Investigating the determinants and effects of prestige sensitivity in fashion retailing

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Technická Univerzita v Liberci
Technical university of Liberec, Czech Republic
Targeting the prestige fashion segment enables fashion retailers to continue growing while facing a challenging environment. To attract prestige-sensitive consumers, it is important to understand their buying motivations and responses to retail actions. Thus, this paper examines the motivational predictors and effects of prestige sensitivity in fashion retailing, using the symbolic self-completion theory as a framework. It also explores the moderating role of fashion innovativeness. The data collected from shoppers of apparel products (N = 289) in Croatia were analyzed using structural equation modelling (SEM). The results show that recognition enhancement, sexual attraction, and recreation shopping motivations, which help enhance individuals’ self-identity in society, drive prestige sensitivity. At the same time, fashion innovativeness significantly moderates the relationship between recreation motive and prestige sensitivity. Prestige-seeking consumers positively respond to mannequin displays, spend more time shopping, and focus more on symbolic apparel attributes while shopping. This study contributes to the self-completion theory applied in fashion retailing by developing and testing the model that links prestige sensitivity with shopping motivations, fashion innovativeness, the selection of apparel attributes, response to visual merchandising, and time expenditure. The findings provide recommendations for marketers on how to develop fashion products/prestige brands in line with the expectations of prestige-seeking shoppers, target this market segment more efficiently, and increase the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
Fashion retailing, prestige sensitivity, symbolic self-completion theory, shopping motivations, shopping behavior