The decision-making process of luxury fashion retail buyers in Greece

Patsy Perry, Margarita Kyriakaki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the decision-making process used by luxury fashion retail buyers in Greece in order to assess the applicability of Sheth's (1981) model to the selection of brands and collections by retail buyers in luxury fashion resellers. Design/methodology/approach: The study takes an interpretive approach, utilising participant observation and semi-structured interviews with retail buyers in five luxury fashion reseller companies in Greece, which boasts the world's highest proportion of luxury fashion consumers. Qualitative data were analysed thematically according to the theoretical constructs in Sheth's (1981) model of merchandise buyer behaviour. Findings: Brand reputation, quality, appropriateness for the market and exclusive distribution were the most important criteria for supplier selection. For evaluating merchandise, the most important criteria were design, style, fashionability and quality. The most relevant influencer of decision making in supplier selection was the competitive structure in terms of the power balance between retailer and brand. For merchandise selection, the most relevant influencing factors were retailer size, management mentality, product positioning and type of decision (re-buy or new task). Research limitations/implications: Due to the exploratory nature of the study and its focus on the context of a particular geographical marketplace, the findings may not be generalised to other countries. Originality/value: This paper provides an insight into the decision-making practice of retail buyers in Greek luxury fashion retailers, where the buying task involves balancing the retailer's commercial interests with a more cultural role in terms of shaping fashion trends and generating PR and publicity for the retailer. The task is further complicated by the power imbalance between retailer and brand, enabling brands to impose limitations on the buyer's decision. Additionally, the combined influence of shortening product life cycles, increasing product variety and the emergence of a new and younger luxury fashion consumer requires a shift from intuitive to scientific, data-driven decision making.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-106
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

    Keywords

    • Decision making
    • Designer apparel
    • Fashion buying
    • Fashion retailing
    • Greece
    • Luxury fashion

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Marketing

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