Heard the term ‘revenge shopping’? Here’s what it means

Revenge shopping is when you drop dollars on luxury items after lockdown.

Revenge shopping is when you drop dollars on luxury items after lockdown. Photo: Getty

You may have heard the term ‘revenge shopping’ recently, but what is it and is it relevant to us here in Australia?

Revenge shopping in basic terms is the urge to splurge on high-end items and experiences after a period of lockdown when we had nowhere to go and no one to see our style.

The term is a literal translation of a Chinese phrase used to describe a rush on the purchase of luxury items following China’s lockdowns, according to Forbes.

It’s important to note that not everyone is in a better financial position after COVID-19 restrictions. Some are significantly worse off.

But for the financially secure, whose budgets were accustomed to frequenting restaurants and a bit of retail therapy on the weekends, closed doors have led to forced savings.


Fine dining was not on the menu during lockdown. Photo: Getty

And yes, online shopping exists and people have taken it up while the stores were shuttered.

But like a fake luxury handbag, the online shopping experience is no substitute for the real thing.

Just ask fashion writer Kirstie Clements, who shared the “unmitigated disaster” of buying a swimsuit online in her column for The New Daily last month.

Related: Kirstie Clements says ‘no’ to online shopping – again

So far, revenge shopping is mostly being driven by China – where the term was coined – but it is also making waves in the US, according to GQ.

French luxury house Kering, which owns brands like Balenciaga, Gucci and Saint Laurent, reported a 46 per cent sales increase in North America for the quarter, while Hermès sales were up by 23 per cent.

Luxury brands had bumper sales in the rush. Photo: Getty

With restrictions lifting across New South Wales and Victoria, we are yet to see the full impact of revenge shopping.

But as TND recently reported, Australia saved more than $204 billion during the pandemic when they stopped going out and delayed clothing purchases.

And shoppers are keen to splash their cash – mostly on themselves.

Data released by shopping website Little Birdie suggests Aussies have earmarked 40 per cent of their holiday spending for self-gifting.

Post-lockdown outfits were put down as a priority, with clothing at the top of our wish lists, followed by electronics and home decor.

Australians are ready for revenge shopping.

Economists are already counting on a spending surge, with the Australian Retailers Association expecting $5.4 billion to be spent over four days during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events in late November.

Need tips to protect yourself from the urge to splurge? We covered that last month – you can find that article here.

Topics: Shopping
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