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The representation of shopping in children’s books

Olivier Badot (ESCP, Paris, France)
Joel Bree (Normandie University, Caen, France) (ESSCA Business School, Angers, France)
Coralie Damay (ISC Paris, Paris, France)
Nathalie Guichard (University of Paris-Sud-Saclay, Laboratory RITM, Sceaux, France)
Jean Francois Lemoine (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France) (ESSCA Business School, Angers, France)
Max Poulain (Normandie University, Caen, France)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 10 October 2016




The purpose of this paper is to identify the representations, figures and processes of shopping/commerce in books published in France that are aimed at three to seven-year-olds.


A semiotic analysis of nearly 50 books published over the past 60 years.


These books reveal a broad diversity in the images of shops given to children (ranging from the traditional shop, a source of pleasure and creator of social ties, to the hypermarket/megastore, a symbol of stress and overconsumption) and the wealth of information that is given to children to help them assimilate the process of a shopping transaction.


The originality and richness of this research lies in its methodological approach. Indeed, it is perfectly aligned with a recent academic trend that calls on researchers to mobilise and compare new data collection tools to apprehend current and future consumer behaviour. Consequently this research is based on an immersion in children’s books that depict the world of commerce in one way or another.



Badot, O., Bree, J., Damay, C., Guichard, N., Lemoine, J.F. and Poulain, M. (2016), "The representation of shopping in children’s books", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 44 No. 10, pp. 976-995.



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