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College students’ apparel shopping orientation and brand/product preferences

Youngjin Bahng (International Merchandising, Apparel Product Design and Merchandising Program, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA)
Doris H. Kincade (Apparel PD and Merchandising, Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)
Jung‐ha (Jennifer) Yang (Fashion Merchandising Program, Brown School of Business and Leadership, Stevenson University, Owings Mills, Maryland, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 5 July 2013




The purpose of this study is to provide detailed information about the shopping behaviors and brand/product preferences of college students. To accomplish this purpose the following objectives were proposed: to identify college student segments’ underlying clothing shopping orientations; to profile these consumers by demographics and brand/product preferences; and to use apparel expenditures to further characterize the market segments.


A survey of college students at a major university was conducted. After adopting the listwise deletion method, 185 useable questionnaires were available for analysis. For data analysis, descriptive statistics, K‐means cluster analysis, Chi‐square, ANOVA, and Dunnett T3 tests were employed. Results showed that three segments were identified (i.e. apathetic price‐forward shoppers, hedonic fashion‐forward shoppers, involved price‐forward shoppers), and the three hypotheses were supported.


The paper shows that the three segments can be characterized by distinct profiles of demographics and brand/product preferences. Marketing and merchandising strategies for retailers are provided.


Few studies have examined college students’ specific brand/product preferences even though information about these consumer preferences can be directly and practically utilized by apparel retailers for their merchandise planning. There is also a lack of studies that examined college students' clothing behavior based on their major. With the increasing importance of brand as a marketing tool, this information is important to academic researchers and retailers.



Bahng, Y., Kincade, D.H. and Yang, J.(J). (2013), "College students’ apparel shopping orientation and brand/product preferences", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 367-384.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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