Following this the consumer will begin to scope out

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Following this the consumer will begin to scope out the market, searching often for the best product at the best price available. The difference in price between retailers helps to promote this distrust, with some retailers offering the same products for much higher prices. From a consumer perspective this appears to be the retailer simply wanting to make more pro fi t from sales, however, what the consumer often does not understand is the business-orientated rationale behind the price provided to the consumer. The business model for example can vary the price of the same product signi fi cantly. If one retailer is able to purchase a much higher amount of that original product from suppliers, then a cheaper price may be obtained. However, on many occasions the consumer instinct may be correct, with some retailers having a higher markup on their products in order to either make more pro fi t or cover high overheads accumulated through their style of retail. This balance of power during the purchasing process has been identi fi ed by companies who are actively working on creating consumer trust. This creation of trust, however, is not easily developed and takes a lot of work and time on the part of the retailer. Despite the time and effort taken in order to build this trust, it is very easily lost again due to many different reasons. If the consumer feels that they are not being offered a fair price, quality goods/services or treated with mutual respect during the purchasing process, this relationship can easily be tarnished with trust diminishing as a result. The coverage a company receives in the media can also have a lot of effect on the perception a consumer may have of a brand or retailer. For example if a company is sold to a large multinational or global conglomerate, the trust established may also be damaged due to the unknown values of this new owner. With regards to social responsibility the media is again a powerful tool used to inform consumers about the retailers with which they choose to shop. Many fashion companies have in the past been involved in media exposes regarding unsavoury labour conditions including workshop conditions and child labour. The biggest expose seen in the fashion industry dates back to the 1990s where Nike was exposed for producing their garments using child labour practices. This was heavily covered by the media who informed the public that Nike products were being 70 A.M. James and B. Montgomery
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produced by 13 and 14-year-old children, working 20 h a day in garment factories in Honduras (Strom 1996 ). In 2007 fashion brand Gap was also exposed for its use of child labour in India, where children as young as 10 were used to embroider logos and decorative pieces onto Gap clothing (Gentleman 2007 ). However, since these events both retailers have been working hard on reshaping their values towards social responsibility in a bid to aid the growth of brand trust with their customers.
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  • Fall '19
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Alana M. James, Bruce Montgomery

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