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Shopping with mum – mother and daughter consumer socialization

Stella Minahan (Based at the Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin Business School, Burwood, Australia)
Patricia Huddleston (Based at the Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 31 August 2010




Responding to calls for a greater understanding of consumer socialization in young people, this paper aims to investigate daughters' perceptions of shopping with their mothers. It seeks to provide insights into the significance of the retail shopping experience for young women.


This exploratory study is based on 30 online and three face‐to‐face interviews with young women aged between 20 and 22. The authors asked the young women who they shopped with and why and to recount some of their best and worst shopping experiences. The interviews were coded and analysed to reveal several recurring themes. This paper reports only on data relating to shopping with their mothers.


The four major themes that emerged from the interviews with the young women were: gaining independence; trust in mother; the bank of mum; quality time with mum.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is limited to young women in a Midwest university in the USA. Attitudes to consumption and shopping and the mother daughter relationship are culturally derived and may differ in other contexts.

Practical implications

Women are critical to the retail industry and make the bulk of buying decisions for the family. Daughters represent the next generation of this major market force. Marketers and retailers must be cognizant of the power of this relationship.


This paper is the first to report on the daughter‐mother shopping experience, with daughters' perceptions of this experience and the outcomes of the consumer socialisation that occur.



Minahan, S. and Huddleston, P. (2010), "Shopping with mum – mother and daughter consumer socialization", Young Consumers, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 170-177.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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