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A store customer, usually female, who vents her negative feelings toward herself and/or the world by displaying contempt for the retail stores she frequents and their employees. Retail terrorism is manifested but not limited to the following behaviors: 1) Opening, damaging, or stealing store merchandise while complaining about store prices; 2) (Mis)taking the presence of employees to mean that they are there not to offer general assistance but to act as her/his personal shopper; 3) Attempting to take any company policy to its absolute limit by making ludicrous requests such as trying to return obviously well-used merchandise with no receipt attached or that the store does not carry, or asking the store to hold merchandise for her for an indefinite period; 4) Entering the store one minute before closing and taking her time making her selections knowing full well that the employees want her to leave so they can go home; 5) Deliberately behaving in an aggressive or combative manner in order to provoke employees and then complaining about employees to store management, which complaining may include lying and/or crocodile tears.

A retail terrorist is distinguished from a disgruntled customer by the latter's genuine question or complaint and earnest desire to resolve a problem. By contrast, the retail terrorist's main objective is to spread ill will and vent her free-floating hostility on a vulnerable target.
"I was yelled at today by a retail terrorist. She accused everyone who works for the company of conspiring to get rid of her after we wouldn't take her expired coupons and her credit card was rejected."

"Carla is well-known to store employees as a retail terrorist who will buy expensive cosmetics to wear for a special occasion and then return them all the next day."

"The retail terrorist tried on almost every piece of clothing in Jane's department, trashed the dressing room, let her toddler run wild, and only bought a pair of socks that she later returned without a receipt."
by MayIHelpYou January 17, 2010
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