The survey conducted by global market research company Synovate on more than 1,000 Malaysian women found that nearly 75 percent of women in Malaysia believe in "retail therapy", saying shopping was therapeutic and a stress-reliever.These women, in the age group of 15 to 64 years, belonged to all income levels. They were asked on their retail preferences and spending habits for clothing, accessories, skin care products and cosmetics as well as electronic gadgets.
Steve Murphy, Synovate Malaysia managing director claimed that 74 percent of these women confessed that shopping was therapeutic and helped to relieve stress.
But, not all of them go overboard as they only spent 17 per cent of their monthly income on shopping.
"We found that Malaysian women hold back most of their income for savings, which is timely in the current economic situation," The New Straits Times Online quoted Murphy, as saying.
The survey also gave a glimpse of the financial independence of Malaysian women, with almost half of the respondents saying that they could afford to pay for what they wanted without having to ask for money from their partners or husbands.
"We also made comparisons across the region and found that women in Hong Kong (87 per cent) were the most financially independent, followed by China (75 per cent) and Singapore (74 per cent)," said Murphy.
Most of the Malaysian women also believed that they were at par with their partners or husbands and more than two-thirds (68 per cent) acknowledged that they had an equal say in the purchase of big-ticket items such as property and cars.
However, women in Hong Kong (87 per cent) and China (76 per cent), were found to have a bigger say.
The results also indicated that Malaysian women did not compromise on quality when buying goods and services, what with a total of 640 women agreeing that they would pay extra for quality.
"The quality factor was confirmed again as we asked each respondent what would make them loyal to a retailer apart from lower prices," said Murphy.
However, the survey said that the Malaysian women were environment savvy as 490 of the respondents were willing to pay more to buy environmental-friendly products.