Retail therapy is a form of empowerment that adds joy and competence to a senior citizen’s day, perhaps shopping in a variety of stores. Retail therapy is clearly a challengingly funny concept that requires careful personal objectives astutely balanced with fiscal sanity as well as delineated knowledge of retail values. The danger lies in a simplistic acceptance of personal need and paying the bill without careful study of the value at stake? In purchasing clothing, for example, consider the merchandise in relation to care in the days ahead. Is the item washable or requiring dry-cleaning?
Keep in mind that retail therapy can include “extreme couponing” and use of “shopper’s cards” in grocery stores for those senior citizens who still cook. For many seniors there is the challenge of finding food merchandize at warehouse establishments or discount grocers, checking dates and perceived bumps.
The concepts listed below may help seniors deal realistically with shopping while gaining the expertise needed in entering area stores in and around Lancaster County. Retail Therapy is a sound means to preserve and sharpen an individual sense of humor and increase the joy of the moment.
Concept One: Determine the need. Is the focus for a particular item to be purchased or for the retail therapy itself, the sheer fun of it?
Concept Two: Enjoy the fun of beating the system through careful examination of brands, labels and price correlations.
Concept Three: Recognize the utter joy in finding and cutting out the coupons for specific stores. Alertness must be maintained in reading the fine print that almost appears to contradict what is on the coupon. An approach to coupon analysis is quite easy to develop and with a tad of practice one can be assured of competence. Be sure to bring all coupons with you on store visits and then remember to redeem the most valuable of them when purchasing. Also check coupons for Outlet Malls as well as coupons from Individual store rewards programs.
Concept Five: Learn the stores that regularly offer good sales. Bonus Buys andIncredible Values and Early Bird Specials are worth observation with alertness. Note signage and placement of Best Bargains in the store while simultaneously fixate on special sections or areas of high interest and value.
Concept Six: Learn the return or exchange policy for a specific store but often avoid that process by learning specific brand and sizes. For instance a Large in one label may be equivalent to another label’s Medium or an Extra Large in a third.
Concept Seven: Recognize the issues, including potential postage, in purchasing online with the dependence on images and minimal details.
Concept Eight: Like hunters who spot deer before the season opens, study new, full price merchandise but resist the compulsion to buy on the spot. Consider that this item too could probably hit the sale rack!
Jane is a New Yorker through and through. She grew up in the city and goes back there as often as possible to enjoy theater, museums and just the busyness of city life. She is also a social activist who continues to fight for causes she believes in.
She earned her doctoral degree at Columbia University and, after a few years teaching at Simmons College in Boston, returned to teach at Columbia until her retirement. She taught teachers, librarians and information scientists, but her primary role was as head of a doctoral program. She taught research methodologies and was sought after as a dissertation adviser for graduate students from various schools and disciplines within Columbia University.
After her move to Willow Valley in 2004, Jane and her friend Kay Vandergrift continued their involvement in education through the establishment of The Life of the Mind Consortium, a cooperative venture with Franklin & Marshall College, Millersville University, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design and Willow Valley Communities.