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Young Australian consumers' preferences for fashion apparel attributes

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to explore the importance of functional, hedonistic and ethical attributes of denim jeans attributes and the trade-offs young adult Australian consumers made within these attributes when making a purchase decision. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A two-stage mixed-method approach was used to explore the importance of denim jeans attributes and the trade-offs made within these attributes. First, focus groups were used to identify attributes that were important to young Australian adult consumers. In the second stage, conjoint analysis was used to estimate the relative importance of the product and ethical attributes that were identified in the focus groups and the trade-offs made within this attribute set. Findings ‐ Focus group participants identified style, price, brand, country of origin and ethics as attributes that they used to evaluate denim jeans. In the conjoint analysis respondents identified price as having the highest relative importance, followed by brand, country of origin, style and ethical attributes. It was clear multiple attributes were valued and, although the ethical attributes that were included were not as important as garment attributes, respondents appeared to make trade-offs between garment and ethical attributes when purchasing denim jeans. Originality/value ‐ The paper identifies attributes of denim jeans that are valued by young Australian adult consumers. That product attributes were more important than ethical attributes suggests a focus on ethical credentials may not be effective. Denim jeans are more likely to be purchased by young Australian adults if they are reasonably priced, made in Italy and have a designer brand.

Keywords: Apparel attributes; Australia; Conjoint analysis; Consumer behaviour; Consumer preference; Jeans; Young adults

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-07-06

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