Gransnet forums


Growing up without going to shops

(82 Posts)
maydonoz Sun 20-Jun-21 09:38:33

This is not a criticism, merely a comment, observation on the younger generation. I notice my DS and DIL have pretty much all shopping delivered to their home, this is not new, maybe over the past five years. This includes food, clothes and anything else you can think of. It suits their lifestyle, my DIL says she doesn't have time for shopping and finds home deliveries more convenient. This is a fair comment and obviously her decision.
However on a few occasions, DH and I have taken our DGC to the shops and they were so excited and enjoyed it so much, we're left thinking they are missing out on the fun of choosing the shopping, paying at the till and just generally the whole experience.
Maybe I'm just being old-fashioned and wondered if other GNs share my views.

nanna8 Sun 20-Jun-21 09:44:29

It is different here. Most people still actually go to the shops, usually at the weekend if they are working during the week. You can get deliveries but priority is given to older people and people with disabilities. I had one delivery during our isolation period after returning from overseas. Half the stuff was missing and I wasn’t too impressed with the rest so, never again!

Newatthis Sun 20-Jun-21 09:44:50

There is so much children are missing out on I think, yes, shopping being one of them, it can be so much fun for a child. I also think that this could cause a lack in skills such as handling money (budgeting etc). Also, going to the cinema, many children just watch their screens. I really loved going for 'afternoon tea' with my aunt when I was little.

Galaxy Sun 20-Jun-21 09:46:20

I think as long as they get some opportunity it's fine. I rarely go to the shops, and my life is better for it.

FarNorth Sun 20-Jun-21 09:46:29

My parents owned a grocer's shop. Sometimes, around the ages of 11-13, I would buy a couple of grocery items in another shop, just because it wasn't a thing I usually did.
If your DGC go shopping with you, tho, they will get that experience.

Chestnut Sun 20-Jun-21 09:48:29

I think you're absolutely right, and you should take them to the shops whenever you can. In the future there may be no shops, everything will be delivered from 'fulfilment centres', so take photos of them shopping too.

LtEve Sun 20-Jun-21 10:13:33

I was obviously taken shopping regularly as a child and I hated it. My memories of it are of aching legs and excruciating boredom, perhaps keeping it as a treat for your grandchildren will stop that feeling. The only time I remember it fondly was going to the second hand bookshop with my dad. I’m delighted that I can get most things delivered now. My daughter is the same as me, shopping is definitely not a leisure activity for us, give me a cafe, a book and a pot of tea and I’m happy.

Baggs Sun 20-Jun-21 10:15:11

Think of shopping as a grandparents' treat for the kids, maydonoz. How lucky you are to have that opportunity 🙂

Parsley3 Sun 20-Jun-21 10:30:30

It occurred to me that my grandchildren won’t know how to use money, coins and notes that is, as I usually pay with a card. In fact at the moment I don’t have a single note in my purse. I need to think of a new way of handing over pocket money.

timetogo2016 Sun 20-Jun-21 10:32:42

I could have written your post maydonoz.
Yes,both my dil`s shop on-line,i love to bargain hunt in the redused section,you can`t do that on-line.

annodomini Sun 20-Jun-21 11:10:37

My almost-16-year-old GS loves shopping for clothes. As soon as he has money in his pocket (paper round!) he is off to Oxford with his mates. Skinny jeans, by the way, are very 'last year'. If all teenagers were like him, shops would have a future! His cousin, a year older, does a lot of shopping on line and does some trading on Ebay himself. Perhaps he is the future. Who can tell?

greenlady102 Sun 20-Jun-21 11:15:20


I was obviously taken shopping regularly as a child and I hated it. My memories of it are of aching legs and excruciating boredom, perhaps keeping it as a treat for your grandchildren will stop that feeling. The only time I remember it fondly was going to the second hand bookshop with my dad. I’m delighted that I can get most things delivered now. My daughter is the same as me, shopping is definitely not a leisure activity for us, give me a cafe, a book and a pot of tea and I’m happy.

This absolutely. When I was a child day to day shopping was a horrible chore. I have never ever been a recreational shopper although my sisters are.

M0nica Sun 20-Jun-21 11:15:53

DGD, 14, has been given the freedom to go out with friends and when not sitting together at home talking clothes, trying clothes on and the same with make-up then they are on the bus and going into town to spend a whole afternoon going round the shops, having coffee and then buying the one garment/item of make-up their pocket money will run to.

If the rest of her generation are like her the shops have nothing to worry about.

Doodledog Sun 20-Jun-21 11:36:53

My guess is that by the time your grandchildren are adults there will be no shops as we know them. People will get everything delivered. I have rarely used shops for years now, and am happy with that. I use shops when I have run out of something unexpectedly, but services are rolling out now to let you buy a few items and have them delivered almost instantly (a bit like a takeaway) and whilst I haven't used them yet, my daughter does all the time.

The problem, as I see it, is not with the shops (although I'm not dismissing the problems for shopkeepers and assistants), but with how to make the best use of the free time that not having to trek to and round the shops on a regular basis provides. If your grandchildren are, as someone suggested upthread, just sitting on screens all day, then they would probably appreciate being introduced to new experiences. I don't know any children who do sit on screens all day, however - I think that this phenomenon might be in the minds of the older generation 😃.

There are so many things that used to be part of life in the past that we no longer do (eg having to get money out of the bank between 10 and 3 in the days before cashpoints), and we manage perfectly well without doing them - in fact it would seem a real chore if we went back to them now.

Maybe people worried when ready made clothes were available in case people (well, largely women and girls!) would have too much time on their hands and would not have the experience of choosing the fabrics and working out how much to buy etc. Or going to the well or standpipe to get water.

I think it's just a shift in the way things are being done, and that these shifts happen all the time. They seem a bit odd at first, but we soon settle in to thinking of them as the norm.

M0nica Sun 20-Jun-21 11:56:15

I admit that just walking round town centres features very low on my list of things I enjoy, but I have grown to loathe online shopping for clothes, it is more troublesome and time consuming than going round the shops.

Over this past year, when I have needed clothes, the tedium of searching online for garments, looking at them trying to assess the quality of the fabric, how they will really fit, guessing what size they sell will fit me, how thick a sweater is then discovering that the size or colour you want is sold out, endlessly returning clothes that do not fit, are the wrong quality, or not true to colour.

Give me a quick once round the shops, where I can see and finger the garment I want to buy and try it on any day. Reduces my shopping time.

The same with food, the most important thing we ever buy as our life and health depends on what we eat. I like to choose the food I eat myself, make decisions on what looks freshest, pick up items that the market greengrocer picked up one crate of on the offchance. Get my meat from the accredited breeder, use a local baker. I have always done this, when I was a single bedsit dweller, a working mother and now in retirement.

I would rather do something else with my time than shop, but the alternatives are so much more time consuming and worse.

I wouldn't trust that kind of shopping to a supermarket to pick for me.

TerriBull Sun 20-Jun-21 11:59:58

I did back then! I remember being taken to Marks and Spencer to get new clothes as a child, it was a big deal, for me at any rate, it didn't happen that often.

Later on as a teenager my friends and I would get the local bus from our smaller town and spend all day Saturday and much of the school holidays wandering around a nearby larger town, or slightly further afield up to central London. Loved it then! Now a full day shopping is my idea of hell. After a while, probably a couple of hours would be the most I could give it these days I like to escape to the relative peace of a Waterstones. Of late like everybody else I have been ordering more and more on line.

dragonfly46 Sun 20-Jun-21 12:04:09

I loved going to the Mrs Brown's shop down the road from my Grandma's and taking back the empty bottles and buying sweets with the money. Such a treat!
However, things have changed and today's generation have advantages we never dreamt of.

Jaxjacky Sun 20-Jun-21 12:08:36

I use online delivery for the majority of my shopping, but local butcher, farm shop for veg and local shops for bits I’ve run out of, all take cash or card. Both my children physically shop for food and clothes, but buy other stuff online. My granddaughter goes shopping with friends. So all is not lost OP, but I think online will dominate eventually.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 20-Jun-21 12:11:12

Children usually do love doing whatever their parents never or rarely do.

I loved going anywhere by train when I was small, as my parents usually drove everywhere.

Doodledog Sun 20-Jun-21 12:13:02

Yes, as a teenager we used to spend every Saturday wandering round shops, trying on clothes and stopping for coffee in between. We hardly ever bought anything, as pocket money barely covered the coffee and busfare, but it was more about the shared experience, and the feeling of being grown-up. It was also one of the few chances we had to get away from being in sight of our parents - the shopping was never really the point.

I started getting groceries delivered as soon as the service became available. Previously we went on Saturdays, and the whole family had to go, as I don't drive. It was a nightmare. Two children who wanted to do other things, and two adults who felt likewise, all trudging round Tesco with hundreds of other unwilling families - not the best way to spend your precious weekend.

I have never felt that supermarket pickers have not picked the best quality food for my order. In fact they are instructed to choose the best items available. The only disadvantage is that if I order a number of items for one recipe and something is not available, I would rethink my plans if I were shopping myself, whereas obviously the pickers don't know what I am planning to do with the various items when they fulfil the order.

I still like to go out for coffee, and I enjoy a browse in Waterstones, but otherwise, there is very little that I'm not happy to buy online for day to day shopping. Something like a sofa, or an outfit for a special wedding is different - in both cases I want to try or try on before parting with my money, as well as to be very sure that they are what I want. Most things can easily be returned, though, so I'm happy to get 'ordinary' clothes and household items online.

SueDonim Sun 20-Jun-21 12:18:44

My youngest 3yo GD likes going to the shops, not to buy anything but because she just loves to talk to people. I swear she knows the life stories of all the staff at her local M&S! grin

One thing my GC don’t do that my own DC loved is going to the Post Office and posting letters. You’re lucky if you can even find a PO nowadays round here and we write so few letters compared to years ago.

JaneJudge Sun 20-Jun-21 12:20:22

I have never taken mine shopping really either and I have just realised my parents have always taken mine to big shopping centres if they've ever had them for me and the children always used to say how brilliant it all was! of course they'd spoil them and buy them things I would have just said was too expensive!

maydonoz Sun 20-Jun-21 12:50:24

Thank you for your feedback, I suppose it's another sign of our changing world. I will continue to shop in the traditional way for the present anyway, and take the DGC when we can.
Happy shopping to all however you choose to do it!

GillT57 Sun 20-Jun-21 13:47:00

well I am going to start online food deliveries again! the past few trips to the supermarket I have gone berserk and have bought chocolate and crisps, things I really shouldn't, just because I see them and fancy them. Sitting in front of a laptop filling in an online order doesn't lead to the same temptation! I buy my clothes online as I have a handful of suppliers that I know fit me and are good quality fabrics.

BlueBelle Sun 20-Jun-21 14:27:28

Don’t worry each generation will get their excitement in different ways what they miss from our past experiences they will find in other ways
Each generation changes doesn’t it ? nothing stands still none of my exciting outings as a child would mean anything to a teen of today and theirs will mean nothing to their children and grandchildren
It’s nothing to feel sad about the world changes constantly
I may have had lovely shopping experiences with my Nan but I never stepped in an aeroplane till I was 18 my grandkids have travelled the world since tiny
Swings and roundabouts