The COVID-19 pandemic rocked the business world in nearly every industry in 2020. Thousands of stores had to either temporarily close or shutter completely. Though there is now a light at the end of the tunnel, the effects of the pandemic aren’t completely done for retailers.
It’s expected that 10,000 stores will close in 2021, setting a new record. That number includes everything from small businesses to major retailers like JCPenney and Macy’s.
You can do your part to get things back to “normal” by considering your shopping habits for the summer. As summer hits its peak, you could be in the market for a new warm-weather wardrobe. But, because things have been closed or restricted for so long, it’s important to shop smart and be mindful of your purchases.
There’s a fine balance that you can help with – one that will keep stores open while allowing you to shop for enjoyment while choosing the right essentials for your summer wardrobe. Let’s look at a few things you should be keeping in mind as the world re-opens and you’re ready to shop ‘til you drop.
Enjoy the Experience
If the pandemic showed us anything, it’s that we value personal attention and human connection. Loneliness and isolation became huge problems during COVID-19, especially among young adults. One survey found that 61% of respondents between the ages of 18-25 reported high levels of loneliness. That can cause problems like:
• Poor sleep habits
• Poor nutrition
• Symptoms of depression
• Lower energy levels
Now that shops are starting to reopen, many people might be flocking to stores just to experience some normalcy and to see other people. One study found that nearly half of all consumers would begin shopping at retail stores immediately once they opened.
If that sounds like you, that’s okay! It’s a good thing to get out and enjoy your experiential shopping. If you’ve been isolated for a long time and you’ve been struggling due to a lack of human connection, simply visiting different shops, talking to people, and seeing others doing the same thing can do great things for your mood and mental health.
As long as you feel safe and are taking necessary precautions, consider shopping in person this summer, rather than staying at home and buying your wardrobe online.
Be Mindful in Your Purchases
For some, part of experiential shopping can include making multiple purchases. You might even feel like you deserve to go on a shopping spree to cheer yourself up or because it’s been so long. But, that isn’t necessarily the best approach for your return to in-person shopping.
There’s such a thing as “shopper’s high,” and you might think you need it now more than ever. But, after making several expensive purchases, that high can wear off and you’ll quickly realize you may have bought things you don’t need.
Instead of buying things you don’t necessarily need, consider making purchases that can be useful for any hobbies you picked up during the pandemic. With so much time at home, a wave of new hobbies took over the country for people trying to stay busy. Some of the most popular included:
• Working out
• Arts and crafts
If you’ve started working out more, for example, consider buying new exercise gear, clothes, or even activewear jewelry. Waterproof watches, leather or cloth bands, and sweatproof jewelry are all great options when you’re hitting the gym or working out at home. It’s a practical way to shop, and you’ll have something you’ll actually put to good use when you get home.
Take a Minimalist Approach
The pandemic taught many of us another lesson that can be easy to overlook – how to appreciate what we already have. The minimalist lifestyle had already been growing in popularity before COVID-19. But, with more people “stuck” at home, it became even more prominent.
Many people spent a lot of time cleaning and organizing their homes. That included getting rid of things they didn’t need. You can stick with that approach even as things get back to normal.
Even if you choose to collect certain things, you can take a minimalistic approach to it by combining novelty with practicality and being mindful of the collections you start. Doing so will help you to live simply, embrace organization, and stay away from any type of borderline hoarding disorder.
Collecting things can be beneficial to your health when done the right way. It can lower your heart rate, improve your mood, and decrease the risk of unhealthy behaviors. Whether you want to start a new collection or get rid of things already in your home to clear out the clutter, recognizing the importance of what you already own and not buying things in excess will end up making you feel much better.
The bottom line? It’s going to be tempting to shop quite a bit this summer. Don’t be afraid to spend some time at your favorite stores or just walking through your local mall with other people. The experience is important. But, keep your purchases in check by staying mindful and minimal as much as possible.