Top 10 Somewhat Surprising Cities Where Retail Therapy Reigns

We’ve all self-soothed a bad day for retail therapy. We’ve also treated ourselves with retail therapy. As a matter of fact, many of us can rationalize retail therapy for just about anything.

For the most part, the website Very Well Health sums it up perfectly.

It’s motivated by a desire to feel better rather than to meet a need, like grocery shopping. This activity may also be called comfort buying, stress shopping, or compensative buying. Retail therapy doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure, though. It can be a relaxing, empowering experience on occasion.

The downside for a lot of us is exactly how much we actually spend during these retail therapy sessions. While it releases endorphins and makes us temporarily feel better that credit card bill can change everything. No matter what, it’s a thing even if it’s treating yourself to something small and inexpensive.

So what cities see a boost in their economy so to speak because of retail therapy? Surprisingly the Top 10 feel out of order and in some cases, I’m surprised with a couple of the cities while there are some I expected to see.

Storage Cafe conducted this study. To pinpoint the top metro areas that offer the most satisfying and enjoyable shopping experiences criteria include the following according to its website.

  • 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

Drum roll, please?

Storage Cafe

Storage Cafe



Largest number of retail stores per 1K residents


Inexpensive with a solid price range.

St. Louis

The most retail space per capita.


The most clothing and sporting goods outlets.


No sales tax on clothing.


Avoid crowds

Los Angeles

2nd highest number of places to shop in the country.


Hefty household income per capita

New York City

2nd best for store-to-shopper ratio and most luxury brands.


Residents spend a lot comparatively.

Of course, if you want a deeper dive into why each major metro area landed where it did you can click here.

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