Going shopping: key determinants of shopping behaviors and motivations

Dholakia, R. R. Going shopping: key determinants of shopping behaviors and motivations. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management 27, 4 (1999), 154–165. [URL]


This paper describes a study of how the changing social pressure on going shopping impacts on married households. In particular the author focused on two constructors: sex and shopping context which determines shopping responsibilities among households members.

The starting premise of this work is that shopping is a genedered activity. However, the author cautioned on how social changes such as the increasing number of women in paid work force, may eventually reduce or eliminate some of these sex differences. To find out the author conducted a large scale survey, involving 1600 responses.

Results show that shopping is still a gendered activity with women assuming primary responsability for household grocery shopping. For clothing shopping women even share responsibility for shopping of men’s clothing. However, the male role is not insignificant. The data also clearly showed that grocery stores and shopping malls represents very different shopping experiences and that the male/ female role is contingent upon the specific context. The recreational and expressive nature of shopping at the mall seems to appeal more to the femal shoppers.

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