Consumers were used to having the option to purchase

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Consumers were used to having the option to purchase fashion, however, with fi nancial changes in society came with it cuts in people s disposable income. Fashion for many people is a hobby or a pastime, where recreational spare time will be spent perusing stores on a Saturday afternoon with friends. For a lot of people it is more about the physical act of shopping rather than the outcome of their shopping trip. This downtime is utilised by consumers to relax, see friends and enjoy themselves, and if they purchase fashion goods this is seen as a bonus. Retailers are also responding to this, applying more money, time and effort into the experience of shopping for their customers. The fashion brand Hollister is a great example of this. This retailer heavily controls the shopping experience that their customers have, in fl uencing key experiential factors such as light, sound and even smell. The lighting is kept minimal and could even be described as dark, with clothing often Fig. 7 The intention-behaviour gap ( Source Authors) 14 A.M. James and B. Montgomery
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being highlighted by spot lamps. The music re fl ects heavily of the brand and is chosen very carefully. The smell experienced during shopping is also very unique; the same scent is pumped out in all stores to begin to build brand recognition with their customers. The consistency through their stores is also carefully monitored, with the experience in each store being identically replicated. This is extended as far as similar looking staff, a carefully created brand that heavily controls the retail experience of consumers. This store has a cult following of consumers who want to buy into the brand and often visit knowing full well they will not purchase but simply window shop and absorb the carefully crafted brand marketing. As a result of the recession, consumers felt they could no longer shop as they used to prior to the economic downturn, which saw a dramatic fall in sales and conse- quently pro fi ts for the vast majority of the fashion high street. This resulted in an adapted model emerging that allowed for consumers to still be able to shop in the way they had become accustomed but without the same price tags. This resulted in the emergence of the value market sector, which as a direct response to the change in consumer purchasing habits, grew exponentially in a short space of time. At the time, sales for the value end of the market saw a growth of 6 % taking its value up to £ 8.1 billion with research showing that 36 % of consumers then favouring the value end of the market (Mintel 2009 ). This growth also saw consumer preference for quantity over quality, with not only purchasing habits moving towards the value market sector but also the quantity of value goods being purchased increasing, again as a re fl ection of price. This saw the high-end, luxury end of the fashion market suffer with purchasing behaviour indicating a preference to fashion retailers who could deliver regular up to date trends, whilst still remaining competitive on price.
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  • Fall '19
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Alana M. James, Bruce Montgomery

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