To read this content please select one of the options below:

Perception of young children of the ideal shopping experience

Zsuzsa Deli-Gray (ESSCA School of Management, Budapest, Hungary)
Marie-Pierre Pinto (Université de Limoges, Limoges, France)
Cécile McLaughlin (Université de Limoges, Limoges, France)
Roland Szilas (ESSCA School of Management, Budapest, Hungary)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 10 October 2016




The purpose of the paper is to discover how very young (three- to six-year-old) children describe their “actual” shopping process and how they characterise an “ideal” shopping. The perceived role of new technological devices in such an ideal shopping process is also analysed.


A review of literature is followed by the description and findings of an exploratory study done in two European countries. Data collection was performed in three distinct phases. First, focus group discussions were conducted with 176 children. Second, interviews were organised with 30 children and one of their parents individually. Third, children were asked to prepare drawings about their actual and their ideal shopping.


The results show that very young children would like to actively participate in the shopping process no matter where they live. When describing their shopping experiences French kids focus on the products they buy, while Hungarian children talk about how they take part in the purchase process. The findings demonstrate that children have a great knowledge about technical devices and while French kids would be happy to replace offline shopping by online shopping, Hungarian kids find it as a bad idea. Interestingly, both French and Hungarian kids explain their opinion with their desire to spend more time with their parents.


The value of the paper lies in the focus of the research (opinion and feelings of very young children about the shopping process) as well as in the methodology used.



Deli-Gray, Z., Pinto, M.-P., McLaughlin, C. and Szilas, R. (2016), "Perception of young children of the ideal shopping experience", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 44 No. 10, pp. 996-1012.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles