Consumer Behaviour In Online Women Fashion Retailing In The Uk

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Consumer behaviour in online women fashion retailing in the UK


This paper explores the expansion of brand meaning within a spectacular, retail environment. Spectacular online retailing environments include themed online retailing, brandscapes, flagship brand stores, themed entertainment brand stores, themed flagship brand stores, and Online Retail Clothing enterprises. This research uses an extended case-study method to investigate the Effectiveness and contribution of branding to Online Retail Clothing enterprises using New Look and Marks & Spencer as a case study located in Atlanta, Georgia. A Online Retail Clothing enterprise is a type of themed flagship brand store, but there are some unique aspects. One key feature of Online Retail Clothing enterprises is the resemblance to traditional museums, but, in the former, the brand is positioned within historical and educational contexts. Within the Online Retail Clothing enterprise context, this study explains how brand meaning can be expanded along seven dimensions: humanization, socialization, localization, globalization, contextualization, theatricization, and characterization. Online retailing implications are discussed.

Table of Contents


Chapter I: Introduction5

Marks & Spencer6

Marketing & Branding7

New Look9

Research Question10

What is the effectiveness and contribution of branding to Online Retail Clothing enterprises in case of New Look and Marks & Spencer?10

Chapter II: Literature Review11

Theory on retail spectacles11

Online Retail Clothing enterprises: an intense brand experience17

Online Retail Clothing enterprises and their resemblance to traditional museums20

Chapter III: Methodology22

Extended case-study method22


Chapter IV: Findings & Discussion26

The retail spectacle26

Differences & Similarities28

Target market30

Turnover and profitability31

Brand meaning34

Humanization of the brand35

Socialization of the brand38

Localization of the brand42

Globalization of the brand45

Contextualization of the brand49

Theatricization of the brand52

Characterization of the brand56

Chapter V: Conclusion62

Online retailing implications67


Chapter I: Introduction

Operating in a consumption driven society, organizations are actively seeking ways to differentiate their brands by promoting an experience, rather than specific product attributes. The proliferation of simulated, extravagant “retail spectacles” (2004, p. 122) is an outward sign of an inward paradigm shift, where the United States is moving away from a service-based economy toward an experience-based economy ([Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982] and [Pine and Gilmore, 1999]). Retail spectacles are structured, manufacturer-controlled retail environments where entertainment serves as the primary means of consumption. Research suggests that consumers visit retail spectacles not only to purchase goods, but also to engage in fantasies, feelings, and fun ([Holbrook and Hirschman, 1982] and [Pine and Gilmore, 1999]). One such retail spectacle is a “themed flagship brand store” where consumers visit the store to engage in personally relevant, company-staged experiences that focus on an established brand (Kozinets et al. 2002). The brand itself “becomes the basis for a retail approach in which new, entertainment-oriented services are offered” (Kozinets et al. 2002, p. 18). Themed flagship brand stores are entertainment destinations that provide a place for retailers to leverage brand loyalty, promote a brand image, and convey brand meaning by allowing consumers to experience the brand.

In academic studies, a stream of research has emerged that investigates various characteristics of extraordinary retail spectacles and how these retail environments build relationships with consumers. The goal of many prior studies has been to detail specific ...
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