Establishing psychological relationship between female customers and retailers: a study of the small to medium scale clothing retail industry

Edirisinghe, Dilini, Nazarian, Alireza, Foroudi, Pantea ORCID logoORCID: and Lindridge, Andrew (2020) Establishing psychological relationship between female customers and retailers: a study of the small to medium scale clothing retail industry. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 23 (3) . pp. 471-501. ISSN 1352-2752 [Article] (doi:10.1108/qmr-12-2017-0167)

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Purpose - The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how young female customers establish psychological relationships with small to medium scale retail stores over time forming purchase intentions, actual purchase patterns and repurchase behaviour. Role of various customer typologies was also considered.

Design/methodology/approach - A case study approach was implemented to collect and analyse data where data was collected from 20 young female customers and 10 clothing retailers using purposive sampling via semi-structured interviews. Interviews with customers were conducted in a place of their choice such as in a coffee shop while data from retailers were collected in the retail stores. Both online and offline retail patronage was considered to incorporate the growing tendency towards online shopping. Results were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings - This study managed to reveal a number of interesting findings on how female customers form and develop psychological relationships with clothing retailers over time that ultimately builds customer loyalty. Customer behaviour in pre-purchase, purchase and re-purchase stages can significantly vary according to their individual perceptions while they have a few favourite clothing brands that they frequently shop for. Preference for online shopping was found to be minimal, most of them enjoying in store experiences. Further, word of mouth and unique designs emerged as key contributors in establishing retail brand loyalty.

Practical implications - This paper provides better insights for clothing retailers and industry practitioners in understanding how customer perceptions affect clothing purchase decisions.

Originality/value - This paper contributes to the retail literature by emphasizing on various elements that should be amalgamated through proper synthesis to serve customers. The research is unique as it analyses customer behavior using a recreational activity model as opposed to marketing models to demonstrate how customers develop relationships with retail brands overtime.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 26578
Notes on copyright: This is the accepted version of the manuscript "Establishing psychological relationship between female customers and retailers: A study of the small- to medium-scale clothing retail industry", published in the journal "Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal" available via the journal site at:
This article is © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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Depositing User: Pantea Foroudi
Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 10:57
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 18:13

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