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An exploratory study of the decision processes of fast versus slow fashion consumers

Maegan Zarley Watson (Department of Design and Merchandising, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)
Ruoh‐Nan Yan (Department of Design and Merchandising, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 3 May 2013

31348

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to explore the differences between fast fashion and slow fashion consumers in regards to their consumer decision process stages (i.e. purchase/consumption, post‐consumption evaluation, and divestment).

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data were collected via focus groups and personal interviews. Participants were recruited through flyers that were posted at various locations, including a college campus, select retail stores, and www.craigslist.com The sample consisted of 38 participants, 22 fast fashion and 16 slow fashion. All participants were female, 18 years of age or older, with a mean age of 21.2 years.

Findings

Three groups of themes emerged. The purchase/consumption themes were buyers’ remorse avoidance, utilitarianism, hedonism, and style/self‐image congruence. The post‐consumption evaluation themes included instant satisfaction vs continued satisfaction and consumer expectation confirmation. Finally, the divestment themes consisted of divestment frequencies, divestment reasons, and divestment approaches.

Research limitations/implications

This study explored the purchase and post‐purchase stages of the Consumer Decision Process (CDP) model. This particular focus on the CDP model, in the context of fast (vs slow) fashion, has not been researched in the past. Additionally, this research adds to the body of knowledge by utilizing the CDP model to understand the differences between fast fashion and slow fashion consumers.

Practical implications

Fast fashion and slow fashion retailers may use this research to better understand their target markets by understanding why they choose to purchase/consume, what influences their post‐consumption evaluation, and how and why they choose to divest their clothing.

Originality/value

Past research has demonstrated the importance of understanding the supply chain and business model aspect of fast fashion. However, no empirical studies have been found that examine the decision‐making process of consumers of fast (vs slow) fashion.

Keywords

Citation

Zarley Watson, M. and Yan, R. (2013), "An exploratory study of the decision processes of fast versus slow fashion consumers", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 141-159. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-02-2011-0045

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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