Determinants of customer satisfaction with apparel factory outlet stores

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The purpose of the research was to determine the sources of customer satisfaction with apparel factory outlet stores. Six store attributes consisting of physical facilities, location, store service, merchandise, store atmosphere, and promotion were investigated.

Data were collected through a mall intercept survey using a self-administered questionnaire. A total of 200 respondents participated in the study. The rate of refusal was estimated to be 42 percent.

One-way analysis of variance was used to test for differences in customers' perception of stores on six attributes. Differences were found to exist among the stores on three attributes, specifically, "physical facilities," "store service," and "store atmosphere."

ANOVA results for importance attached to store attributes showed no significant differences among the customers of the five stores.

Correlation analyses showed high correlations between and among perception/importance combinations for each store attribute and overall satisfaction. Multiple regression gave "merchandise" and "promotion" as the best predictors of overall satisfaction.

Correlations, ANOVA, and t-test were used to establish the relationship(s) between customer personal characteristics and overall satisfaction. No relationships were found between demographic characteristics or fashion interest, and overall satisfaction. However, buying behavior patterns were found to be related to overall satisfaction.

Chi-square tests were used to determine significant relationship(s) between selected personal characteristic variables. Cramer's V indicated the strength of association between variables. Association was found to be moderately strong only between frequency of shopping and distance traveled. Those who more frequently shopped at the store lived nearer the area.