than that. I’d go to the mall just because it’s a Saturday and
what else is there to do. Go to the mall. It was, it was recreational. But know,
well, when I went to graduate school, I quit my job and went to graduate school.
So I didn’t have the money to do that. And so I found that the best way for me to
handle it was just not to go. And if you don’t have the money coming in to spend,
you don’t see anything that you want. You’re not tempted to charge it. And even
before graduate school, oh, I had credit cards. And I had big MasterCard,
Discover, American Express, Sears, all the different stores. And right before I got
married, my husband said, why do you have all these credit cards? Why do you
have a credit card for Sears and Thalheimers and Hechts and blah blah blah and
blah. Why? Well, so I go can to the store and buy. Then what do you do with
your Visa and MasterCard? And why do you have Visa, MasterCard, American
Express, and Choice or Discover? I had Choice and Discover. Man, I had a
wallet full of credit cards. And to me it was independence. It was power. That I
could go out and buy what I wanted. Um, and so, we got all the bills paid down
and he said, ok, you pick. And I had five gas cards. You pick one gas card and
you pick one credit card. And everything else will be closed and will be cut up.
And now, um, we don’t even do the gas card anymore because it was so, I kept
Exxon, but you pay so much more with the credit card than with the gas card,
with, if you pay cash, so. And you can put, if you want to put, charge gas you can
charge it on your Visa or MasterCard. And I didn’t realize how much I was
paying in interest and all that stuff by carrying balances over and, um. So now I
have one credit card and I really use it only for emergencies or for travelling or. I
have very rarely put any purchases on that. Um, it’s more now of a travel card.
Um, or if you purchase something. Like if I purchase tickets or something
through the mail or through Ticket Master, you need to put it on a charge....
And another thing that felt really good was at the end of Christmas, when, when
Christmas was over everything was paid for. We did Christmas all in cash. We
didn’t charge anything for Christmas. And um, that felt good. And that was, two
years ago was the first time we did that. And after that we just said, for now on
that’s the way we’re going to handle it. (Jean)
Ironically, by only using cash when making purchases, Jean has found the
independence and power she thought was available through her credit cards.

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Another informant, Sabrina, also fell victim to her credit cards especially when
she found clothing on sale.
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I like to shop. And if I didn’t have the cash I was more than
willing to charge it. More than willing. Especially, if they had a sale. Then you
can justify. When it’s on sale I’m not going to get it at this price anymore. So, let
me go ahead and do it and I’ll worry about it later.... Mmmm, undergarments,
pantyhose, of course, if I didn’t need them at the time. Um, anything for work.
Any kind of suits. Um, dresses for church. I’ve still got things in my closet now
that have labels on them. That I have not worn. Just because at the time they
were on sale. And I said, I’ll wear it later. And I never got around to it.
Eventually Sabrina reached a point where she realized her behavior had to
change.
And I’ve liquidated all my cards, so I don’t charge anymore.... I went over my
head. It was just getting to be too much. It was like I was out of control. You’ll
find that most of your women when they’re depressed or preoccupied with
something they’ll want to spend money. And if they don’t have the cash, they’re
going to charge it.
Similar to Jean, Sabrina was also using shopping to fill emptiness in her life. In
her case, it was a relationship void. Sabrina’s shopping behavior has changed since she
became involved in a relationship with her boyfriend. In the following interview excerpt,
she compares herself to other women, including a girlfriend, who are not married or do
not have a boyfriend.
Especially you find that women that are single and do not have a boyfriend or a
significant other, they’re going to shop more than the woman that has the husband
or a boyfriend.... I haven’t figured it out yet. I don’t know if it’s to try to fill a
void in your life or to make you feel good about yourself. I don’t know. Or
maybe time is a factor. A person that’s in a relationship doesn’t have that much
time to put into shopping versus a person that doesn’t have that, you know. So
you go out and you shop all the time.... And even one of my girlfriends. She, I
call her a shopaholic. She hasn’t had a relationship in years. And she’s pitiful
with buying clothes and things for her apartment. And you know, I was sad, but
not as bad as she is. And then when I got into a relationship things kind of slowed
down. My attention was drawn away from the shopping and more towards him.
And doing things together with him.

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In addition to canceling her credit cards, Sabrina uses other tactics to control her
urge to shop and buy when she is depressed.
I don’t go. If I’m depressed I try to avoid shopping all together. And if I’m
depressed and I have to shop for someone else, like if there’s a holiday or
something coming up. I won’t do shopping around. I will go like to one store,
who I have to get, and leave. Even if it’s a department store I won’t wander to the
other side. I’ll just stay in one area. ... When I liquidated it relieved a lot of
depression. And I have a personal trainer on campus now. So that helps.
Some informants were still struggling with their shopping behavior feeling
frustrated and ashamed about not being able to control themselves.
When I see how much I’ve spent on things in a, in a time period, I do get
disgusted with myself. I feel really bad. I think, my gosh, I could have done this
so much other stuff with this money. And if you really see it on your Visa bill
when you, ugh.... I mean, I’ve never paid for clothes in cash. I’ll write either a
check, which I’m always under my, I have to have a $600 minimum in my
account. And a, they shouldn’t have done that because if I know I have $600 in
there then I think well 550 is ok. I’ll get it up before the service charge counts.
But um, the credit card, I guess in the end it’s a disadvantage, but I think of it as
an advantage because like if I need something fast, of course you can always just
run and get it. But I never think about how much my bill’s going to come to until
I see it. And I worry about money probably four days before my bill comes.
Which is awful because then I’m even more stressed out. Then a, I got to figure
out what to do for money. (Jennifer)
Other informants were not committed to changing their behavior since they did
not seem to be taking the problem seriously. Instead, they put the blame for their
spending on their credit cards.
Well, the fact that I owe money on my credit card is bad. And I’m not working as
much, you know. I don’t have the money to pay it off as quick. And so, I’m
paying finance charges. So that’s, that’s a bummer. But I want to get that paid
off, you know. ... It makes me want to spend more. But yet, I know I need to
save more to pay them off. Because it, it feels like, you know, if I bought
something at Clinique and spent $30 and I was giving cash, I’d think, God, I’m
spending so much money. Now that I have credit cards, it doesn’t seem like your
spending as much. And you’re more lenient. But when you get your bills that’s,
you’re not thinking then though. I mean, it’s kind of temporary. You have it in
the back of your mind, but I like it so much that I, you know, I’ll just get it for me

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now. So, it’s kind of a bummer, but, oh, well. I mean, I’m not that bad in debt,
you know. I’m, you know, being real limited, you know. (Mary)
Even though some recreational shoppers had not suffered any negative
consequences from shopping for clothing, they were aware of the need to be responsible
while shopping or felt that they had the potential to go out of control and overspend when
shopping.
I think if you’re not a very self controlled person there can be negative
consequences because credit cards right there can mess you up. I mean, if you’re
the kind of person that just compulsive shops. I mean, you feel bad so you go and
buy something every time. Or you reward yourself for every little thing you do.
And you buy the most expensive thing and you don’t care, you don’t think about
your money situation. I mean, you always, you have to be responsible or you’re
not going to be happy with what you get because you won’t be able to enjoy it
because you’ll be broke. I mean, I think every now and then every, I mean I have
a credit card and I never let it roll over. Every now and then I’ll buy something
with money I don’t have. I mean something little. But I always know that, you
know, two weeks from now I know I’m going to baby sit. So, I can use it then.
But, it, it, I’m sure that a lot of people aren’t very self controlled. Because I mean
a lot of my friends, a friend of mine, her credit card bill’s like $500 and it’s just
going and compounding and compounding. You know, but then Daddy comes
along and pays it.... But I think a lot of people get messed up from like
compulsive going and just buying and not thinking, not being responsible about it.
I mean, I’m sure I’ve done it before, but I try not to. I try to be careful because
you can get carried away. And then it doesn’t do what you want it to do anyway.
It’s not going to make you feel good. It’s not going to make you happy if you
don’t, you know, you can’t put food on the table. (Shannon)
One informant’s awareness of being vulnerable to such behaviors stemmed from
seeing the problems her mother had encountered as a result of excessive shopping.
Um, you spend too much money and, and neglect your other financial, financial
obligations. I see that happening with my Mom sometimes. I think to her, I think
she could, I think she could easily be classified as a shopaholic, mmm mmm. I
think maybe I could have been but I just didn’t have the money to. And so, by me
not having it, it made me more responsible. But because she does have the job
and she does, you know, have the money. She might not have it to spend but she
has access to it. I didn’t have it. That made her more prone to be a shopaholic
and. I mean, when you go, I mean, she goes through things, like she’ll buy things
and she’ll hide it from her husband. You know, she won’t bring the bag out. And

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that’s a problem to me. If you have, if you have to feel guilty about doing
something that’s like drinking or doing drugs or anything. That’s like if you’re
going to hide and do it then you shouldn’t be doing it, you know. Whereas, you
know, when I go shopping, I like, man, I wish somebody would just knock on my
door so I can show them what deal I got. I would never think to hide it. I would
be like excited about.... I would never hide it from him. I would be happy
about what I bought. (LeTonya)
LeTonya’s experience has not only made her mindful of the need to be
responsible in the marketplace, but has also helped her realize that shopping for clothing
is only one part of her life—it is not her life.
But um, very rarely do I buy something that I don’t need. I used to. I used to do
that all the time. But now that I’m older and a little bit wiser and I have bills to
pay now, I think, nah, I don’t need. In fact, I talk myself into buying something
now, you know. Even if it’s inexpensive and I know, you know, it might be
functional I think, hah, you know, that’s $12, but, you know. I have to talk
myself, oh, yeah, what timing. You know, you’re going to need this. It’s going to
get cold soon. You’re going to need this shirt or you’re going need this, you
know, thing. So, I’m changed. I’m a little bit more responsible now when I go
shopping.... There’s some more important things going on in my life except
shopping.
Although shopping still serves as an outlet, she now puts more weight on
shopping for books than shopping for clothing.
But um, shopping is kind of like my outlet. Sometimes, yeah. Especially when
I’m shopping for books. Because books is where I really lose myself.... So if
I’m shopping for books then that’s really significant. But if I’m just shopping to
buy clothes, it used to be, you know, maybe a year or two ago, I was really overly
concerned with shopping and how I looked. And, you know, was I wearing the
right things and, you know. But now, I’m more cautious about, I’m more
conservative. Even with my tastes, I think I’m a little bit more conservative than I
was before. Um, like I say, I talk myself into buying things now. You know, I
think, come on, you know, gotta buy something. If you don’t spend that money
here you’ll probably spend it on Burger King anyway. You can’t see Burger
King, but this will be in your closet for, forever.
This new perspective has also been fostered by her upcoming graduation and
pending role transition.

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But it’s, it’s, it’s still a mental lift for me. But it’s not as much, I don’t get as
much joy out of it as I used to. It’s just not the same. You know, I guess maybe I
have other things that I could be doing. Should be doing besides shopping, you
know.... Probably the last six months. Ever since I was officially a senior. My,
the dawn of my senior year, it’s really just, everything’s just different. Maybe it’s
this thing, I, maybe I just think that I should have more. I made that conscious
decision to think, you know, got a bigger problem than that. Trying to, you know,
break into grad school. I say break into grad school because it’s nearly scaring
me to death. And um, so I’m really as not as into shopping as I used to be, you
know. I know, but I know that like if I got that really good job that I could just go
in a store and say, everything in a size six, put in a box. That would, that would
just be awesome, you know. So, I have that in the back of mind too.
LeTonya’s shopper identity, however, does break through, thus, her present view
on shopping may be fleeting.
To avoid falling prey to overspending, one informant decided not to have any
credit cards now and in the future because of her fear that she could lose control if plastic
found its way into her hands..
No. I don’t have any. I don’t want any either. No. Because I’m afraid, you
know, I think I, I have willpower, you know. Enough willpower to know not to
go out and, you know, splurge, spend $400 and then I’m stuck with the bill. But
then again, I don’t know. You know, sometimes, I get really crazy and, but the
good thing that stops me is that I’m ran out of money, you know. But with the
credit cards, you know. So, I don’t want credit cards. I don’t have any. I don’t
want any.... After I graduate, I don’t think so because just, just for that fear. I
don’t want to get into so much debt, you know. I don’t want anymore debt than I
have to. You know, where I’m staying, have a car, whatever. I don’t want any
unnecessary debt. And I feel that’s unnecessary, you know. Because that’s
probably, if I did get into the debt with the credit card that’s probably what it
would, what it would, um, be on. Clothes. I probably would, went crazy on and
I spent too much money on clothes. (Lecresia)
Although the interviews did not uncover the severe financial and emotional
problems nor the deeper and more personal problems, i.e., feelings of alienation and
loneliness, legal problems, and marital difficulties, that may plague compulsive buyers
(O’Guinn and Faber 1989), they do bring to light how vulnerable “normal” consumers

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I
l
are to losing control and acting impulsively to satisfy their consumption desires, as well
as the need to expand the study of problematic consumer behavior. The qualitative data
in this research suggests that novice consumers with credit cards in their hands may be
most susceptible to being lured into financial and emotional difficulties by the
temptations of the marketplace. While credit cards are readily available to college
students, it appears that some may need to think twice before applying for a credit card,
be educated about their use, as well as being forewarned about the potential problems
associated with them.
Summary
The interview data was used to complement the survey data and provide a richer,
more robust understanding of recreational shoppers and their shopping experiences. In
the following section, the results of the qualitative data analysis are summarized and a
tentative framework is offered that ties together, where possible, the a priori and
emergent themes to describe the recreational shopper’s shopping experience from the
perspective of being a leisure experience.
The interview data uncovered three different types of clothes shopping that
recreational shoppers engage in, labeled mission shopping, window shopping, and mood
shopping as shown in Figure 1. Mission shopping was primarily acquisition based, while
window shopping and mood shopping were more experiential in nature.
Mission shopping occurred when recreational shoppers planned to make a
clothing purchase of note with potentially symbolic value. It was considered a focused,
purposeful activity that more often than not provided pleasure and excitement to

Type of Recreational Shopping
Recreational Shopper’s Self-Concept
Figure 1

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recreational shoppers when the clothing object of their desire was found, purchased, and
subsequently worn and displayed.
In contrast to mission shopping, window shopping occurred when recreational
shoppers went shopping for clothing without a planned purchase goal. Window shopping
was characterized as being carefree, unrestricted, and capricious in nature - it was simply
fun to do.
The third type of shopping that recreational shoppers participate in is mood
shopping which took place when recreational shoppers needed to alleviate emotional or
psychological pain as a result of being sad, depressed, or under stress. Although most
informants indicated that they made a clothing purchase when mood shopping to make
them temporarily feel better, simply experiencing the marketplace seemed to provide the
relief and emotional/psychological nutrition they were looking for. From this
perspective, the mood shopping experience becomes a self-gift for recreational shoppers.
As will be discussed next and shown in Figure 1, each type of shopping trip not
only had the potential to be intrinsically satisfying to recreational shoppers, but also could
be comprised of other dimensions of leisure. Thus, from the recreational shopper’s point
of view, all three types of shopping can be considered separate types of recreational
shopping.
Informants’ discussions of their clothes shopping experiences did indicate that
they considered shopping for clothing to be a leisure experience. In support of A Priori
Theme 1, the analysis of their comments revealed that shopping for clothing was
comprised of the same dimensions of leisure as a leisure experience. In fact, the same
leisure dimensions identified from the survey data, i.e., intrinsic satisfaction, mastery,

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spontaneity, and fantasy, infused their comments. Beyond simply identifying these
dimensions, the qualitative data analysis, revealed how these dimensions emerged while
shopping for clothing. In addition, the data suggests that the type of shopping
recreational shoppers were engaging in, i.e., mission shopping, window shopping, and
mood shopping, influenced the extent to which they experienced the leisure dimensions
while shopping.
Shopping for clothing provided intrinsic satisfaction when recreational shoppers
purchased and wore new clothing, went window shopping, and found bargains while
shopping. Thus, enjoyment was realized before, during, and after buying a desired
clothing item. All three types of shopping trips had the potential to be intrinsically
satisfying for recreational shoppers.
Recreational shoppers experienced feelings of mastery while shopping when
shopping provided a sense of adventure, offered new experiences and satisfied their
curiosity, and made them feel like a champion or that they had conquered the retail
environment. Mastery seemed to be present in recreational shoppers’ experiences
independent of the type of shopping trip they were on.
Shopping for clothing was a spontaneous activity when recreational shoppers
went window shopping or mood shopping. Feelings of spontaneity also occurred when
recreational shoppers made impulse purchases on a window shopping trip.
Three different forms of fantasy behavior were evident in recreational shoppers’
shopping experiences: playful daydreaming, compensatory/therapeutic fantasy, and
planful daydreaming. Recreational shoppers seemed more likely to engage in fantasy
behavior when they were window shopping or mood shopping.

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Different levels of involvement in shopping for clothing were evident in
informants’ comments about their shopping experiences and the importance of shopping
in their lives. Despite the differences in shopping involvement, A Priori Theme 2 was
not supported by the interview data. The nature and personal meaning of recreational
shoppers’ shopping experiences appeared similar regardless of their perceived level of
shopping involvement.
Taking into account that differences in shopping involvement were readily
apparent in informants’ comments, it was presumed that high involvement recreational
shoppers had enduring involvement with shopping for clothing, while low involvement
recreational shoppers had only situational involvement with shopping for clothing. By
making this assumption, indirect support was found for A Priori Theme 3 and A Priori
Theme 4. In light of their presumed enduring involvement with shopping for clothing,
high involvement recreational shoppers seem to participate in recreational shopping
primarily because the activity is a means of self-expression and central to their lifestyle.
On the other hand, considering their assumed situational involvement with shopping for
clothing, low involvement recreational shoppers appear to participate in recreational
shopping primarily because of their interest in the activity and enjoyment realized from it.
Support was found for A Priori Theme 5 since a group of informants did label
themselves with a recreational shopper identity. These informants, who were self-
proclaimed bargain shoppers, seemed to have a higher level of involvement in and
commitment to shopping for clothing than the other informants in this research. In light
of their salient recreational shopper identity, unbridled enthusiasm for, and enduring

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involvement with shopping for clothing these recreational shoppers fit the profile of
recreational shopping enthusiasts
Support for A Priori Theme 6 stemmed from the support for A Priori Theme 5.
The recreational shopping enthusiasts identified in this research appeared to engage in
clothes shopping as a means of self-enhancement and self-identification. They
incorporated the process of shopping and acquisition of clothing into their self-concepts.
(See Figure 1.) Hence, shopping for clothing was a part of their extended selves. In this
position, the act of shopping has symbolic value, mood-altering properties, and
instrumental value for the recreational shopping enthusiast.
In support of A Priori Theme 7, evidence was found that not only recreational
shopping enthusiasts, but also recreational shoppers in general engage in shopping to
bolster positive self-feelings and reduce negative self-regard. The former was couched in
the context of shopping to purchase a self-gift to reward one’s self for an
accomplishment. The latter occurred when recreational shoppers ventured into the
marketplace on a mood shopping trip.
A Priori Theme 8 was not supported by the qualitative data. Recreational
shopping enthusiasts’ shopping experiences were not more meaningful when they were
inspired by positive self-feelings. On the contrary, shopping experiences that were
couched as mood shopping trips seemed to be more pertinent and memorable to not only
recreational shopping enthusiasts, but recreational shoppers in general. Recreational
shoppers were more likely to discuss shopping trips spurred on by the desire to alleviate
negative feelings than they were to discuss shopping excursions motivated by positive
feelings.

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Three of the dissertation’s research questions (#4, #6, and #7) were investigated
with the interview data. Respectively, these research questions looked at the experience
of group shopping, the role of salespeople while recreational shopping, and the
relationship between recreational shopping involvement and the nature and importance of
the leisure dimensions experienced while shopping.
Similar to the survey data, the interview data showed that there were social and
nonsocial recreational shoppers. The interview data, however, provided further insight
into recreational shoppers’ preference for shopping alone or shopping in a group by
identifying a third group of recreational shoppers, labeled solo/social recreational
shoppers, who preferred to shop alone when they were mission shopping or mood
shopping, but favored shopping with a companion when they were window shopping.
The other two groups, solo recreational shoppers and social recreational shoppers,
preferred to shop alone or with a companion, respectively, regardless of the type of
shopping trip they were on.
A possible explanation for the different views recreational shoppers have about
shopping alone or in a group may be the type of shopping relationship they had with their
mothers during their formative years. Solo recreational shoppers did not have a strong
shopping relationship with their mothers while they were growing up. This appeared to
be related to either their mothers not having a high level of interest or involvement in
shopping for clothing or from informants having overall dissatisfying shopping
experiences with their mothers. Conversely, social and solo/social recreational shoppers
tended to have very satisfying experiences shopping for clothing with their mothers when

284
they were growing up and, even though they were no longer living at home, continued to
shop with their mothers when they had the chance.
In contrast to the survey data that indicated that recreational shoppers appreciated
the presence of a salesperson when they were shopping for clothing, the interview data
revealed that recreational shoppers limited their interaction with salespeople since they
preferred to shop on their own or with a shopping partner. Most informants had negative
perceptions about retail store salespeople, viewing them as potential hindrances, who
could take the enjoyment away from their shopping experiences by limiting their freedom
to shop a store and control their shopping destiny. Salespeople were expected to be
personable at all times and when deemed necessary by recreational shoppers they were
expected to serve in the role of being a shopping facilitator. An additional finding of note
regarding retail store salespeople was that a number of minority informants believed that
they had been discriminated against in retail stores since they felt that they had been
singled out as potential shoplifters because of their race or ethnicity.
The interview data was not fruitful for answering the last research question, i.e.,
how does the level of recreational shopping involvement influence the nature and
importance of the leisure dimensions experienced while shopping. Although informants
appeared to differ in their level of involvement in shopping for clothing, there did not
seem to be differences in the meaning and importance of the leisure dimensions they
experienced while shopping. Shopping for clothing provided recreational shoppers
intrinsic satisfaction, feelings of mastery and spontaneity, along with the opportunity to
fantasize that appeared to be independent of their level of involvement. This result stands
in contrast to the survey data that found that high involvement recreational shoppers

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realized higher levels of intrinsic satisfaction, mastery, and spontaneity from shopping for
clothing than low involvement recreational shoppers did. Therefore, as shown in Figure
1, recreational shoppers’ level of involvement in recreational shopping as represented by
their recreational shopper identity may influence the nature and importance of the leisure
dimensions experienced while shopping for clothing.
In addition to addressing a priori themes and research questions noted above, the
analysis of the qualitative data revealed five emergent themes, providing additional
insight into recreational shoppers’ and their shopping experiences. The themes are
labeled: 1) Need for Uniqueness, 2) Creativity, 3) Product Attachment, 4) Gift Shopping,
and 5) Negative Consequences.
Shopping for clothing enabled recreational shoppers to satisfy their need for
uniqueness. They were motivated to search for clothing that would reflect or be used to
construct their individual self. Their need for uniqueness drove recreational shoppers to
factory outlet stores, off-price chains, thrift shops, and flea markets to find that singular
item. While acquiring and possessing a unique item was paramount, recreational
shoppers spoke fondly and with passion about the process of finding themselves in a
store. The high level of importance a number of informants gave to finding and buying
unique clothing suggests that a need for uniqueness will influence the level of
involvement recreational shoppers have with shopping for clothing and their concurrent
recreational shopper identity. (See Figure 1.)
Related to recreational shoppers’ need for uniqueness, was their desire to be
creative while shopping for clothing. Their creativity was expressed by putting outfits
together on their own while in a store or buying a clothing item to match an item they

286
already had in their wardrobe. Given that recreational shoppers’ desire for creativity is
intertwined with their need for uniqueness, the strength of their recreational shopper
identity appears to be influenced by their desire to be creative as well as their need for
uniqueness. (See Figure 1.)
Being creative while shopping appeared to heighten the importance of the
experiential aspects of shopping for recreational shoppers, reflecting one way they can
invest themselves in the process. At the same time, during periods of role transitions
accompanied by possible uncertainty about the self, recreational shoppers seemed to use
shopping in concert with their creative spirit to exert and gain control over their lives.
Consistent with the survey results that showed that recreational shoppers were
more materialistic and clothing-focused than nonrecreational shoppers were, the
qualitative data provided evidence of strong product attachment on the part of
recreational shoppers. Product attachment was expressed in seven different ways: 1)
continually thinking about an item before it was purchased even when not in a store, 2)
discovering clothing in a store, 3) falling in love with items while shopping, 4) looking
forward to wearing new clothing and showing it to others, 5) having favorite clothing
items, 6) having clothing and accessory collections, and 7) saving clothing that was no
longer being worn or had never been worn. Thus, recreational shoppers form strong
product attachments, that seem to reflect seeing and investing themselves in a product,
before, during, and after a product purchase is made.
In light of their strong product attachment and high involvement with shopping
for clothing, recreational shoppers seem similar to fixated consumers, who have an
enduring involvement in a product category itself, together with a significant amount of

287
involvement in the process of acquiring the product (Schiffman and Kanuk 1997). This
view seems reasonable given that fixated consumers are presumed to lie somewhere
between materialists and compulsive buyers and the survey results which indicate that
recreational shoppers are a subcategory of materialists, while compulsive buyers are a
subcategory of recreational shoppers.
Providing further evidence of their high interest and involvement in shopping,
recreational shoppers are avid gift shoppers. Shopping for and buying gifts provided
social and personal benefits to recreational shoppers. They found gift shopping to be
enjoyable and rewarding because of the happiness they brought to the gift recipient, but
at the same time gift shopping could be used to make recreational shoppers happy and to
enhance their self esteem. Even when they are not shopping for themselves, recreational
shoppers use shopping as a means to an end—an end of self-maintenance or self¬
enhancement.
The final emergent theme pertained to the negative consequences recreational
shoppers experienced from shopping for clothing. These problems included
overspending, carrying credit card balances, buying clothing that was not used, and
feeling guilty about buying expensive or unneeded items. Although not as severe, these
negative consequences were similar to the types of financial and emotional problems
associated with compulsive buying behavior (O’Guinn and Faber 1989).
Four groups of recreational shoppers were delineated based on the nature of their
experience with having problems from shopping. The groups are: 1) recreational
shoppers who had not had any financial or emotional problems, 2) recreational shoppers
who had not experienced negative consequences from shopping, but were aware that such

288
problems could occur, 3) recreational shoppers who had experienced financial and
emotional problems in the past and had taken actions to change their behavior, and 4)
recreational shoppers who were currently suffering financial and emotional difficulties,
but were not willing or able to address their situation.
Informants’ comments suggest that mood shopping was more likely to lead to
negative outcomes than mission shopping and window shopping. When recreational
shoppers were in search of emotional or psychological relief they seemed to be more
prone to lose control of their buying and spending behavior.
In Chapter 7, the conclusions of the dissertation will be presented, along with a
discussion of the limitations of the research and areas for further research on recreational
shoppers.

CHAPTER 7
CONCLUSION
Despite shopping's popularity as a recreational activity and its apparent
significance in many consumers' lives, consumer research has given little attention to
studying recreational shopping beyond recognizing the existence of recreational shoppers
and identifying some of their market behaviors, personality traits, and demographics. Far
less is known about the lived experience of the activity, its personal meaning and self¬
significance, and the role it plays in consumers' lives. Furthermore, although recreational
shopping is considered a form of leisure, consumer research has not sufficiently combed
the activity to understand this perspective and its influence on the nature of recreational
shopping and its participants.
Thus, this dissertation was undertaken to provide a richer and deeper
understanding of the recreational shopper's experience in the marketplace, as well as in
the larger context of life. To reach this goal, the research took the novel approach of
conceptualizing and measuring shopping as a leisure experience. This course stands in
contrast to previous research on recreational shoppers that defined consumers as
recreational shoppers if they enjoyed shopping, hence, inferring that if shopping was
enjoyable it was recreational. The end result of the present research is that the knowledge
about and understanding of recreational shoppers and recreational shopping has been
advanced.
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290
Using a recreational shopper identity scale, survey respondents were classified as
recreational shoppers and nonrecreational shoppers. As measured by the recreational
shopper identity scale, recreational shoppers have a higher level of involvement in and
identification with the activity of shopping than nonrecreational shoppers do.
Looking first at a comparison of the two group’s sociodemographic
characteristics, the research found that recreational shoppers are younger and have a
lower level of income than non-recreational shoppers. In addition, females, those who
have never been married, students, non-U.S. citizens and minority groups (i.e., African-
Americans, Asians, and Hispanics) have stronger recreational shopper identities than
their counterparts (i.e., males, non-students, U.S. citizens, and whites). The findings
regarding age, student status, citizenship, and minority groups have not been reported in
previous research on recreational shoppers.
Compared to nonrecreational shoppers, recreational shoppers are more active
market participants. They go shopping for clothing more frequently and spend more time
shopping than nonrecreational shoppers. The latter finding is consistent with Bellenger
and Korgaonkar’s (1980) research that found that recreational shoppers spent more time
shopping and searching for product information than nonrecreational shoppers. When at
a shopping mall, recreational shoppers participate more frequently than nonrecreational
shoppers do in a host of product purchase and experiential activities. Taking into account
their higher level of shopping frequency and mall activity participation, recreational
shoppers appear similar to the group of mall participants Bloch et al. (1994) labeled mall
enthusiasts.

291
Consistent with their active engagement in the retail environment, recreational
shoppers are more likely than nonrecreational shoppers to be materialists and compulsive
buyers. Moreover, they have lower self-esteem than nonrecreational shoppers,
suggesting that shopping provides recreational shoppers emotional uplift and self¬
enhancement. Recreational shoppers seem to be a subgroup of materialists, while
compulsive buyers appear to a subgroup of recreational shoppers. The regression
analysis done to investigate the relationship among these three types of consumers
suggests that materialism influences the propensity to be a recreational shopper, while
recreational shopper identity affects the penchant to be a compulsive buyer and
moderates the effect of materialism and self-esteem on compulsive buying.
The research found support for the contention that shopping can be a leisure
experience as recreational shoppers’ shopping experiences encompass four dimensions of
leisure. While shopping, they experience higher levels of intrinsic satisfaction, mastery,
spontaneity, and fantasy than nonrecreational shoppers do. The qualitative data brought
to light how recreational shoppers experience these dimensions in the retail marketplace,
as well as three different types of recreational shopping trips that recreational shoppers
engage in, i.e., mission shopping, window shopping, and mood shopping. Shopping
provides intrinsic satisfaction when recreational shoppers purchase and wear new
clothing, go window shopping, and find bargains while shopping. Recreational shoppers
experience feelings of mastery while shopping when shopping provides a sense of
adventure, offers new experiences and satisfies their curiosity, and makes them feel like a
champion or that they have conquered the retail environment. Shopping for clothing is a
spontaneous activity when recreational shoppers go window shopping, mood shopping or

292
make impulse purchases while window shopping. Three different forms of fantasy
behavior are evident in recreational shoppers’ shopping experiences: playful
daydreaming, compensatory/therapeutic fantasy, and planful daydreaming.
The type of shopping trip seems to influence the extent to which recreational
shoppers experience the different leisure dimensions. Intrinsic satisfaction and mastery
are present in all three types of trips, while spontaneity and fantasy seem to be more
closely associated with window shopping and mood shopping.
Consistent with past research (i.e., Bellenger and Korgoankar 1980), recreational
shoppers are more likely to be social shoppers than nonsocial shoppers are. In addition to
preferring companionship while shopping, social recreational shoppers differ from
nonsocial recreational shoppers in two other ways. They engage in more fantasy
behavior and receive slightly more benefits from interacting with salespeople than
nonsocial recreational shoppers do.
The qualitative data indicated that there was a third group of recreational
shoppers, labeled solo/social recreational shoppers who prefer to shop alone when they
are mission shopping or mood shopping, but like to shop with others when they are
window shopping. The interview data also suggests that the type of shopping
relationships recreational shoppers had with their mothers while growing up influenced
their preference for shopping with a companion or shopping alone.
A key point of interest in the dissertation was differentiating recreational shoppers
according to their level of involvement in and identity with the activity of shopping.
Both the survey and interview data indicated that the strength of recreational shopper’s
recreational shopper identity does vary, suggesting different levels of interest in and

293
involvement with shopping. For the survey data, the recreational shopper identity scale
was used to separate high involvement recreational shoppers from low involvement
recreational shoppers, while a subset of informants seemed to have particularly strong
shopping identities. They distinguished themselves from other informants by
proclaiming their shopping identities during the interviews and, in light of their
comments, seemed to be especially involved in and enamored with shopping. The
qualitative data suggests that the strength of recreational shoppers’ recreational shopper
identity is forged by their need for uniqueness and desire to be creative.
Compared to low involvement recreational shopper, the high involvement
recreational shoppers, labeled recreational shopping enthusiasts, have stronger
recreational shopper identities and realize higher levels of enjoyment as well as stronger
feelings of mastery and spontaneity from shopping. The differences in levels of
enjoyment, spontaneity, and mastery between the two groups suggest that there is a
progression of meaning and evolution of motives, similar to that seen in other leisure
activities (Celsi et al. 1993; McIntyre 1989), as recreational shoppers become more
involved in, committed to, and enthusiastic about shopping. For recreational shopping
enthusiasts, the shopping experience becomes more meaning laden and self fulfilling,
forging a recreational shopper identity that enables them to become one with the activity
of shopping.
Furthermore, the differences in recreational shopper identity salience and
garnered benefits from shopping between low involvement and high involvement
recreational shoppers suggest that low involvement recreational shoppers have situational
involvement with shopping, while recreational shopping enthusiasts have enduring

294
involvement with shopping. Accordingly, low involvement recreational shoppers appear
to participate in recreational shopping primarily because of their interest in the activity
and enjoyment realized from it whereas recreational shopping enthusiasts seem to
participate in recreational shopping primarily because the activity is a means of self-
expression and central to their lifestyle. For recreational shopping enthusiasts, shopping
has symbolic value and mood-altering properties, along with instrumental benefits—it is
part of their extended selves.
Consistent with the aforementioned progression of meaning and incorporation of
shopping into their extended selves, recreational shopping enthusiasts have higher self¬
esteem than low involvement recreational shoppers do. This finding supports the self¬
enhancing function of a prominent recreational shopper identity and suggests that for
some consumers leading the life of a recreational shopper and actively participating in
retail environments provides positive long-term self-serving benefits, standing in contrast
to the short-term compensatory role that shopping plays in the compulsive buyer’s life
(O’Guinn and Faber 1989).
Contrary to expectations, although consistent with their enduring involvement
with shopping, recreational shopping enthusiasts are more materialistic, acquisition
focused, and product possessive than low involvement recreational shoppers are. They
are actively involved in thinking about, shopping for, buying, and consuming their
objects of desire.
Finally, the qualitative data revealed that recreational shoppers develop and
maintain strong product attachments before, during, and after purchase, are avid gift
shoppers, and experience some of the same negative financial and psychological

295
consequences, although not as severe, from shopping as compulsive buyers. These
negative outcomes appear to arise as a result of mood shopping when recreational
shoppers’ overpowering desire for short-term emotional/psychological relief clouds their
decision making process.
The strong product attachments that recreational shoppers form may be one
characteristic that distinguishes recreational shoppers from compulsive buyers, who are
more motivated by positive interpersonal interactions with salespeople and enhanced self¬
perceptions from being in the marketplace than making a product acquisition. A second
distinguishing trait may be the lack of emphasis that recreational shoppers place on
interacting with salespeople while shopping. While compulsive buyers see their
interactions with salespeople as serving an important compensatory function (O’Guinn
and Faber 1989), recreational shoppers view salespeople like extras on a movie set. They
serve as facilitators when deemed necessary, but overall should take on a minor,
background role in recreational shoppers’ shopping experiences.
Theoretical Implications
This dissertation took the position that recreational shoppers should not be viewed
generically and simply defined on the basis that they enjoy shopping, as has been done in
past research, the consumer behavior literature, and in the few consumer behavior
textbooks that even discuss recreational shoppers. The present research provides a more
complete, but not yet whole, understanding of recreational shoppers by bringing to light
that recreational shoppers engage in different types of recreational shopping trips with
different motives and goals, vary in their level of involvement in and identification with
shopping, and use shopping as a pathway to self-enhancement, self-construction, and

296
self-maintenance. While two consumers may indicate that they enjoy shopping their
motivations for shopping and subsequent benefits realized from the experience may differ
depending on the type of trip they are engaging in, as well as their level of involvement
and the strength of their recreational shopper identity.
This research demonstrate the value of conceptualizing and measuring
recreational shopping as a leisure experience since recreational shoppers are not only
drawn into the retail marketplace for the intrinsic satisfaction that shopping provides, but
also because of the opportunity to experience other dimensions of leisure. Higher levels
of involvement lead to the realization of higher order benefits, i.e., intrinsic satisfaction to
self-efficacy, that seem to differentiate recreational shoppers who have situational
involvement in shopping from those who have enduring involvement in shopping. For
recreational shopping enthusiasts recreational, shopping seems to come closer to being a
true leisure experience because of its multidimensional nature and self-implications.
Managerial Implications
The dissertation suggests three implications for retailers. First, for retailers that
want to attract and retain recreational shoppers as loyal customers, it is necessary to
create a store environment and atmosphere that enables recreational shoppers to
experience the leisure dimensions while shopping. Stores should be designed in a
manner that encourages consumers to search and explore to look for new merchandise,
singular items, and bargains. The challenge is to create an attractive, unique layout and
design that is somewhat fortuitous, but at the same time facilitates freedom of movement,
i.e., stores should be well-organized, uncluttered, and not overcrowded with merchandise
and floor fixtures and displays. For retailers that are targeting recreational shoppers, a

297
free-form layout, characterized by an asymmetrical use of fixtures and displays, seems
more conducive to provoking intrinsic satisfaction, mastery, spontaneity, and fantasy than
other layout designs, e.g., loop or racetrack.
The second implication regards the promotion element of the retailing mix.
Advertising and other communication efforts designed to attract recreational shoppers
should not only focus on the merchandise a store offers, but also the experiential aspects
of shopping. Messages can be designed that promote shopping as the means to satisfying
a need for uniqueness, as well as the pathway to self-enhancement and self-fulfillment
through the process of shopping, in addition to product acquisition.
The final implication pertains to the role of salespeople in retail stores. Retailers
must train salespeople to read and understand their customers so that can distinguish
between customers who want to shop on their own and those who expect more personal
attention and responsiveness from salespeople.
Recreational shoppers are more likely to view salespeople as obtrusive hindrances
rather than shopping facilitators. They need to have the freedom to roam and explore a
store so that shopping will be a leisure experience replete with intrinsic satisfaction,
mastery, spontaneity, and fantasy. This requires that they be given a zone of personal
space, especially when they first enter a store. Salespeople should greet recreational
shoppers when they come into a store and then allow them to be on their own; being
ready to help if beckoned to do so.
Limitations
The dissertation has a number of limitations that will be addressed in this section
of Chapter 7. Looking first at the survey results, four limitations are noted. First, the

298
respondent sample was skewed toward younger consumers, i.e., between the ages of 20
and 29, never married, and attending college on a full- or part-time basis. Second, the
data was collected in a single geographic area, recognized as a retailing mecca and
shopper’s paradise as it is saturated with an eclectic array of retailing types and formats.
Both of these limitations resulted from the purposive sampling method that was used to
collect the data.
A third limitation of the survey is that it only measured respondents’ attitudes
toward and perceptions of shopping for clothing in a retail store setting. Other product
categories were not considered and the type of retail store to base their responses on was
not specified for respondents. The type of store consumers shopped at, e.g., a specialty
clothing store versus an off-price retailer could influence their feelings about shopping
for clothing. Another caveat to note is that since the survey data was collected, the
Internet has become a more viable and popular site to shop not only for clothing, but
other products as well. At the time of the survey, very few respondents had shopped for
clothing online.
The final shortcoming is the scales used to measure recreational shopper identity
as well as the leisure (intrinsic satisfaction, mastery, spontaneity, and fantasy) and
shopping dimensions (social, salesperson, and clothing-focused) and subjected to further
analysis were not refined or validated. They were simply constructed from the factor
analysis of survey items.
Turning to the interview results, five limitations deserve attention. First, all the
informants were female leaving the door open to investigate the male recreational
shopper. Second, the majority of informants were young adults, who were single,

299
attending college full-time, and living in the same geographic area. A third shortcoming
pertaining to the pool of informants was that the informants were not screened for
compulsive buying tendencies. Given their comments, some informants did appear to
exhibit compulsive buying behaviors. Fourth, although other product categories were
discussed, like the survey, the interviews focused on a single product category, i.e.,
clothing.
The last limitation pertains to the analysis of the interview data. The analysis was
done solely by the author without the use of member checks and other tests of rigor and
trustworthiness. Hence, other interpretations of the data are possible.
Future Research
The dissertation opens the door for further research on recreational shoppers and
the recreational shopping experience. A starting point would be to investigate the
relationships among the variables shown in Figure 1 in Chapter 6 and discussed in the
last section of that chapter. Figure 1 depicts three key relationships pertaining to
recreational shoppers and their recreational shopping experiences. First, the strength of
recreational shoppers’ recreational shopper identity will be influenced by their need for
uniqueness and desire to be creative. Second, the nature and importance of the leisure
dimensions experienced while shopping will be influenced by two factors, i.e., the type of
recreational shopping trip recreational shoppers are engaging in and the strength of their
recreational shopper identity. Third, recreational shoppers’ self concept will be
influenced by the leisure dimensions they experience while shopping.
Before these relationships are analyzed, the rudimentary scales used to measure
recreational shopper identity and the leisure dimensions referred to earlier in this chapter

300
should be refined and validated. Not only is this necessary to rigorously test the
aforementioned relationships, but in light of the significance of shopping in U. S. culture
and the existence of recreational shoppers, it is certainly prudent to at least develop a
scale to measure consumers’ recreational shopper identity. This dissertation took the first
step in that direction.
To balance and augment the findings from this research, recreational shopping
should be studied from the perspective of older consumer, i.e., age 25 and above, who are
no longer attending school, and are working full-time or staying at home with their
children. This investigation would lend itself to analyzing changes in recreational
shopping involvement over the course of one’s life span.
A study of male recreational shoppers should also be conducted to understand
recreational shopping from their perspective. This is a natural extension of the present
research that looked at recreational shopping from the female recreational shoppers’ point
of view.
Given that non-U.S. citizens scored significantly higher than U.S. shoppers on the
recreational shopper identity scale, in addition to having a stronger materialistic and
compulsive buying tendency, cross cultural differences in recreational shopping should
be examined. Included here could be an examination of differences in shopping behavior
and attitudes about shopping between recent immigrants to the U.S. and those who have
become legal residents or U.S. citizens.
The interview data suggests that a woman’s involvement in shopping and her
tendency to develop a recreational shopper identity may be influenced by the type of
shopping relationship she had with her mother while growing up. Thus, the genesis,

301
growth, and maintenance of mother-daughter shopping relationships should be further
probed.
Finally, the growth in online and catalog shopping suggests that these venues
should be studied from the recreational shopper’s perspective to compare their
experiences when and perceptions of shopping in a traditional brick and mortar setting as
opposed to shopping from home via the Internet or telephone. Questions to consider
would include: is shopping online or from a catalog a leisure experience; if so, what
dimensions of leisure would be experienced; and do recreational shoppers go on the same
types of shopping trips, identified in this research, when they shop online or from a
catalog. Not only could research in this area help online and catalog retailers attract and
retain recreational shoppers, but it could also help store retailers become proactive in
defending their turf against the new competition.

APPENDIX 1
INTERVIEW PROTOCOL
1. (Informant’s name), to start off, what I would like you to do is to think about a recent
experience you had shopping for clothing and tell me about that experience. You
should pick an experience that you want to talk about and describe it to me in as
much detail as possible. You should describe when the experience occurred, where it
happened, the clothes you were shopping for, what you were doing while you were
shopping, and if anyone else was involved. Taking me from the beginning to the end
like you were telling me a story.
2. Do you like to shop for clothing?
3. What do you like about shopping for clothing?
4. What type of clothing do you like to shop for?
5. What type of clothing do you like to wear?
6. Do you like to put your own outfits together?
7. Do you go shopping for clothing if you are not planning to buy something?
8. Do you like to go shopping for clothing if you are not planning to buy something?
9. Do you like going shopping for clothing if you do not buy something?
10. When you go shopping for clothing do you have to buy something?
11. Do you like to look around in a store when you are shopping for clothing?
12. What do you like about looking at clothing?
13. Do you try clothing on if you are not thinking about buying it?
14. Do you go shopping for clothing with other people (by yourself)?
15. What do you like about going shopping for clothing with other people (by yourself)?
16. Is there a difference between shopping by yourself and shopping with other people?
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303
17. Who do you like to go shopping with?
18. Do you (like to) shop for clothing with your mother?
19. Does your mother like to shop for clothing?
20. Have you always liked to shop for clothing?
21. Is there anything you do not like about shopping for clothing?
22. How do you like salespeople to act while your shopping for clothing?
23. What do you not like salespeople to do while you are shopping?
24. Is shopping for clothing a leisure activity?
25. How does shopping for clothing compare to other leisure activities that you like to
engage in?
26. How often to you go shopping for clothing?
27. When do you like to go shopping for clothing?
28. Do you go shopping for clothing if you are in a good mood?
29. What stores do you like to go to when you are shopping for clothing?
30. Are there any types of clothing that you do not like to shop for?
31. When you are shopping for clothing at a mall are there other things that you do
besides going to clothing stores?
32. Are there other products that you like to shop for?
33. Are there products that you do not like to shop for?
34. Are there other types of stores that you (do not) like to go to?
35. Do you like to shop for gifts for other people?
36. Do you buy things for yourself to reward yourself?
37. Do you shop for clothing from catalogs?
38. Have you had any negative consequences from shopping for clothing?

APPENDIX 2
SURVEY DATA COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS
Extra Credit Assignment
Spring 1996
This extra credit assignment requires you to recruit people to complete a questionnaire
about consumers' clothing shopping behavior. You will receive ten questionnaires. You
may complete one of the questionnaires yourself and then will have to ask nine other
people to complete a questionnaire. To facilitate recruiting respondents, you should
consider asking family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to complete a survey.
The following guidelines must be adhered to when recruiting people to complete a
questionnaire.
1. Each student may only complete his/her own questionnaire, i.e., you may not fill
out a questionnaire for another student.
2. Before giving a questionnaire to someone to complete, please make sure that the
person has not filled out another student's questionnaire. A respondent can not
complete more than one survey or complete a survey for more than one student.
3. A respondent can not be a student in my BU 532, MK 220, or MK 340 classes.
4. Four of the nine respondents have to be the opposite gender of you.
5. At most four of the nine respondents may be full-time students.
6. At least four of the nine respondents have to be over the age of 25.
After a person has agreed to participate in the study, give him/her a survey and blank
envelope. The envelopes will be provided to you. After a respondent completes a
questionnaire, return the questionnaire to me in a sealed envelope.
Please make sure that each of your respondents provides a home or work telephone
number so that I may verify his/her participation in the research study. If a telephone
number is not provided you will not receive extra credit points.
You will receive one extra credit point for each completed questionnaire that you submit.
If you submit ten questionnaires, you will receive 15 extra credit points.
As an added incentive to recruit survey respondents, at the end of the study I will hold a
cash sweepstakes for students in my BU 532, MK 220, and MK 340 classes who return
ten completed questionnaires. The grand prize is $100. A second place prize of $50 and
third place prize of $10 will also be rewarded. Note: This sweepstakes is for students
304

305
only. Students in my classes are not eligible for the sweepstakes mentioned on the cover
page of the survey.
To receive your extra credit points, all questionnaires must be returned by Monday May
13, 1996. You may drop the questionnaires off at my office (DH 2125) or mailbox in DH
2183. If I am not in my office, please slide the envelopes under my office door.

APPENDIX 3
COVER LETTER AND SURVEY
May 1996
Hello:
I am conducting a research study to try to determine people's opinions and feelings about
shopping for clothing in a retail store and have designed a questionnaire to help me
understand consumers' clothing shopping behavior. The questionnaire has been designed
to be easy and quick. Actually, most people find it interesting and enjoy making their
opinions and feelings known.
In return for completing this questionnaire, the student who gave you the questionnaire
will receive extra credit points in the class he/she is taking from me at Fairleigh
Dickinson University.
As an added incentive to complete this questionnaire I will hold a cash sweepstakes at the
end of the study. The grand prize is $100. A second place prize of $50 and five third
place prizes of $10 will also be rewarded.
Your honest and thorough answers to all of these questions will be greatly appreciated.
Your answers, of course, will remain completely anonymous and confidential. If you
have any questions about the survey, please call me at (201) 692-7245.
Please seal the completed questionnaire in the envelope that was provided and give it
back to the student who gave it to you so that he/she may return it to me. I will be
responsible for opening the envelopes.
Thank you for helping me with my research.
Sincerely,
Prof. Michael Guiry
Department of Marketing
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307
To what address should I send the sweepstakes prize, if you win. (Your address will be
used only for this purpose and not for any other activities.)
NAME:
ADDRESS:
CITY:
STATE/ZIP CODE:
Consistent with standard survey practices, I will be calling 10 - 20% of survey
respondents to verity their participation in this study. To be eligible for the sweepstakes
prize and to enable the FDU student who gave you this questionnaire to receive his/her
extra credit points, please provide your home or work telephone number. (Your
telephone number will be used only to verify your participation in this study and not for
any other activities.)
TELEPHONE NUMBER:
What is the name of the FDU student who gave you this questionnaire?

What does shopping for clothing mean to you, i.e., what is your definition of shopping?
308
In the past year, how often did you shop for clothing for yourself in a retail store (whether you
made a purchase or not)? (Please circle your response.)
More than once a week 1
Once a week 2
Twice a month 3
Three times a month 4
Once a month 5
Every other month 6
4-5 times a year 7
2-3 times a year 8
Once a year 9
When you shop for clothing for yourself how much time do you spend shopping (whether you
make a purchase or not)?
Less than 1 hour 1
1 hour 2
2 hours 3
3 hours 4
4 hours 5
5 hours 6
6 hours 7
More than 6 hours 8
In the past year, how often did you shop for clothing for yourself from a catalog (whether you
made a purchase or not)?
More than once a week 1
Once a week 2
Twice a month 3
Three times a month 4
Once a month 5
Every other month 6
4-5 times a year 7
2-3 times a year 8
Once a year 9
Never 10

5.
In the past year, how often did you shop for clothing for yourself from a TV home shopping
channel (whether you made a purchase or not)?
309
More than once a week 1
Once a week 2
Twice a month 3
Three times a month 4
Once a month 5
Every other month 6
4-5 times a year 7
2-3 times a year 8
Once a year 9
Never 10
6. In the past year, how often did you shop for clothing for yourself via the Internet (whether you
made a purchase or not)?
More than once a week 1
Once a week 2
Twice a month 3
Three times a month 4
Once a month 5
Every other month 6
4-5 times a year 7
2-3 times a year 8
Once a year 9
Never 10
7.
Compared to other forms of shopping (i.e., catalogs, TV home shopping channels, or Internet),
what do you like best about shopping for clothing for yourself in retail stores?

310
Below are a series of statements about shopping for clothing in a retail store. Thinking about your
general approach or orientation to shopping for clothing for yourself in a retail store, please
indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. Please circle the
number that best indicates how you feel about each statement.
1.
I enjoy the process of shopping for
clothing for its own sake.
Strongly
Agree
5
Agree
4
Neither
Agree nor
Disagree
3
Disagree
2
Strongly
Disagree
1
2.
I do not feel forced to shop for
clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
3.
Shopping for clothing is unique.
5
4
3
2
1
4.
In a sense, I feel like I'm conquering
the world when shopping for
clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
5.
Shopping for clothing helps me
forget about the day's problems.
5
4
3
2
1
6.
For me, shopping for clothing
happens without warning or pre¬
thought.
5
4
3
2
1
7.
I was bom to shop for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
8.
I am friendly and talkative to others
when I am shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
9.
I go shopping for clothing because
buying clothing makes me happy.
5
4
3
2
1
10.
When I go shopping for clothing I
like to try on clothes that I can not
afford to buy.
5
4
3
2
1
11.
To me, shopping for clothing is pure
enjoyment.
5
4
3
2
1
12.
Shopping for clothing is not
completely voluntary for me.
5
4
3
2
1

13.
Shopping for clothing satisfies my
sense of curiosity.
Strongly
Aeree
5
Agree
4
Neither
Agree nor
Disagree
3
Disagree
2
Strongly
Disagree
1
14.
I get a sense of adventure when
shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
15.
I enjoy discussing shopping for
clothing with my family and/or
friends.
5
4
3
2
1
16.
For me, shopping for clothing is a
spontaneous occurrence.
5
4
3
2
1
17.
Shopping for clothing is important
for my self-definition.
5
4
3
2
1
18.
When shopping for clothing I enjoy
talking to salespeople.
5
4
3
2
1
19.
Shopping for clothing is much more
than simply buying something — it is
a whole experience.
5
4
3
2
1
20.
When I go shopping for clothing I
like to try on clothes that I wish I
could wear.
5
4
3
2
1
21.
Shopping for clothing is its own
reward.
5
4
3
2
1
22.
I do not feel obligated to shop for
clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
23.
Shopping for clothing offers new
experiences.
5
4
3
2
1
24.
I feel like I'm a real champion when
shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
25.
Shopping for clothing is a way to
"get away from it all."
5
4
3
2
1

312
26. For me, shopping for clothing
happens "out of the blue."
27. Shopping for clothing allows me to
express myself.
28. Shopping for clothing is most
enjoyable when I go by myself.
29. I enjoy trying on clothes just for fun
when I go shopping for clothing.
30. When I am shopping for clothing I
often imagine myself living another
life.
31. I love to go shopping for clothing.
32. Others do not have to talk me into
shopping for clothing.
33. I feel like I'm exploring new worlds
when shopping for clothing.
34. I feel like I'm being thoroughly
tested when shopping for clothing.
35. When I am shopping for clothing I
feel like I'm in another world.
36. For me, shopping for clothing is a
"spur-of-the-moment" thing.
37. I have strong feelings about
shopping for clothing.
38. Shopping for clothing is most
enjoyable when I go with another
person.
Aeree
Neither
Agree nor
Disagree
Disagree
Strongly
Disagree
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
Strongly
Agree
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

313
39.
When I go shopping for clothing I
have to buy something.
Strongly
Aeree
5
Agree
4
Neither
Agree nor
Disaeree
3
Disagree
2
Strongly
Disagree
1
40.
I like to look through stores and just
imagine owning some of the
clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
41.
I get a real high from shopping for
clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
42.
"Not because I have to but because I
want to" would characterize my
shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
43.
I feel like I'm at risk when shopping
for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
44.
I get so involved shopping for
clothing that I forget everything else.
5
4
3
2
1
45.
I don't know the day before that I am
going to go shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
46.
Many people know how I feel about
shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
47.
I enjoy being complimented by a
salesperson when I am shopping for
clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
48.
I need to be looking for a specific
item to go shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
49.
I never get as much out of owning
the clothing I buy as I thought I
would.
5
4
3
2
1
50.
Shopping for clothing is one of the
most enjoyable things I do.
5
4
3
2
1

314
Strongly
Agree
51. Shopping for clothing enables me to
realize my aspirations. 5
52. I have a favorite shopping
companion when I go shopping for
clothing. 5
53. Shopping for clothing is not fun if I
don't buy something. 5
54. When I go shopping for clothing
trying on clothes makes me feel
good. 5
55. Shopping for clothing is one of the
most fulfilling things I do. 5
56. Other people think that shopping for
clothing is important to me. 5
57. I like to be waited on by a helpful
salesperson when I am shopping for
clothing. 5
58. The clothing that I buy is special to
me. 5
59. I find that a lot of my life is
organized around shopping for
clothing. 5
60. Shopping for clothing is an extension
of myself. 5
61. I enjoy going shopping for clothing
with other people even if I do not
plan to buy something. 5
62.When I go shopping for clothing I'm
often not sure why I buy the things
that I do.
Neither
Agree nor
Agree Disagree Disagree
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
Strongly
Disagree
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
5
4
3
2
1

315
63.
Shopping for clothing is what makes
life truly enjoyable.
Strongly
Agres
5
Agree
4
Neither
Agree nor
Disagree
3
Disagree
2
Strongly
pisagree
1
64.
If I was not able to go shopping for
clothing, I would feel that a part of
me is missing.
5
4
3
2
1
65.
I like when salespeople know my
name when I am shopping for
clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
66.
When I go shopping for clothing I
don't really care what I buy.
5
4
3
2
1
67.
Shopping for clothing totally absorbs
me.
5
4
3
2
1
68.
Shopping for clothing occupies a
special place in my life.
5
4
3
2
1
69.
I enjoy being complimented by a
shopping companion when I am
shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
70.
Shopping for clothing is fun when I
am just looking around in a store
with no intention to buy.
5
4
3
2
1
71.
When I'm with a friend or family we
often end up talking about shopping
for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
72.
Shopping for clothing is often on my
mind.
5
4
3
2
1
73.
I enjoy helping a shopping
companion while he/she is shopping
for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1
74.
I enjoy walking around the mall
when I am shopping for clothing.
5
4
3
2
1

316
75. Shopping for clothing is central to
who I am.
76. Shopping for clothing is a social
event.
77. I find myself going shopping for
clothing often because I quickly lose
interest in the clothing that I buy.
78. Shopping for clothing affirms my
values.
79. A central part of my friendship or
relationship with another person is
going shopping for clothing together.
80. I like to stop and get something to
eat or drink when I am shopping for
clothing.
81. Shopping for clothing contributes to
my self-esteem.
82. Trying on clothes is part of the fun of
shopping for clothing.
83. The best part of going shopping for
clothing is being with my family
and/or friends.
84 I feel very strongly about the
clothing that I buy.
Agree
Neither
Agree nor
Disagree
Disagree
Strongly
Disaeree
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
Strongly
Agreg
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

317
When people go shopping for clothing at a shopping mall they engage in a number of different
activities, in addition to shopping for clothing. For each item listed below, please indicate how
often you participate in the activity when at a shopping mall shopping for clothing. Circle the
number of your answer.
1. Play a video game in the mall.
2. Have something to drink in the mall.
3. Make an unplanned clothing
purchase.
4. Walk in the mall for exercise.
5. Browse in a mall store without
planning to buy something.
6. Talk with other shoppers I meet in
the mall.
7. Go to see a movie in the mall.
8. Have a snack in the mall.
9. Buy a nonclothing product in a mall
store.
10. Walk around the mall for fun.
11. Browse in a mall store to perhaps
buy something in the future.
12. Socialize with friends or family in
the mall.
13. Go on a carousel ride in the mall.
14. Have lunch in the mall.
15. Get a haircut in the mall.
16. Try on clothing in a mall store for
fun.
Very
Often
5
5
5
5
5
Often
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
Some¬
times
3
3
3
3
3
3
Rarely Never
2 1
2 1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

318
Very
Some-
Often
Often
times
Rarelv
Never
17.
Have a conversation with a sales
clerk in a mall store.
5
4
3
2
1
18.
Look at special mall exhibits or
shows.
5
4
3
2
1
19.
Have dinner in the mall.
5
4
3
2
1
20.
Watch other people in the mall.
5
4
3
2
1
People differ in their feelings about the possessions that they and others own. Please indicate how
much you agree or disagree with each of the statements below. Please circle the number that best
indicates how you feel about each statement.
Strongly
Agree
Agree
Neither
Agree nor
Disagree
Disagree
Strongly
Disagree
I admire people who own expensive
homes, cars, and clothes.
5
4
3
2
1
Some of the most important
achievements in life include
acquiring material possessions.
5
4
3
2
1
I don't place much emphasis on the
amount of material objects people
own as a sign of success.
5
4
3
2
1
The things I own say a lot about how
well I'm doing in life.
5
4
3
2
1
I like to own things that impress
people.
5
4
3
2
1
I don't pay much attention to the
material objects other people own.
5
4
3
2
1
I usually buy only the things I need.
5
4
3
2
1
I try to keep my life simple, as far as
possessions are concerned.
5
4
3
2
1

319
Neither
Strongly
Agree nor
Strongly
Agree
Agree
Disagree
Disagree
Disagree
9.
The things I own aren’t all that
important to me.
5
4
3
2
1
10.
I enjoy spending money on things
that aren’t practical.
5
4
3
2
1
11.
Buying things gives me a lot of
pleasure.
5
4
3
2
1
12.
I like a lot of luxury in my life.
5
4
3
2
1
13.
I put less emphasis on material
things than most people I know.
5
4
3
2
1
14.
I have all the things I really need to
enjoy life.
5
4
3
2
1
15.
My life would be better if I owned
certain things I don't have.
5
4
3
2
1
16.
I wouldn't be any happier if I owned
nicer things.
5
4
3
2
1
17.
I'd be happier if I could afford to buy
more things.
5
4
3
2
1
18.
It sometimes bothers me quite a bit
that I can't afford to buy all the
things I'd like.
5
4
3
2
1
19.
If I have any money left at the end of
the pay period, I just have to spend
it.
5
4
3
2
1

320
Below are a series of statements describing feelings people have about themselves. Please indicate
how much you agree or disagree with each of the statements below. Please circle the number that
best indicates how you feel about each statement.
1.
I feel that I'm a person of worth, at
least on an equal plane with others.
Strongly
Agree
5
Agree
4
Neither
Agree nor
Disagree
3
Disagree
2
Strongly
Disagree
1
2.
I feel that I have a number of good
qualities.
5
4
3
2
1
3.
All in all, I am inclined to feel that I
am an all-around failure.
5
4
3
2
1
4.
I am able to do things as well as
most other people.
5
4
3
2
1
5.
I feel I do not have much to be proud
of.
5
4
3
2
1
6.
I take a positive attitude toward
myself.
5
4
3
2
1
7.
On the whole, I am satisfied with
myself.
5
4
3
2
1
8.
I wish that I could have more respect
for myself.
5
4
3
2
1
9.
I certainly feel useless all the time.
5
4
3
2
1
10.
I am no good at all.
5
4
3
2
1

321
Below are a series of statements describing different buying behaviors and spending patterns.
Please indicate how often you have done each of the following things by circling the appropriate
number.
Very
Often
Often
Some-
limes
Rarelv
Never
Felt others would be horrified if they
knew of my spending habits.
5
4
3
2
1
Bought things even though I couldn't
afford them.
5
4
3
2
1
Wrote a check when I knew I didn't
have enough money in the bank to
cover it.
5
4
3
2
1
Bought myself something in order to
make myself feel better.
5
4
3
2
1
Felt anxious or nervous on days I
didn't go shopping.
5
4
3
2
1
Made only the minimum payments
on my credit cards.
5
4
3
2
1
The following questions are for classification purposes only. Please circle your response.
1. Are you:
Male 1
Female 2
2. Your age is:
19 or younger
1
45-49
7
20-24
2
50-54
8
25-29
3
55-59
9
30-34
4
60-64
10
35-39
5
65 or older
11
40-44
6

Your race/ethnic group is:
African-American 1
Asian 2
Caucasian 3
Hispanic
Other
Your marital status is:
Never married 1
Married 2
Living Together 3
Separated
Divorced
Widowed
The number of children living in your household is:
None 1
One 2
Two 3
Three
Four
Five or more
What is the highest level of education you have completed?
Less than high school 1
High school 2
Some college 3
College graduate
Some graduate school
Graduate degree
Are you currently a student?
Yes 1
No 2
Are you a U.S. citizen?
Yes 1
No 2
If you are not a U.S. citizen, how long have you lived in the U.S.?

10. The total annual income before taxes of your household is:
323
Less than $10,000 1 $60,000 - $69,999 7
$10,000-$19,999 2 $70,000 - $79,999 8
$20,000 - $29,999 3 $80,000 - $89,999 9
$30,000 - $39,999 4 $90,000 - $99,999 10
$40,000 - $49,999 5 $100,000 or more 11
$50,000 - $59,999 6
11. What percentage of your income is spent on buying clothing for yourself?
0-10%
1
51-60%
6
11-20%
2
61-70%
7
21 - 30%
3
71 - 80%
8
31-40%
4
81-90%
9
41 - 50%
5
91 - 100%
10
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COMPLETE THIS SURVEY!!

APPENDIX 4
SHOPPING MALL ACTIVITIES SCALE*
1. Play a video game in the mall.
2. Have something to drink in the mall.
3. Make an unplanned clothing purchase.
4. Walk in the mall for exercise.
5. Browse in a mall store without planning to buy something.
6. Talk with other shoppers I meet in the mall.
7. Go to see a movie in the mall.
8. Have a snack in the mall.
9. Buy a nonclothing product in a mall store.
10. Walk around the mall for fun.
11. Browse in a mall store to perhaps buy something in the future.
12. Socialize with friends or family in the mall.
13. Go on a carousel ride in the mall.
14. Have lunch in the mall.
15. Get a haircut in the mall.
16. Try on clothing in a mall store for fun.
17. Have a conversation with a sales clerk in a mall store.
18. Look at special mall exhibits or shows.
19. Have dinner in the mall.
20. Watch other people in the mall.
*5-point scale anchored by 1 = Never and 5 = Very Often
324

APPENDIX 5
MATERIALISM SCALE*
(Richins and Dawson 1992)
1. I admire people who own expensive homes, cars, and clothes.
2. Some of the most important achievements in life include acquiring material
possessions.
3. I don't place much emphasis on the amount of material objects people own as a sign
of success.
4. The things I own say a lot about how well I'm doing in life.
5. I like to own things that impress people.
6. I don't pay much attention to the material objects other people own.
7. I usually buy only the things I need.
8. I try to keep my life simple, as far as possessions are concerned.
9. The things I own aren't all that important to me.
10.1 enjoy spending money on things that aren't practical.
11. Buying things gives me a lot of pleasure.
12.1 like a lot of luxury in my life.
13.1 put less emphasis on material things than most people I know.
14.1 have all the things I really need to enjoy life.
15. My life would be better if I owned certain things I don't have.
16.1 wouldn't be any happier if I owned nicer things.
17. I'd be happier if I could afford to buy more things.
18. It sometimes bothers me quite a bit that I can't afford to buy all the things I'd like.
*5-point scale anchored by 1= Strongly Disagree and 5 = Strongly Agree
325

APPENDIX 6
COMPULSIVE BUYING SCALE*
(Faber and O’Guinn 1992)
1. If I have any money left at the end of the pay period I just have to spend it.
2. Felt others would be horrified if they knew of my spending habits.
3. Bought things even though I couldn't afford them.
4. Wrote a check when I knew I didn't have enough money in the bank to cover it.
5. Bought something in order to make myself feel better.
6. Felt anxious or nervous on days I didn't go shopping.
7. Made only the minimum payments on my credit cards.
*5-point scale: Item 1 anchored by 1= Strongly Disagree and 5 = Strongly Agree
Items 2-7 anchored by 1 = Never and 5 = Very Often
326

APPENDIX 7
SELF-ESTEEM SCALE*
(Rosenberg 1965)
1. I feel that I'm a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others.
2. I feel that I have a number of good qualities.
3. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.
4. I am able to do things as well as most other people.
5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of.
6. I take a positive attitude toward myself.
7. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself.
8. I wish that I could have more respect for myself.
9. I certainly feel useless at times.
10.1 am no good at all.
*5-point scale anchored by 1= Strongly Disagree and 5 = Strongly Agree
327

APPENDIX 8
SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC MEASURES
1. Sex:
Male 1
Female 2
2. Age:
19 or younger
1
20-24
2
25-29
3
30-34
4
35-39
5
40-44
6
45-49
7
50-54
8
55-59
9
60-65
10
65 or older
11
3. Race/ethnic group:
African-American
Asian
Caucasian
Hispanic
Other
1
2
3
4
5
4. Marital Status: Never married 1
Married 2
Living Together 3
Separated 4
Divorced 5
Widowed 6
5. The number of children living in household: None 1
One 2
Two 3
Three 4
Four 5
Five or more 6
328

6. Highest level of education completed:
Less than high school 1
High school 2
Some college 3
College graduate 4
Some graduate school 5
Graduate degree 6
7. Student status: Yes 1
No 2
8. U.S. citizen status: Yes 1
No 2
9. If not a U.S. citizen, how long lived in the U.S.?
10.Total annual income before taxes of household: Less than $10,000 1
$10,000 - $19,999 2
$20,000 - $29,999 3
$30,000 - $39,999 4
$40,000 - $49,999 5
$50,000 - $59,999 6
$60,000 - $69,999 7
$70,000 - $79,999 8
$80,000 - $89,999 9
$90,000 - $99,999 10
$ 100,000 or more 11
11.Percentage of income spent on buying clothing for yourself? 0-10% 1
11 - 20% 2
21 - 30% 3
31-40% 4
41 - 50% 5
51-60% 6
61 - 70% 7
71 - 80% 8
81-91% 9
91 - 100% 10

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Michael Guiry is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Coastal Carolina
University. He has also taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the University of
Central Florida. Prior to attending the University of Florida, he received a B. S. in
Business Management from Cornell University in 1982 and a MBA from Duke
University in 1988.
340

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Richard J. Lutz, unairman
Professor of Marketing
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
sepfn W. Alba
Distinguished Professor of
Marketing
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Barton A. Weitz
J.C. Penney Eminent Scholar
of Marketing
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Richard E. Romano
Gerald L. Gunter Professor of
Economics
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of
Marketing in the Warrington College of Business Administration and to the Graduate
School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
May 1999
Dean, Graduate School

LD
1780
1998
‘C1% UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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