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A Cross-National Study of Apparel Consumers’ Preferences and the Role of Product Evaluative Cues

Rahman, O and Fung, BCM and Chen, Zhimin and Gao, X (2017) A Cross-National Study of Apparel Consumers’ Preferences and the Role of Product Evaluative Cues. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 29 (4). pp. 796-812. ISSN 1355-5855

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate and identify the salient effects of apparel evaluative cues in order to enrich our understanding of consumer preferences and behaviour in two different socio-cultural contexts – Canada from the west and China of the east. Design/methodology/approach: Online and paper questionnaires were used to collect data from Canada and China. Based on the prior research, 14 hypotheses were developed, and SPSS statistical analysis were used for this study. Findings: According to our findings, Canadian and Chinese participants used price as an indicator of product quality and/or monetary sacrifice. Overall, the consumers from both countries were more concerned about the garment fit and style than brand name and country of origin. It is imperative for fashion practitioners to prioritize their resources and focus more on product research/design and prototype development. Fit, comfort and fabric were strongly correlated except in the “fit and comfort” of Canadian sample. In addition, durability, ease of care and wardrobe coordination play a relatively less significant clothing evaluative role than many other product cues for both Chinese and Canadian consumers. Originality/value: It is imperative for multi-national companies to understand their consumers’ needs and aspirations in this fast-changing socio-cultural milieu. However, there are relatively few research studies have focused on apparel consumer behaviour, and the salient impact of product evaluative cues – particularly from a cross-national perspective. This study covers a wide array of important evaluative cues, and provides meaningful insights and current information to both fashion academicians and practitioners. This is one of the few studies provide an in-depth and comprehensive report on the role and effects of apparel product cues. Keywords: consumer behaviour, clothing, product cues, China, Canada, cross-cultural study Paper type: Research paper

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