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Compulsive buying in Denmark - The first study on Danish consumers’ tendency to compulsive buying

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Background:The present study is the first study of Danish consumers on compulsive buying. It draws on arepresentative sample of 1,015 Danish consumers (aged between 15 and 84 years) and extends priorresearch undertaken in other countries (such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Canada, theUS). It is the first study to shed light on the situation in a Scandinavian context and is designed toallow for a comparison with the situation in other countries.Results:The prevalence of compulsive buying tendencies in Denmark are: 9.75% of the respondents showcompensatory buying behavior and 5.81% show compulsive buying tendencies. These percentagesare similar to those found in Germany and slightly lower than in Austria. They are also within therange of preferences in other countries.Regarding socio‐demographics, age and sex play a decisive role while marital status, education andincome cannot be associated with compulsive buying. If there is such a thing like “a typicalshopaholic”, it would be a women aged between 25 and 44 years, disregarding whether she is asingle or not, has a low or high education and income. The internet offers shopping opportunitiesthat lure both, potential shopaholics and compensatory buyers more than inconspicuous buyers.Compensatory and compulsive buyers have far more customer cards than others.Conclusion:To sum up, this study identifies diverse factors that are related to compulsive buying behavior. Tofind out what cause is and what effect, more qualitative research as well as experimental studies areneeded. Additionally, more intercultural comparisons could lead to insights into the effects of thesocial and cultural consumption environment, i.e., the role of norms, values, policies, and the massmedia on buying behavior. This type of research has, to date, not been undertaken in anyScandinavian country. A first step is the comparison of Danish, Austrian and German data which iscurrently undertaken. The results of the present study together with future analyses could feed intostrengthening consumer education and informing debt counseling and consumer advice. It is alsorelevant data for credit card companies and retail.

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Lucia Reisch, Wencke Gwozdz, Gerhard Raab

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