Fast fashion environments: consumer’s heaven or retailer’s nightmare?

Sasikarn Chatvijit Cook, Jennifer Yurchisin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose: The current research explored both pre-purchase and post-purchase factors of consumer behaviour. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships that may exist among consumers’ perceptions of perishability, scarcity, low price, attitudes, impulse buying, post-purchase emotions, and product returns within the context of the fast fashion environments. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 246 usable questionnaires completed by female undergraduate students, who made purchases and product returns at fast fashion retailers, were analysed in SPSS and AMOS 23.0. Structural equation modelling was employed to test the hypotheses. Findings: Consumers who are attracted to scarcity due to limited supply and scarcity due to time, referred to as perceived perishability, have a positive attitude towards the fast fashion retailers in which products are presented in scarce environments. Likewise, consumers have a positive attitude towards fast fashion retailers due to low priced merchandises they offer. Consequently, consumers who have a positive attitude towards the fast fashion retailers are likely to purchase products from them impulsively. Moreover, impulse buying behaviour positively influenced some negative post-purchase emotional responses, which in turn positively influenced product returns in the fast fashion environments. Research limitations/implications: The results of the current study contribute to a greater understanding of apparel-related consumer behaviour in general. A theory formation of fast fashion consumer behaviour from acquisition to disposal can be drawn from the results of this study. Because some fast fashion retailers do sell clothing for both men and women, researchers could compare the responses of males and females to examine differences in consumer behaviour related to demographic characteristics. In the future, an examination of actual emotional responses and return behaviour would be beneficial for a more complete understanding of post-purchase consumer behaviour. Practical implications: Fast fashion retailers could use this information to carefully design shopping environments that induce impulse buying behaviour because it may result in product returns. Fast fashion retailers need to understand the causes of the return behaviour, whether consumer related or product related, to better meet the needs of their target market. Return policies must be considered. Originality/value: This research is the first to examine the impact of negative emotions following consumers’ impulse buying on product returns in the fast fashion retail environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-157
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Fast fashion
  • Impulse buying
  • Perishability
  • Post-purchase emotional response
  • Product returns
  • Scarcity


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