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ACADEMIC PAPER

A structural model of
fashion-oriented impulse
buying behavior

Fashion-oriented
impulse buying
behavior
433

Eun Joo Park


Dong-A University, Busan, Korea, and

Eun Young Kim and Judith Cardona Forney


School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management,
University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA
Abstract
Purpose This study aims to examine the causal relationships among fashion involvement, positive
emotion, hedonic consumption tendency, and fashion-oriented impulse buying in the context of
shopping.
Design/methodology/approach A self-administered questionnaire developed from the literature
was administered to 217 college students during a scheduled class. They were enrolled at one
metropolitan university in a southwestern state in the USA. A structural equation model using a
correlation matrix with maximum likelihood was estimated by LISREL 8.53.
Findings Fashion involvement and positive emotion had positive effects on consumers
fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior with fashion involvement having the greatest effect.
Hedonic consumption tendency was an important mediator in determining fashion-oriented impulse
buying.
Research limitations/implications This study was limited to college students at one
metropolitan university in a southwestern state in the USA and to general fashion products.
Practical implications Retailers may encourage consumers positive emotion through strategies
such as store design, product displays, package design, and sales. A focus on entertainment, interest,
and excitement may be as important as getting the right mix of merchandise and pricing. Other retail
strategies might be to stress the relative rationality and non-economic rewards of impulse buying in
advertising efforts; to make impulse purchases more risk free through convenient return policies; and
to increase enablers such as offering credit and extending store hours.
Originality/value Few studies exist for predicting fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior. This
study addresses the need to examine impulse buying behavior related to fashion products.
Keywords Fashion, Buying behaviour
Paper type Research paper

Introduction
Dramatic increases in personal disposable incomes and credit availability have made
impulse buying in retail environments a prevalent consumer behavior (Dittmar and
Drury, 2000). In the USA, impulse buying generated over $4 billion in annual sales
(Kacen and Lee, 2002) where about 40 percent of consumers consider themselves
impulse shoppers (Target Group Index, 1997). Impulse purchases are more likely when
This research is supported by Dong-A University Research Fund in 2005.

Journal of Fashion Marketing and


Management
Vol. 10 No. 4, 2006
pp. 433-446
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
1361-2026
DOI 10.1108/13612020610701965

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consumers experience an impulse buying stimulus and then later evaluate that
prospective purchase as appropriate (OGuinn and Faber, 1989). The powerful
influence of impulse behavior on consumer buying suggests it is an important area of
study (Bayley and Nancarrow, 1998; Hausman, 2000).
Previous studies on impulse buying focused on defining differences between
impulse and non-impulse buying behavior (Cobb and Hoyer, 1986; Piron, 1991). Many
researchers have provided theoretical frameworks for examining impulse buying
related to psychological variables (e.g. personality, self-regulation), hedonic
experiences (e.g. shopping enjoyment, emotional state, mood) and situational
variables (e.g. available time, money) in a shopping context (Beatty and Ferrell,
1998; Burroughs, 1996; Rook and Fisher, 1995). Generally, researchers found impulse
buying satisfied hedonic or emotional needs for fun, social interaction, and gratification
(Hausman, 2000; Piron, 1991).
This implies that consumer impulse buying while shopping can be encouraged by a
hedonic consumption tendency and emotional factors. An important issue aligned with
hedonic consumption is determining product-specific impulse buying behavior.
According to Jones et al. (2003), product-specific impulse buying is affected
significantly by product involvement and it is an important factor supporting
impulse buying tendencies. Several researchers (Cha, 2001; Han et al., 1991; Ko, 1993)
found impulse buying of fashion products (e.g. clothing) revealed a variety of patterns
that included pure, reminded, emotional, and fashion-oriented impulse buying
behaviors.
Fashion-oriented impulse buying is related strongly to fashion involvement. For
instance, Han et al. (1991) found textile and clothing students had significantly
higher impulse buying scores than students in other majors. Their finding supports
a notion that fashion involvement might encourage fashion-oriented impulse
buying by providing sensory or experiential cues of fashion products. Also,
fashion-oriented impulse buying can be predicted by other prominent variables
such as hedonic consumption tendency (Hausman, 2000) and positive emotion when
shopping (Mattila and Enz, 2002). Sensory experiential products (e.g. apparel,
accessories, jewelry) play a more important function in symbolic interaction with
consumers hedonic or emotional experiences in market environments. Given the
importance of experiential aspects of consumption, it seems essential that
marketers understand impulse buying behavior for fashion products from an
experiential perspective. However, there is little study of impulse buying behavior
that explicitly incorporates specific product involvement and experiential aspects
of consumption.
This study explores a model of fashion-oriented impulse buying in conjunction with
product involvement and experiential aspects of consumption including hedonic
consumption tendency and positive emotion among college students. Understanding
fashion impulse buying behavior offers retailers guidance in developing strategies that
create shopping opportunities. These marketing strategies may help retailers manage
highly involved fashion customers and encourage their purchase intentions. The
benefits include an increased market share for fashion retailers and positive
perceptions of impulse buying by fashion consumers.

Literature review
Impulse buying behavior
Impulse buying behavior is a sudden, compelling, hedonically complex buying
behavior in which the rapidity of an impulse decision process precludes thoughtful and
deliberate consideration of alternative information and choices (Bayley and
Nancarrow, 1998). Several researchers have reported that consumers do not view
impulse purchasing as wrong; rather, consumers retrospectively convey a favorable
evaluation of their behavior (Dittmar et al., 1996; Hausman, 2000; Rook, 1987). Other
researchers have treated impulse buying as an individual difference variable with the
expectation that it is likely to influence decision making across situations (Beatty and
Ferrell, 1998; Rook and Fisher, 1995; Weun et al., 1997). According to Ko (1993),
impulse buying behavior is a reasonable unplanned behavior when it is related to
objective evaluation and emotional preferences in shopping.
Fashion-oriented impulse buying. Consumer impulse buying is an important concept
along with product involvement as they are involved with a specific product (Jones
et al., 2003). For clothing, fashion-oriented impulse buying refers to a persons
awareness or perception of fashionability attributed to an innovative design or style.
That is, fashion-oriented impulse buying occurs when consumers see a new fashion
product and buy it because they are motivated by the suggestion to buy new products
(Han et al., 1991). Early research into impulse buying behavior concentrated on the
typology of impulse buying and understanding the role of fashion involvement in
predicting fashion-oriented impulse buying. According to Han et al. (1991), impulse
buying was classified as four types:
(1) planned impulse buying;
(2) reminded impulse buying;
(3) fashion-oriented impulse buying; and
(4) pure impulse buying.
They found high evidence of fashion-oriented impulse buying for college students
majoring in textiles and clothing compared to students in other majors. Their findings
suggested that fashion-oriented impulse buying might be related more significantly to
students with majors having high fashion involvement. Subsequent research focused
on impulse buying behavior that was based on consumer decision-making process. Ko
(1993) found apparel impulse buying was distinguished from reasonable unplanned
buying that was based on emotional preference or objective evaluation rather than
rational evaluation. Kos finding implied that emotional factors (i.e. positive feelings)
might lead to fashion-oriented impulse buying when shopping. Limited studies have
reported that consumers are likely to be motivated to impulse purchase by high
involvement and emotional preference of products. The lack of research focused on the
experiential aspects of consumption underscore the need to understand how
fashion-oriented impulse buying relates to hedonic consumption tendency or the
emotional factor in retail environments.
Fashion involvement
Involvement is a helpful metric for explaining consumer behavior and segmenting
consumer markets (Kapferer and Laurent, 1985; Kim, 2005; Martin, 1998). Involvement

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is the motivational state of arousal or interest evoked by a particular stimulus or


situation, and displayed through properties of drive (OCass, 2004). In general,
involvement is conceptualized by the interaction between an individual (consumer) and
an object (product).
In fashion marketing, fashion involvement refers to the extent of interest with the
fashion product category (e.g. apparel). Fashion involvement is used primarily to
predict behavioral variables related to apparel products such as product involvement,
buying behavior, and consumer characteristics (Browne and Kaldenberg, 1997;
Fairhurst et al., 1989; Flynn and Goldsmith, 1993). For instance, OCass (2000, 2004)
found fashion clothing involvement related highly to personal characteristics (i.e.
female and younger) and fashion knowledge, which in turn influenced consumer
confidence in making purchase decisions. Also, the positive relationship between the
level of fashion involvement and purchasing apparel (Fairhurst et al., 1989; Seo et al.,
2001) suggested consumers with high fashion involvement were more likely to be
apparel buyers. Therefore, we assumed consumers with higher fashion involvement
were more likely to engage in fashion-oriented impulse buying.
Positive emotions
Emotion that encompasses affect and mood is an important factor in consumer
decision making. Typically, emotion is classified into two orthogonal dimensions (e.g.
positive, negative) (Watson and Tellegen, 1985). Several qualitative studies reported
consumers felt uplifted or energized after a shopping experience (Bayley and
Nancarrow, 1998; Dittmar et al., 1996; Rook, 1987). Positive emotion can be elicited by
an individuals pre-existing mood, affective disposition, and reaction to current
environmental encounters (e.g. desired items, sales promotions).
Emotion strongly influences actions including impulse buying (Beatty and Ferrell,
1998; Hausman, 2000; Rook and Gardner, 1993; Youn and Faber, 2000). Consumers in
more positive emotional states tend to have reduced decision complexity and shorter
decision times (Isen, 1984). Moreover, when compared to negative emotion, consumers
with positive emotion exhibited greater impulse buying because of feelings of being
unconstrained, a desire to reward themselves, and higher energy levels (Rook and
Gardner, 1993).
While shopping, in-store emotion can influence purchase intentions and spending as
well as perceptions of quality, satisfaction, and value (Babin and Babin, 2001). Beatty
and Ferrell (1998) found consumers positive emotion was associated with the urge to
buy impulsively. This supports earlier findings that impulse buyers are more
emotional compared to non-impulse buyers (Weinberg and Gottwald, 1982). Because
impulse buyers exhibit greater positive feelings (e.g. pleasure, excitement, joy), they
often over spend when shopping (Donovan and Rossiter, 1982). Furthermore,
unplanned apparel purchases satisfy the emotional need derived from the social
interaction inherent in the shopping experience (Cha, 2001). Therefore, consumer
emotion can be an important determinant for predicting impulse buying in a retail
store.
Hedonic consumption tendency
Hedonic consumption includes those behavioral aspects related to multi-sensory,
fantasy, and emotional consumption which are driven by benefits such as fun using the

product and aesthetic appeal (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982). Bargaining and
haggling are two shopping experiences associated with shopping enjoyment (Sherry,
1990). This suggests that the purchasing experience may be more important than
product acquisition.
Impulse buying plays an important role in fulfilling hedonic desires associated with
hedonic consumption (Hausman, 2000; Piron, 1991; Rook, 1987). This role supports a
conceptual link between hedonic shopping motivation and impulse buying behavior.
That is, consumers more likely engage in impulse buying when they are motivated by
hedonic desires or by non-economic reasons, such as fun, fantasy, and social or
emotional gratification (Hausman, 2000; Rook, 1987). Since the shopping experience
goal is to satisfy hedonic needs, products purchased during these excursions appear to
be selected without prior planning and they represent an impulse buying event.
Fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior is motivated by new versions of fashion
styles and brand image salience which drive consumers to hedonic shopping
experiences (Goldsmith and Emmert, 1991).

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Research model and hypotheses


The research model depicted in Figure 1 was developed to examine consumers
impulse buying behavior toward fashion products. It illustrates the causal
relationships among four variables (fashion involvement, positive emotion, hedonic
consumption tendency, and fashion-oriented impulse buying) in a shopping context. In
this causative relationship, fashion involvement (j1) is assumed to influence positive
emotion (h1), hedonic consumption tendency (h2), and fashion-oriented impulse buying
(h3). In addition, emotion and hedonic consumption tendency are assumed to influence
fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior.
Estimates for the structural model for fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior
were based on six hypotheses:
H1. Fashion involvement has a positive effect on positive emotion during
shopping.
H2. Fashion involvement has a positive effect on fashion-oriented impulse buying
behavior during shopping.

Figure 1.
Proposed model for
fashion-oriented impulse
buying behavior

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H3. Fashion involvement has a positive effect on hedonic consumption tendency.


H4. Hedonic consumption tendency has a positive effect on positive emotion
during shopping.
H5. Hedonic consumption tendency has a positive effect on fashion-oriented
impulse buying behavior during shopping.

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H6. Positive emotion has a positive effect on fashion-oriented impulse buying


behavior during shopping.
Methods
Measurements
The self-administered questionnaire included four variables. Fashion involvement
(Fairhurst et al., 1989) measured four items on a seven-point rating scale (1 strongly
disagree, 7 strongly agree). For example, I usually have one or more outfits of the
very latest style. Positive emotion (Beatty and Ferrell, 1998) consisted of two items
(e.g. excited, satisfied) measured on a seven-point rating scale (1 very unlikely,
7 very likely) that assessed an individuals feeling during the last shopping trip.
Hedonic consumption tendency (Hausman, 2000) included three items measured on a
seven-point rating scale (1 very unlikely, 7 very likely) that determined
respondents hedonic needs for shopping such as when shopping I want to be
offered new experiences. Fashion-oriented impulse buying (Han et al., 1991) included
three items such as I buy clothing with a new style if I see it measured on a
seven-point rating scale (1 very unlikely, 7 very likely). Demographic information
was collected for gender, age, academic ranking, income, monthly income/allowance,
and monthly clothing expenditures.
Sampling and data collection
The sample was college students enrolled at one metropolitan university in a
southwestern state in the USA. In the USA, there are 8 million full-time college age
students who represent the older segment of Generation Y consumers. Their annual
purchasing power exceeds $200 billion (Gardyn, 2002). Among this consumer segment,
mall shopping is a high priority with clothing shopping being the top activity. Thus,
college age students represent a significant consumer group for fashion marketers in
the USA (Martin and Turley, 2004).
The questionnaire was administered during a regularly scheduled class. Usable
data were obtained from 217 Caucasian respondents who represented more female (76
percent) than male (24 percent) students. Slightly more than half of the respondents (53
percent) were ages 21 to 24 years old. Approximately 61 percent reported a monthly
income/allowance of US$201 to US$1,000. The majority (75 percent) spent less than
US$200 per month on clothing.
Data analysis
The measurement model and structural model using a correlation matrix with the
maximum-likelihood were estimated simultaneously via LISREL 8.53 (Joreskog and
Sorbom, 2002). The measurement model assessed how the latent variables (i.e. fashion
involvement, hedonic consumption tendency, positive emotion, and fashion-oriented
impulse buying) were measured for the observed indicators (X and Y variables).

Cronbachs alpha established inter-item reliability between items. The structural model
applied the causal relationships among these latent variables to test the hypotheses
(see Figure 1). The overall fit of the model was assessed by chi-square (x 2), goodness of
fit index (GFI), adjusted goodness of fit index (AGFI), and root mean squared residual
(RMR).

Fashion-oriented
impulse buying
behavior

Results and discussions


Measurement and structural models
A simultaneous estimation of structural and measurement models was performed
using LISREL 8.53. The proposed model tested causative relationships among the four
latent variables. In the structural model presented in Figure 1, there are one exogenous
variable fashion involvement (j1) and three endogenous variables positive
emotion (h1), hedonic consumption tendency (h2), and fashion-oriented impulse buying
(h3). The model consisted of four observed exogenous indicators (X variables) for
fashion involvement and eight observed endogenous indicators (Y variables) for
positive emotion, hedonic consumption tendency, and fashion-oriented impulse
buying.
Measurement model. To assess the measurement model, all observed indicators
were set free by standardizing all exogenous and endogenous latent variables. This
procedure was based on the magnitude of the coefficient matrix (bs or gs) for latent
variables on one observed indicator that was arbitrarily selected as a referent for the
latent variables (Joreskog and Sorbom, 2002). The estimated measurement model
presented in Table I consisted of four observed X variables (X1-X4) for fashion
involvement, two observed Y variables for positive emotion (Y1-Y2), three observed Y

439

Variables
Fashion involvement
X1
I usually have one or more outfits of the very latest style
X2
An important part of my life and activities is dressing smartly
X3
I am interested in shopping at boutique or fashion specialty
stores rather than at department stores for my fashion needs
X4
I usually dress for fashion, not comfort, if I must choose
between two
Positive emotion
Y1
Excited
Satisfied
Hedonic consumption tendency
Y3
I want to satisfy my sense of curiosity
Y4
I want to be offered new experiences
Y5
I want to feel like Im exploring new worlds
Fashion-oriented impulse buying
Y6
I buy clothing with a new style if I see it
Y7
I buy to try out a garment with a new feature
Y8
I like to buy new clothing that just came out

Factor
Variance
loading Reliability extracted
0.82

0.62

0.84

0.80

0.91

0.83

0.93

0.82

0.85
0.81
0.70
0.79
0.96
0.82
0.91
0.94
0.87
0.97
0.83
0.92

Notes: Variance extracted Sum of squared standardized loadings/(Sum of squared standardized


loadings Sum of indicator measurement error); Indicator measurement error calculates as the
diagonal of the measurement error correlation matrix in the LISREL output

Table I.
Measurement model
results

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variables for hedonic consumption tendency (Y3-Y5), and three observed Y variables
for fashion-oriented impulse buying (Y6-Y8). Overall, the coefficients of factor loading
(lij) on the latent constructs ranged from 0.70 to 0.96 (p , 0:001). Reliabilities of the
latent variables ranged from 0.82 to 0.93 and confirmed the measurement model was
valid and reliable (see Table I).
Descriptive analysis revealed above midpoint mean scores for each research
construct: fashion involvement (M 4:62), positive emotion (M 4:89), hedonic
consumption tendency (M 4:39), and fashion-oriented impulse buying (M 4:63).
This finding supported previous studies where younger consumers tended to have
fashion involvement (Fairhurst et al., 1989; OCass, 2000, 2004) and shopped for
hedonic needs that encouraged impulse buying (Hausman, 2000; Piron, 1991; Rook,
1987).
Structural model. For testing the hypotheses, a proposed model was estimated to
examine causative relationships among latent variables. A structural equation model
generated the x 2) value of 83.32 with 45 degrees of freedom, which was statistically
significant (p , 0:01). If the x 2-value is below the significance level of 0.05, then the
data do not fit the model well. However, x 2-value is sensitive to sample size, and a
large sample (n . 200) can generate a significantly poor fit even though the model may
explain the data well (Bagozzi and Yi, 1988). Therefore, the model fit was judged using
alternative fit indexes that were within the ranges for model acceptance (GFI 0:94,
AGFI 0:89) and exceeded the 0.09 standard for model fit (Kelly et al., 1996). In
addition, the RMR was 0.03, which indicated a good fit. Accordingly, the final model
illustrated in Figure 2 was deemed a good fit for testing the hypotheses.
Hypotheses testing
H1. Fashion involvement had a positive causal effect on positive emotion (g11 0:47,
p , 0:001). Consumers with high fashion involvement were more likely to experience
positive emotion (e.g. excited, satisfied) during shopping. This finding supported H1
and suggested consumers fashion involvement can increase emotional experiences

Figure 2.
Structural model for
fashion-oriented impulse
buying behavior

while shopping. Also, positive emotion while shopping can be a significant mediator in
encouraging impulse buying (Beatty and Ferrell, 1998; Sherma et al., 1997).
H2. Fashion involvement had a significant positive effect on hedonic consumption
(g21 0:64, p , 0:001). Consumers who had high involvement with the latest fashion,
shopping for their fashion needs, or dressing for fashion more likely exhibited a
hedonic tendency (e.g. sense of curiosity, new experiences, exploring new worlds)
during their shopping trip. Therefore, H2 was supported. This finding implied that
clothing as an experiential sensory product plays an important role in fulfilling hedonic
needs (e.g. novelty, diversion, stimulation) for shopping (Hausman, 2000).
H3. Fashion involvement had a direct significant effect on fashion-oriented impulse
buying behavior (g31 0:62, p , 0:001). Consumers with high fashion involvement
were more likely to buy clothing with a new style or that just came out if they saw it.
This finding supported H3 and suggested that fashion involvement encourages
fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior.
H4. Hedonic consumption related significantly to positive emotions (b12 0:37,
p , 0:001). Consumers felt more excited and satisfied during their shopping trips
when they expressed curiosity, the need for new experience, and feeling like they were
exploring new worlds. This finding supported the involvement of hedonic or
experiential shopping motivations in satisfying emotional or expressive needs, such as
fun, relaxation, and gratification (Bloch et al., 1991; Roy, 1994). Moreover, this finding
was consistent with previous research that found consumers positive feelings (e.g. fun,
psychological lift) were associated with hedonic shopping experiences and the novelty
aspects of hedonic shopping (Hausman, 2000). Therefore, H4 was supported.
H5. There was no significant direct effect of hedonic consumption tendency on
fashion-oriented impulse buying. This result did not support a notion that impulse
buying behavior is a form of hedonically-related consumption (Bayley and Nancarrow,
1998). It may be that fashion-oriented impulse buying is motivated more likely by
consumers perception of a new design or style (Han et al., 1991). Furthermore, hedonic
consumption tendency is more likely to increase consumers shopping motivations to
fulfill their hedonic desires (Hausman, 2000; Piron, 1991), such as an in-store emotional
experience (Yoo et al., 1998) that eventually leads to impulse buying behavior. Thus,
H5 was not supported. However, there was a significant indirect effect for hedonic
consumption tendency on fashion-oriented impulse buying via the mediating positive
emotion [b12 b31 0:09, t 2:62, p , 0:01]. Researchers (Beatty and Ferrell,
1998; Cha, 2001) have documented that positive emotion serves as a critical mediator in
the relationship between hedonic consumption tendency and fashion-oriented
impulsive buying in market environments. This supports the importance of
consumers emotional response in encouraging apparel impulse buying.
H6. Positive emotion produced a positive effect on fashion-oriented impulse buying
when shopping (b12 0:23, p , 0:01). Consumers with positive feelings, such as being
excited and satisfied, impulsively bought fashion products more during their shopping
trip. This finding supported the tendency of positive emotional states to reduce
decision complexity, leading to impulse buying (Babin and Babin, 2001; Hausman,
2000; Youn and Faber, 2000). H6 was supported. This finding suggested that emotional
states play an important role in decision making for impulse buying clothing. When
compared to the effect of positive emotion (b12 0:23), fashion involvement had a
greater effect on fashion-oriented impulse buying (g31 0:62). This result implied that,

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for younger consumers, fashion involvement is a more important antecedent for


determining fashion-oriented impulse buying than are emotional factors.
Conclusions and implications
This study explored a structural model that examined the relationships among
fashion involvement, positive emotion, hedonic consumption tendency, and
fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior of US college students. It provides
insights to retailers and researchers for understanding structural relationships
between consumer characteristics and fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior.
The results suggest that fashion involvement and positive emotion directly affect
fashion-oriented impulse buying. Moreover, there are implications that both fashion
involvement and positive emotion are important predictors of consumers
fashion-oriented impulse buying. In the structural model, consumers
fashion-oriented impulse buying behavior can be predicted by the attitudinal
component (e.g. fashion involvement) and emotional factors (e.g. satisfied, excited)
for young consumers. For this sample, fashion involvement affected
fashion-oriented impulse buying more, which supports the strong association of
product involvement with the tendency for product-specific impulse buying (Jones
et al., 2003; Seo et al., 2001) when shopping.
From a hedonic perspective, positive emotion increased fashion-oriented impulse
buying, whereas hedonic consumption did not relate directly to fashion-oriented
impulse buying. This finding suggests that for college students, fashion-oriented
impulse buying aligns more with emotional unplanned clothing purchases
(Cha, 2001). Also, this finding supports the satisfaction of hedonic needs or
emotional gratification through impulse buying (Hausman, 2000; Piron, 1991) and
suggests hedonic consumption has an indirect effect on fashion-oriented impulse
buying.
Retailers should pay attention to consumers positive emotional state and their
in-store hedonic experience since this can trigger impulse buying of fashion goods.
Also, retailers continually need to encourage consumers impulse purchases and
positive emotion through store design, product displays, package design, and sales.
Efforts to increase market share in fashion retailing are shifting from the sole concern
with merchandise breadth, depth, and quality to include an emphasis on creating a
pleasant, entertaining experience for the consumer who is interested in more than just
the product. Unless a store has a distinct product offering or pricing strategy, retailers
can distinguish their store by building on the relationship between the stores
atmosphere and the consumers emotional state. Shoppers who patronize a store
because they like the environment may unexpectedly spend more money as a result of
the positive-mood-inducing atmosphere. Even if consumers are in a negative emotional
state upon entering, they may become emotionally uplifted and spend more than
intended. Customers may feel better through suitable layout, cleanliness, colors, and
effective salesperson training at the point of purchase.
Retailers need to focus as much on entertainment, interest and excitement as they do
on getting the right merchandise mix and pricing. By stressing the relative rationality
and non-economic rewards of impulse buying in advertising efforts, retailers can make
impulse purchases more risk free through convenient return policies, or they can

enhance impulse purchase enablers such as extending credit and store hours. Further
research is needed on this aspect.
This study has limitations. First, the data were collected from students at one
university in the USA which limits generalizations. Another limitation was using
only three variables (fashion involvement, hedonic consumption tendency, and
positive emotion) related to fashion-oriented impulse buying. Furthermore, the
study is limited by the generic use of fashion products rather than types or brands.
Further research should attempt to improve on the results of this study. First, more
representative samples are needed that include broader geographic locations and
cross-national comparisons. Second, fashion-oriented impulse buying needs to be
extended to include other consumer characteristics and situational variables such as
personality, status consumption tendencies, shopping enjoyment, loyalty, time
available, and money available. Third, this study could be extended to branding or
different fashion product categories (e.g. apparel, home furnishings, cosmetics,
accessories). Another extension would be to investigate on-line shopping and
emphasize impulse buying of specific brands and what these brands mean to the
impulse buying consumer. Finally, there is a need to empirically test the
conceptualization of impulse buying related to fashion products. This could be
accomplished using the measures in different settings with different fashion
products, and by discriminating impulse buying between fashion product categories
and brands within the each category.

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About the authors
Eun Joo Park is Professor, Division of Fashion and Textiles, Dong-A University, Korea. Her
research interests include impulse buying behavior, brand extension, in-store shopping behavior
of fashion products, and cross-cultural comparison research on shopping behavior.

Fashion-oriented
impulse buying
behavior
445

JFMM
10,4

446

Eun Young Kim is Assistant Professor, School of Merchandising and Hospitality


Management, University of North Texas. Her research interests include shopping motivations
for Generation Y consumers, online apparel shopping, consumer behavior in international
retailing, and global tourism shopping for fashion marketing management.
Judith Cardona Forney is Professor and Dean, School of Merchandising and Hospitality
Management, University of North Texas. Her research has investigated numerous intrinsic
and extrinsic factors that influence purchase decisions by consumers of fashion products.
Cultural variations in consumer behavior is an underlying theme that includes cross-national
studies in Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and
Taiwan, as well as, US ethnic consumers, and in particular Hispanic women. Judith Cardona
Forney is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: jforney@unt.edu

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