Shop Happy: Dallas-Fort Worth Named the No. 8 U.S. Metro for ‘Retail Therapy’

Sure, you could lie on a couch in a shrink's office for 10 years to deal with your fears and anxieties. But why not just go shopping at one of the region's countless shops, stores, and malls?

You’ve tried psychotherapy. Group therapy. Red-light therapy. Interpersonal therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Maybe you’ve even gone with your therapist to a therapy support group, and then went to a second therapist about that. Still feel hollow inside? There’s an easier answer—and it involves a cash register.

Retail therapy is as simple as going shopping. In fact, that’s all it is—improving your mood by trying on clothes, buying a new pair of earrings, snagging a new set of golf clubs, and slapping down your credit card for instant feel-good relief.

A 2011 study found that retail therapy “has lasting positive impacts on mood.” And if you live in North Texas and feel like a boost, you’re in luck: Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is the No. 8 metro in the country for retail therapy, according to a new study by StorageCafe.

StorageCafe cited a recent survey on consumer habits showing that people may engage in retail therapy as frequently as four times a month, with 66% acknowledging that shopping and spending have the power to significantly change their mood. A different study indicates that 43% of millennials and 35% of Gen Zers “are spending their savings on luxury goods as a way to deal with the uncertainty of the current economy.”

To arrive at its rankings, StorageCafe’s research team explored the latest data on retail from the U.S. Census, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Smart Growth America, and its sister companies CommercialEdge and Yardi Matrix, basing its findings on:

  • Number of retail establishments per 1,000 residents
  • Number of retail employees per 1,000 residents
  • Retail square footage per capita
  • Local foot traffic
  • Household income
  • Household expenditures on retail purchases
  • Interest in luxury brands as illustrated by online searches
  • Population density
  • Local self storage options (all that stuff you buy has to go somewhere)

Greater Miami ranked No. 1 for retail therapy, followed by the Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, and Boston metros at No. 2 through 5. Dallas-Fort Worth is the only Texas metro to make the Retail Therapy Top 10 list.

Finding ‘an unforgettable experience’ in DFW shopping

“In the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area, a population of 7.9M is served by 7,732 retail establishments,” the Storage Cafe study reports. “While this figure may not compete with NYC or LA’s offerings, the DFW metroplex distinguishes itself with an impressive 409M square feet of retail space, offering more than 51 square feet for every resident.”

“With a hefty household income averaging almost $83K, Dallas area residents devote over $10K annually (12.5% of their average income) to retail expenditures alone,” the study added. 

Dallas’ ultra-luxe Highland Park Village was especially cited by the study, along with the city’s Northpark Center, Galleria Dallas, and The Shops at Park Lane. Stonebriar Center in Frisco also came in for some retail therapy honors. 

“Whether you’re in search of the latest trends or simply indulging in a day of leisurely shopping, the DFW area promises an unforgettable experience,” the study says.

You can read the full StorageCafe study here.

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