In light of last weeks “Oprah’s Pretty Woman Moment,” we decided to explore ‘The Pretty Woman Effect’ (the famous scene from the 1990 film, when Vivian (played by Julia Roberts) has a less than successful shopping trip in a luxury store in Beverly Hills).

This refers to the crisis of confidence some consumers say they experience in luxury stores.

Recent studies show that many of us find security guards at the entrance of a designer store intimidating and nearly half of us admit to feeling embarrassed when asking the price of an item.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest and most famous women on the planet. So when she popped into an upmarket boutique in Zurich for a new designer handbag, she was horrified that the shop assistant refused to show her a bag. The assistant told her that the £24,460 crocodile skin item was ‘too expensive’. Oprah said nothing and quietly left the store. Unfortunately, Oprah is not the only woman to have experienced this kind of service and maybe this is one of the reasons that we are seeing such a huge increase in online shopping vs ‘high street’. Statistics show that more than half the population prefers to browse on a high-end store’s website than to actually go into the shop.

If it can happen to Oprah, it can happen to any of us. Thanks to the ever-evolving presence of mobile and online shopping, these once intimidating environments are offered a new lease of life. With the UK luxury sector set to grow to £9.4 billion in 2015, we may never have to experience ‘The Pretty Woman Effect’ ever again!

Have you experienced ‘The Pretty Woman Effect’ or something similar? Share your experience or tell us why you enjoy online shopping.