Some experts are beginning to wonder if 57 varieties of one item may be too much of a good thing.
"You can go into a major shopping mall and become emotionally exhausted in one hour." —jeremy rifkin
By Beth Ann Krier
Have you visited your local Cereal Aisle from Hell lately? Did trying to find the rightcereal leave you confused?
Some supermarkets have more than 40 varieties of cereal, and more are on the way.
You say you're getting a headache from just thinking about cereal choices? Trying to find a pain reliever could make your headache even worse. First, you have to know the difference between aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Then you have to decide if you want regular or extra-strength formula. Finally, you have to choose capsules, tablets, or caplets.
‘There's just too many products for stores to absorb. Companies have to cut back,’ explained Product Alert executive editor Tom Vierhile. ‘There's about a million cereals now. It's pretty amazing.’
According to Rex Beaber, a Los Angeles clinical psychologist, people can spend a large part of their lives making decisions about what to buy. Most of us already have busy lives, he points out, and it is stressful to spend extra time shopping.
Some shoppers, of course, don't mind this at all. Russian immigrant Anatoly Rosinsky, a musician in Los Angeles, recalls, ‘In Russia, you stand in line for half an hour to buy beer. Then you have one choice if they have beer that day. Here, you spend 30 minutes deciding which beer to buy. In the end, you lose about the same amount of time. But this way it's much more pleasant.’
But some people think there is a bigger problem than lost time: stress.
‘You can go into a major shopping mall and become totally, emotionally exhausted in one hour. The reason is that there are too many items to pick from,’ says Jeremy Rifkin, president of Foundation on Economic Trends.
Rifkin adds that consumers nowadays feel they have to consider environmental questions (such as whether the product is harmful to the environment). They also have to consider health questions (such as whether the product contains harmful additives).
‘It's a tremendous emotional burden,’ he says, ‘well beyond the level of stress that our parents knew 20 years ago.’
FromThe Los Angeles Times (adapted)
B. Look at the words in bold in the text and try to explain them. Give the Ukrainian equivalents.
Do you believe that the large amount of products creates unnecessary stress for shoppers? Find out your groupmates’ opinions. How does a wide selection of goods influence your shopping habits?
Choose the most suitable word or phrase to complete each sentence.
1. Before we choose a dress for you, let's ...... all the shops.
a) look into b) look through c) look up d) look around
2. This jacket is the kind of thing I want. Can I.......... ?
a) wear it b) dress it c) take it off d) try it on
3. Mrs Forgetful couldn't remember what she had to buy for the weekend as she had lost
her shopping …….. .
a) code b) form c) list d) record
4. ……..-order shopping is popular with housewives.
a) Letter b) Package c) Post d) Mail
5. Everything in the department store is marked with a price……. .
a) mark b) tag c) sign d) notice
6. Mrs Thrifty came to the shop hoping to ….. something.
a) pick on b)pick out c) pick through d) pick up
7. I bought these shoes in the sales. They were a real …….
a) cheap b) purchase c) bargain d) economy
8. I’m interested in this old car. Is it …..?
a) selling b) a sale c) to sell d) for sale
9. The street market was full of ……. selling fruit and vegetables.
a) counters b) boutiques c) tables d) stalls
10. I like your new car. What …… is it?
a) brand b) make c) name d) label
Put each of the following words or phrases in its correct place in the passage below.