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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between Chinese consumers’ attitudes toward counterfeit fashion goods and their “face-saving,” materialistic, and ethical values. The topic of this study coincides with the conference theme “finding new ways to engage and satisfy global consumers” while also addressing a significant and costly challenge for luxury fashion brands today: counterfeits. Since entering the global marketplace and joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, China has rapidly become the world’s largest fashion producer, exporter, and marketplace for fashion and luxury goods, including counterfeit goods.
An online questionnaire (with a specific URL address) was utilized to collect data related to the purposes of this study. Scales measuring Chinese consumers’ attitudes of counterfeit apparel and participants’ “face-saving,” materialistic, and ethical values were included in the instrument. The sample included Chinese men and women between the ages of 18 and 64 living in four representative cities in China: Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Chengdu. These cities have sustained continual economic growth and maintain the largest fashion marketplaces in mainland China. A total of 1,199 Chinese consumers participated in the study.
Overall, an analysis of the data showed that participants held strong “face-saving” values, a moderate level of ethical values, and a high level of materialistic values. Regression analyses showed a significant positive relationship between participants’ “face-saving” values and attitudes toward counterfeit fashion goods; a significant positive relationship between the level of materialism among participants and their attitudes toward counterfeit fashion brands was also noted. A significant inverse relationship was discovered between participants’ ethics and attitudes toward counterfeits, meaning, the lower ethical standards held by participants, the greater their attitudes toward counterfeits.
Future research should investigate the relationships between additional cultural, social, and individual values as often applied in consumer psychological research. Additional research should also examine if demographic variables, including income level, gender, age, and region of residency, within Mainland China have a significant impact on Chinese consumers’ attitudes toward Western luxury fashion brands. Finally, a more complete understanding of Chinese consumers’ attitudes and values and intended purchasing behavior of counterfeit goods is warranted. This could be valuable in deterring the dominance of counterfeit markets in China.
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- Face-Saving, Materialistic, and Ethical Values as Related to Chinese Consumers’ Attitudes of Counterfeit Fashion Goods: An Abstract
Joy M. Kozar