Relationship Between Age, Store Attributes, Shopping Orientations, and Approach-Avoidance Behavior of Elderly Apparel Consumers


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Virginia Tech


Elderly consumers are often overlooked in the retail marketplace; however, evidence suggests that the elderly population has a considerable amount of discretionary time and purchase power. Unlike past generations, this consumer group is relatively healthy, active, and demands a wide array of products and services. The purpose of this research was to determine the relationship between store attributes and approach-avoidance behavior of elderly apparel consumers. In addition, this research examined the relationships between age, the importance of store attributes, and shopping orientations of elderly apparel consumers.

Data were collected using a convenience sample of persons 65 and older from the southeastern part of the United States. The final sample consisted of 208 subjects. Four hypotheses were formulated. Data were analyzed using frequencies, chi-square, factor analysis, regression, and MANOVA.

Results revealed that elderly consumers in this study preferred to shop department stores and mass merchandisers for clothing. These consumers reported that they would spend more time and money in retail stores that offered credit, discounts for those 65 and over, and liberal return policies. Further, the consumers reported they would not return to and would avoid looking around in retail stores without rest areas, with difficult to find items, inferior products, and poor business practices. Regression analyses showed significant relationships between shopping orientations and three of the five attribute factors. MANOVA revealed significant differences between two age groups and the importance placed on quality products, store reputation, and well-known labels/brands. Chi-square analyses showed no significant relationship between age and shopping orientations.



Elderly, Consumer Behavior, Shopping Orientations, Clothing, Retail Stores, Approach-Avoidance