To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Cashmere: A lux-story supply chain told by retailers to build a competitive sustainable advantage

Marie-Eve Faust (Philadelphia University, School of Business Administration, Fashion Merchandising Management, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 15 November 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to validate that young American experiencers perceive cashmere as the most luxurious animal fiber, to investigate if because expensive it is perceived as more luxurious (Veblen theory), to learn how they know about its intrinsic values, lastly to explore if articulating the story behind luxury goods can enhance shopping experience, thus building a sustainable competitive advantage for retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was conducted using a survey to gather quantitative data followed by focus group. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to a group of almost 200 young American experiencers.

Findings

The results show that the subjects had a significant lack of knowledge about the provenance of cashmere (the fibre) and its intrinsic attributes. Once the subjects were told about the characteristics, the provenance and the whole process of the supply chain starting with the farmers combing the goats to the delivery of the end goods, it seems obvious that articulating the story behind luxury goods would enhance the shopping experience and provide a sustainable competitive advantage for retailers.

Research limitations/implications

This survey was conducted on a sample of 196 respondents, from one specific geographic area. It would benefit from being extended to a wider scope of demographic and geographic including Europe and Asia.

Originality/value

This study supports that time has come for retailers to shift from marketing visual images to the story telling.

Keywords

Citation

Faust, M.-E. (2013), "Cashmere: A lux-story supply chain told by retailers to build a competitive sustainable advantage", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 41 No. 11/12, pp. 973-985. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-05-2013-0117

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited