Consumer Preferences of Home Textile Products: An Investigation into Hispanic Shoppers' Buying Behavior.

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Title: Consumer Preferences of Home Textile Products: An Investigation into Hispanic Shoppers' Buying Behavior.
Author: Smith, Erin Gayle
Advisors: Nancy L. Cassill, Committee Member
Michelle R. Jones, Committee Chair
Gary W. Smith, Committee Member
Abstract: The purposes of this study were to define the U.S. home textile industry by means of an industry profile, explore the buyer characteristics and purchase decision factors that may be important to U.S. Hispanic consumers as it relates to their purchases of home textile products, and determine if products are currently available to satisfy the expressed preferences of the Hispanic home textile consumer. Using known variables for consumer preferences for apparel and pairing them with variables unique to home textiles (e.g. thread count, bed-in-a-bag packaging, sateen weave), this study explored the relative importance Hispanic consumers place on traditional purchase variables when shopping for home fashions. This research provides a foundation for future research in an emerging area of consumer study by establishing a framework for investigations into home textile markets. Two research objectives were investigated during the course of this study. Research Objective One profiled the U.S. home textile industry by exploring the manufacturing and specialty retail leaders of bedding and bath products. Archival records, documents and direct observation were used to gather information to satisfy Research Objective One, which was comprised of two Research Questions. The two leading home textile manufacturers were WestPoint Stevens and Springs Industries; the two leading home textile mass specialty retailers were Bed Bath & Beyond and Linens 'n Things. Research Objective Two sought to ascertain the level of importance that traditional buyer decision factors such as price, color and style have within the Hispanic consumer market for home textiles, and to determine if the specialty retail market for home textiles offers products that satisfy the preferences of the Hispanic consumer market. A survey was used to gather information from thirty Hispanic women, and observations were made at three locations of each home textile mass specialty retailer. After the women completed a questionnaire regarding their home textile preferences for product characteristics and retail channel, the data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and one-sample t-tests; ANOVA tests were performed post hoc for further analysis. The five most important purchase criteria were found to be price, color and style for bedding; and price and color for bath products. Products matching the preferences of the survey subjects were largely available in home textile mass specialty retailers.
Date: 2004-09-12
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management

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