The 10 emotional stages of shopping at a store that's just opened.


Beauty company Sephora opened in Sydney today. And, because this is Australia and we react to new international stores like a pack of rabid dogs during a feeding frenzy, we lost our collective minds.

Now, I don’t know about you but I’d rather be forced to watch a High School Musical marathon on repeat than queue up for hours for the privilege of spending my own money and possibly being trampled by frantic shoppers. But in that, apparently, I’M the crazy one.

Because this is what the lines at Sephora looked like today:

Image via the Sephora Australia Facebook page.



Some of these masochists people even camped overnight. In actual tents. In the pouring rain. And there were hundreds of them. HUNDREDS! All people who would rather spend the night being wet and miserable than miss out on some new cosmetics – which will still be there tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

Why do we do it to ourselves? Why can’t we just calm the f*ck down when it comes to new stores? Because this happens all the time. Think Zara. Topshop. H&M. Every new Apple store and Apple product, ever. And now, Sephora.

I bit the bullet and visited H&M at Macquarie Centre in North Ryde last weekend. It had opened in October, so I thought I was well and truly safe. I thought the madness would have calmed down and that it would be a breeze. Fool! How wrong I was. Within minutes I had to stop myself curling up into a foetal position and slowly rocking back and forth, crying.

Actually getting through the store to find the clothes was excruciating. Then there was the 45-minute queue for the change rooms. Followed by the even longer queue to pay for the damn things.


By the time I left, my spirit was well and truly broken.

So I know that when it comes to the 10 emotional stages of shopping at a new store, the struggle is real…

1. Innocent excitement.


Fancy a shopping trip to that new amazing shop we never had before but now do? Of course! Somewhere new – how delightful. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe I’ll even get my girlfriends together and we can make a day of it…


2. Dizzying elation.



Clothes. Clothes everywhere! So many choices. Where do I begin?

This is the best thing that has ever happened!

3. Getting in the zone.


Right. Time to get serious. Must. Buy. Everything.

Shopping at a new store is a sport, and I aim to win. And if I need to hurt someone in the process, believe me, I will.

4. Dawning horror.


But wait – is that a queue, to the freaking CHANGE ROOMS? You mean I have to line up for almost an hour just to see if these clothes fit? What is wrong with all you people?

5. Blind panic.


How did I get here? What am I doing with my life? There’s no escape. I’m literally never getting out of here. I will die in this store of old age. And there’s nothing anyone can do to save me.


6. Seething anger.


This is Australia, not a war zone. And I’m paying good money for these items. Why the hell do I have to spend my entire precious day in this shop? How hard is it to install more change rooms, more cashiers? Why do the staff have such attitude? How is this even legal?

7. Crushing hopelessness.


I’ve invested so much time and emotion so far – I have no choice but to join another queue to pay for the damn clothes. Will I ever get out? Will I ever see my loved ones or experience joy again?

8. Wild elation.


I… I never thought this moment would come. I made it out.

I have emerged into the blinding lights of the shopping centre, mostly unscathed. I did it!

9. Haunting flashbacks.


…But then come the flashbacks. You escaped – but the trauma will stay with you for a long time. You managed to score some cheap European garments and/or some new perfume – and you have the emotional scars to prove it. You hole up at the food court and nurse your fragile mind and spirit back to health with calming Boost juice.

10. Pure celebration.

The it finally dawns on you. You did it. You survived. And you vow to never, EVER go through that kind of trauma again.