Interesting article from Australia's Sunday Telegraph:
Women spend a year shopping
By Miawling Lam June 28, 2008 10:00pm
Australian women love to shop and now research has revealed just how much time and money they spend indulging in their favourite hobby over the course of their lifetime.
The answers are: a year and approximately $150,000.
A new report estimates the average female spends 12 months of her time on Earth in shopping centres hunting down bargains and buying everything from potato chips to the latest must-have patent heels.
If that wasn't enough to frighten many men, women will also hand over three times the average wage on clothes, shoes, handbags and cosmetics during their lifetime.
The findings were detailed in a report titled Shopping: A Consuming Passion, which looked into the shopping habits of thousands of Australians over the past four years.
Conducted by retail research company Directional Insights, and commissioned by AMP Capital Shopping Centres, the 21-page document is one of the biggest national studies ever conducted on shopping trends.
More than 20,000 people were interviewed online, over the phone and face-to-face in shopping centres across the country.
The study confirmed that while generally men found shopping a chore, for women it was a pleasure.
Women spend an average of 15 minutes more than men in a shopping centre and make up the vast majority of shopaholics - one of seven shopping tribes identified by the study. One in 10 likes to indulge in a spot of retail therapy every day.
Other findings reveal that the most passionate shoppers are Generation Y, a third of whom say they love shopping.
And the younger the shopper, the larger they like their shopping centres.
Eighty per cent of Generation Xers prefer malls to retail strips or high streets.
Consumer researcher and author of the report Helen Bakewell said the study reflected the country's addiction to consumerism.
"We were born to shop,'' she said. "The report shows us shopping is a valid human experience, with people connecting emotionally with their local shopping centre. "Just like men talk about sport and that fabulous try and that fabulous tackle, women also love to talk about the thrill of shopping and what they bought.''
The comprehensive report revealed shoppers were not only venturing to their local more frequently but were spending more time browsing in-store.
Shopping tribes range from shopaholics to the bargain hunting, price-sensitive consumer to the quality seeker who purchases high-end designer clothing.
The shopping spending estimates did not include major purchases such as cars and boats. Other costs not incurred at shopping centres were also excluded from the study.
Ms Bakewell, who has devoted 15 years to investigating the topic, also predicted shopping centres would soon become an all-encompassing hub for the community.
"They say that it's the village that raises the child but, in the future, it will be the shopping centre as the main location where children are allowed to roam free,'' she said.
"Previously, children were allowed to go out on their bikes and meet at the park but, today, due to the growing insecurities of the community, the free reign of children has become limited to the confines of the shopping centre.''
The findings come in the wake of recent research in the UK which showed that 74 per cent of women thought about shopping every 60 seconds.
Copyright 2007 News Limited