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Impulse purchases of groceries in France and Sweden

Peter Hultén (Hull University Business School, Hull, UK and ESC Rennes School of Business, Rennes, France)
Vladimir Vanyushyn (Umeå School of Business, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 2 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to identify similarities and differences with regard to factors affecting consumers' impulse purchases of groceries in France and Sweden.


Data were collected by a random survey of 202 Swedish and 368 French households. MANCOVA is the principal analytical technique.


The analysis indicates that, while Swedish shoppers make more impulse purchases, the French consumers appear to be more attentive to special in‐store displays and two‐for‐the‐price‐of‐one offerings. Contrary to expectations, the impulse purchases of French and Swedish shoppers are not predicted by gender.

Research limitations/implications

Further studies should incorporate situational variables such as outline of stores and supermarkets and the specific country's food culture, since these factors affect shoppers' choices and shopping habits.

Practical implications

The findings help practitioners to understand how market‐specific factors affect shoppers' impulse purchases. These insights are important in the light of the increased internationalization of the supermarket chains' operations.


This study contributes to the current knowledge on consumers' impulse purchase behavior by demonstrating that, although the behavior as such is universal, there may be differences between countries with regard to the number of impulse purchases that shoppers make and how they respond to special in‐store displays and discount offerings.



Hultén, P. and Vanyushyn, V. (2011), "Impulse purchases of groceries in France and Sweden", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 376-384.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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