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Shopping in the city has never felt so good: Vicinity Centres reinvents the meaning of ‘Retail Therapy’

PRNewswire April 20, 2023
  • New research reveals that Australians cite shopping as a top activity to ‘boost their mood’ and mental┬á wellbeing
  • Three unique wellness activations launch at iconic shopping centres, helping to bring a sense of zen to shoppers in Sydney’s CBD

SYDNEY, April 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — New research*, commissioned by Vicinity Centres, reveals that over half (53%) of Australians expressed┬á they preferred in-store retail therapy, as opposed to shopping online. Despite the boom in e-commerce,┬á consumers appear to be experiencing digital shopping fatigue.┬á

The statistics show that in-store shopping was more than just the practical and ‘try before you buy’ aspects, consumers also looked for the mental health benefits that retail therapy can provide. While research has shown that purchasing an item is a key part of a ‘successful’ retail therapy session (49%), walking around (43%), food and drink activities (40%), enjoying in-centre experiences (27%) and socialising with peers (25%) were among the other top factors of a day out at the shops.┬á

Those surveyed explained that a day of retail therapy was the ultimate mood-booster, with 1 in 2┬á Australians viewing retail therapy as a positive ‘wellness experience’. Furthermore, over a third (39%)┬á stated that retail therapy is beneficial to their mental health, and others see it as an easy and accessible way to improve their mood (53%). It also appears to be a way to relax and escape the stress of busy lives, with 1 in 5 Aussies participating in retail therapy when they feel ‘anxious’ or ‘stressed’.┬á

Respondents explained that wellness experiences were of huge importance to them, with 72% citing that one of the main reasons they engage in wellness-related activities is to improve their mental health. In fact, shopping was considered one of the best ways to practice self-care, with 35% of Aussies believing that retail therapy is a fast-acting and more immediate mood booster compared to other wellness activities such as yoga, fitness classes, meditation and hiking. 

In response, Vicinity Centres is giving ‘retail therapy’ a wellness makeover. Beginning this April, consumers can transform their everyday shopping trip into a new retail wellness experience exclusively at the QVB, The Galeries, and The Strand Arcade.┬á

Visitors can experience three unique and multisensory wellness therapies on offer ÔÇô Fractal Therapy, Chromotherapy and Sound Therapy ÔÇô all created in partnership with sensory experts and designed to help┬ábring a sense of zen to shoppers. Customers can gaze upon soothing geometric light shows, immerse┬á themselves in colour therapy installations and experience the relaxing and energising benefits of sound┬á therapy ÔÇô transforming their in-store shopping visit into a holistic wellness experience.┬á

As part of the new initiative, Vicinity has partnered with positive psychology expert Dr Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy). He explains: “Wellness has become such an important part of our lives, so anything we can do to improve our happiness and wellbeing is incredibly valuable. I’m thrilled to be partnering with Vicinity to┬á launch these three new wellness offerings in the CBD, designed to help boost shoppers’ mood and provide some much-needed positivity.”┬á

Corrine Barchanowicz, Head of Marketing, Brand and Experience, Vicinity Centres explains: “Looking at the research, we know that in-person shopping and wellness are two areas of interest for Australians, which is why we’ve created these immersive and holistic offerings at three of our top locations. We spotted an opportunity to bridge the gap between both retail and wellness, giving a whole new meaning to the concept of ‘retail therapy’ to offer a truly unique experience.”┬á

Vicinity Centres invites everyone to visit the Queen Victoria Building, The Galeries and The Strand Arcade to experience the unique in-centre activities, which are open to the public until May 7th. All experiences are free for visitors to enjoy. 

*Research was conducted in March 2023 by Pureprofile on behalf of Vicinity Centres on a sample of  over 1,000 Australians above the age of 18. 

About Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX)

Vicinity is one of Australia’s leading retail property groups, reimagining the way Australians live, work and play. It owns and manages 60 assets – some of the most recognisable and loved retail destinations across Australia – and is evolving to transform its portfolio into destinations that offer a broad selection of retail, residential, and office spaces.

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SOURCE Vicinity Centres

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