Does Self Worth Decide Where You Shop?

Does Self Worth Decide Where You Shop?

My mom has a theory that the only reason certain stores stay in business is because the customers that frequent them don’t feel “good enough” to shop in more upscale establishments.   I have poo-poo’d the idea, but in the past week I’ve been in two stores that every time I’m in them, I wonder why anyone shops there.  Which ones?

  • K-mart
  • Big Lots


Every single K-mart I’ve ever been in has been dirty, messy and more expensive than their competitors -Target or Walmart.  This is not based upon any statistical evidence or even direct comparison of prices, but is my perception just by browsing.

Big Lots

On a whim, I stopped in Big Lots this morning on my way home from my son’s soccer game.   Again, I was reminded of why I don’t go there.  Similar to K-mart the stores are dirty, not well organized, narrow aisles, and the prices are more expensive than other “nicer” stores.  For example, they had a children’s mini recliner for $55.  I’ve seen a nicer, leather one at Target for $50.  They had decent lamps for $60.  I’ve seen nicer ones at Home Goods for half that price.

This is not a sponsored post or in any way meant to promote one store over another, but merely an observation and discussion I think may be worth pursuing further.

Do you avoid certain stores because you don’t feel good enough?

I know that the opposite is true – there are some people that feel too good to frequent certain stores.  For example, stepping foot into a Walmart almost causes physical pain to my mom – she detests them that much.   But the other way around?

It makes me cringe to even consider that I am not self confident enough to go into any store I want.  It brings images of Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts is shopping on Rodeo drive to mind.   Remember that scene when she is snubbed by the clerks then goes back dressed to the nines with loads of packages?  GO Julia!

I am a fairly strong, independent, confident, educated woman.   Want to know a secret?

I am uncomfortable in certain stores.  I dress up to shop at Neiman Marcus or Saks (not that I’ve been there in decades).  At Bloomingdales in New York City, I feel like a kid fresh off the boat from Antarctica or some other really remote spot when I go to the upper floors – the ones with the designer labels and $1,000+ price tags.

I simply don’t travel in the circles that spend that kind of money on clothes.  But it’s more than that.   A part of me doesn’t feel like I belong there.   Can I be there?  Can I demand the same treatment as anyone else?  Yes.  Do I feel like a fish out of water and slightly (or more) uncomfortable?  Do I feel like I have tourist stamped all over my face?  Also, yes.

I’d imagine that most of us don’t belong to the select few that frequently shop on those floors.  I imagine that if you take a minute and think about it, you may also feel like a tourist on Rodeo drive or select stores in Manhattan.   Is that a problem?  Or even news to you?  Probably not.  But here’s the part that I struggle with…

I imagine there are some people for whom Target and Ann Taylor feel like Rodeo drive.

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**image courtesy of zoonabar

2 Responses to Does Self Worth Decide Where You Shop?

  1. I don’t think it’s always about self worth but rather what they are precived to be and that would be CHEAP. If you don’t have a lot of money and grew up with out a lot of money then you are going to shop at the places that look “cheap” even if they may not be as inexpensive as Target or Ross.

    If self worth dictated where everyone shopped then some of “people” wouldn’t go to thrift stores to find great deals lol.

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