Consumer perception, attitude and patronage towards purchase of imported versus locally-produced apparel in Nairobi County, Kenya
Nyarunda, Aytso Caroline
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The purpose of this study was to analyze consumer perceptions, attitude and patronage towards purchasing locally-produced versus imported apparel among public servants in Kenya. The objectives of the Study were: to establish the attributes that professionals consider in selecting apparel; to determine the perception of public servants towards locally-produced and imported apparel; to establish the factors that influence the perception, preference and attitude of public servants towards locally-produced and imported apparel; and to establish the level of patronage of public servants in Nairobi on purchase of apparel products. The study adopted a survey design which was conducted within Nairobi County. A questionnaire was used to collect the primary data. The study targeted employees of the Central Government aged 25 years and above. The sampling procedure that was utilized was proportionate stratified multi-stage random sampling. From a population of 2000 employees, a sample size of 322 respondents was selected. The collected data was analyzed using statistical package for social science 17.0. Based on the findings of the study, it is clear that there is no variation in the attributes that consumers in Kenya consider when selecting apparel. The study findings also concluded that there is no significant difference in the perception of consumers in Kenya towards locally-produced and imported apparel. According to the findings both locally produced apparel and imported clothing are perceived in more or less the same standards. The findings showed that consumer attitudes toward locally-produced versus foreign apparel differed significantly. Consumers had an overall more positive attitude towards foreign apparel over Kenyan made apparel with regard to durability, quality, attractiveness, fashionableness, brand name, and choice of styles. However, no significant difference was found in consumer attitudes among various demographics, namely gender, age, income level and purchase frequency. Kenyan consumers preferred apparel originating in Eastern countries more than Western countries. Their three most preferred country of origin of apparel were Japan, America and China/Kenya, respectively. Interestingly, relative to other apparel attributes, a product’s country of origin was generally of low importance in consumer decision-making. For consumer ethnocentrism, the results indicated that there was a positive correlation between consumer ethnocentrism and attitude towards locally-produced apparel, but there was no negative correlation between consumer ethnocentrism and attitude towards foreign apparel. Furthermore, demographic variables did not show effects on consumer ethnocentrism. From the study, the following recommendations were made: quality and durability of apparel should be improved to satisfy local demand and preferences, there is need for product differentiation, promotion of the native image and manufacturers should embark on an elaborate strength, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis programme to enable them to deal with competition from imports.