Challenging market conventions

Ronan de Kervenoael (Faculty of Management, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey and Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Catherine Canning (Caledonian Business School, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Mark Palmer (Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Alan Hallsworth (Portsmouth University, Portsmouth, UK)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Publication date: 20 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

In the UK, while fashion apparel purchasing is available to the majority of consumers, the main supermarkets seem – rather against the odds and market conventions – to have created a new, socially‐acceptable and legitimate, apparel market offer for young children. This study aims to explore parental purchasing decisions on apparel for young children (below ten years old) focusing on supermarket diversification into apparel and consumer resistance against other traditional brands.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection adopted a qualitative research mode: using semi‐structured interviews in two locations (Cornwall Please correct and check againand Glasgow), each with a Tesco and ASDA located outside towns. A total of 59 parents participated in the study. Interviews took place in the stores, with parents seen buying children fashion apparel.

Findings

The findings suggest that decisions are based not only on functionality (e.g. convenience, value for money, refund policy), but also on intuitive factors (e.g. style, image, quality) as well as broader processes of consumption from parental boundary setting (e.g. curbing premature adultness). Positive consumer resistance is leading to a re‐drawing of the cultural boundaries of fashion. In some cases, concerns are expressed regarding items that seem too adult‐like or otherwise not as children's apparel should be.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the increasing importance of browsing as a modern choice practice (e.g. planned impulse buying, sanctuary of social activity). Particular attention is given to explaining why consumers positively resist buying from traditional label providers and voluntarily choose supermarket clothing ranges without any concerns over their children wearing such garments.

Originality/value

The paper shows that supermarket shopping for children's apparel is now firmly part of UK consumption habits and choice. The findings provide theoretical insights into the significance of challenging market conventions, parental cultural boundary setting and positive resistance behaviour.

Keywords

Citation

de Kervenoael, R., Canning, C., Palmer, M. and Hallsworth, A. (2011), "Challenging market conventions", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 464-485. https://doi.org/10.1108/13612021111169951

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.