Memory-work : understanding consumer satisfaction and dissatisfaction of clothing retail encounters
Friend, Lorraine A.
This research investigated the process and meaning of consumer satisfaction and dissatisfaction in women's clothing retail encounters. It utilised a 'memory-work' methodology which operationalised storytelling and allowed a detailed examination of consumer experiences of retail encounter in 'real life' situations. The qualitative data was derived from memory-texts provided by nine women in Hamilton, New Zealand. Over a period of four months, each woman wrote five detailed stories based on her experiences evoked from specific themes chosen to trigger satisfying or dissatisfying experiences of clothing shopping for themselves. For each trigger, details of the participant's memory texts were analysed and compared in group discussions, by the participants as well as the researcher, to obtain both self and social meanings of their experiences. The memory-texts illustrated how the consumers evaluated and attached meanings to the context and events which occurred in the clothing retail encounters. The analysis of these revealed that the consumer appraised her interactions based on her self identity, experiences and social context. It illustrated that the process of consumer satisfaction and dissatisfaction was centred around the evaluation of the self rather than the service/product attributes and performances. This overall appraisal was based on whether or not the consumer was threatened, or had her values enhanced, and thus the extent to which she belonged. The nature and intensity of satisfaction and dissatisfaction depended not only on the consumer matching her goals and values, but was a complex result of the cognitive, affective, and socio-cultural contexts.
Advisor: Rummel, Amy; Buisson, David
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Marketing
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis