Academic journal article Advances in Management

Case Study: An Insight into the Buying Behaviour of Urban Consumers towards Casual Wear-An Empirical Evaluation

Academic journal article Advances in Management

Case Study: An Insight into the Buying Behaviour of Urban Consumers towards Casual Wear-An Empirical Evaluation

Article excerpt

Introduction

The apparel industry offers various categories of apparels. Among them, casual wear has particular importance because it represents the largest market of apparel.13 The purchase behaviour of consumers of casual wear is influenced by many factors. Family, friends and stars (film-stars, sport-stars etc) as categories of reference group influence the buying decision of the consumers. Also, any consumer before buying evaluates the casual wear on the basis of the various functional features (e.g. fit, size etc.) and perceptual features (e.g. sense of belonging, boosting self-esteem etc.) that it has to offer as attributes of the casual wear. In this regard this study has been undertaken to elicit opinions of the consumers of casual wear and conclude about the influence of referral groups and the importance of various attributes on the buying behaviour of the consumers of casual wear.

Review of Literature

Clothing has been cited as one of the principal means open for achieving prestige or status8. Kim and Han4 found in their research on black consumers that they had unique perceptions of branded apparel. O' Neal7 confirmed that this set of consumers use dresses as a visual evidence of their ethnicity.

McKinney et al6 conducted a study to determine the relation of selected social factors namely reference group, social participation, fashion involvement, clothing benefits sought, social environment to the clothing buying behaviour patterns of black college consumers. Their sample consisted of black students attending two US universities. The survey method of data collection with a five point Likert scale was used. A factor analysis with varimax rotation was run and they identified six factors of clothing benefits sought. Analysis of variance tests (ANOVA) was used to test the relationships and significant differences between the mean responses. Social participation and social gathering (which are components of a sense of belonging) were significantly related with buying behaviour. No difference in buying behaviour was found among the black college consumers for the variables of reference group and clothing benefits sought.13

Zhang et al13 studied the importance Chinese consumers attach to various attributes in buying casual wear. Data were gathered from a questionnaire survey and a total of fifteen attributes were identified. Among these, fit, comfort, style, colour and workmanship were the most important attributes for Chinese consumers. Also, it was found that female consumers placed more importance on most of the attributes, especially for fit, comfort, style and colour, indicating that appearance is important to them. Therefore, they have a stringent standard set for evaluating a casual wear on the basis of attributes. On the other hand, men are liberal in their evaluation of a casual wear.

ANOVA or independent t-tests were undertaken to find the impacts of demographic factors on the importance of attributes. It was found that gender has no significant impact on workmanship, trendiness and price. Education was found to have a significant impact on six attributes namely, fit, comfort, style, colour, brand and fiber content. Level of education was found to be directly proportional to importance given to these attributes by the consumers.

Wu and Delong12 conducted a study on consumer perceptions of western branded denim jeans (a casual wear). This was an attempt to examine the symbolic meanings of different brands of jeans originating in the western part of the world. Observation method was followed to document the Chinese consumers' uses of western jeans brands in two shopping malls. This gave data on the percentage of shoppers entering the malls in a pair of jeans, popularity of jeans as a casual wear for shopping and some basic information about the wearers of jeans in terms of gender, approximate age etc. A consumer survey was also done with open ended questions; the responses of which were later analyzed using content analysis technique. …

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