Travel modes in grocery shopping

Johan Hagberg (Department of Business Administration, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Ulrika Holmberg (Department of Business Administration and Center for Consumer Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 11 September 2017



Although the movement of goods by consumers represents a large proportion of the economic and environmental impact of the distribution chain, this topic has been insufficiently explored in the retailing literature. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of shopping travel-mode choice in the context of grocery shopping.


The paper presents findings from a Swedish national survey of 1,694 respondents that included questions regarding travel-mode choices and consumer characteristics, mobility conditions, shopping behaviours and environmental interests and engagements.


This paper shows how travel modes interrelate and how various consumer characteristics, shopping behaviours, mobility conditions and environmental interests and engagements relate to and affect travel-mode choice in grocery shopping. General travel patterns and distance to store are shown to be the most important factors in explaining the mode of transport for grocery shopping.


This paper presents data from a national representative survey and provides novel analyses of travel-mode choices in grocery shopping and the interrelationships among those choices, in addition to the interrelationship between travel-mode choice and the use of home delivery. This paper contributes to a further understanding of consumer mobility in the context of grocery shopping.



The authors contributed equally to this work. This research is part of the international research project Consumer Logistics and was supported by the Swedish Research Council Formas (Grant Number 2010-155) and the Sustainable Transport Initiative. The authors thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions.


Hagberg, J. and Holmberg, U. (2017), "Travel modes in grocery shopping", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 45 No. 9, pp. 991-1010.

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