Palestinians Consumption Behavior towards Apparel during the period of crisis (The case of Covid-19 pandemic)
Boshra Foad Soliman Aljanazreh
بشرى فؤاد سليمان الجنازرة
An unprecedented global crisis has struck the world in the shape of the Covid-19 pandemic, the crisis placed tremendous challenges on almost every sector in the economy, the fashion and apparel industry were one of the most disrupted sectors in 2020, and apparel manufacturers are struggling to get necessary supplies. Apparel retail stores have experienced a significant drop in sales and furthermore they are facing frequent and perhaps permanent closures and piled up goods since the beginning of the crisis, since consumer spending on non-essential apparel has decreased significantly as a response to the crisis The aim of this study was to study popular trends in consumer behavior during the crisis, by investigating to what extent the Palestinian consumer buying and consumption behavior toward apparel in particular have changed, and the tendency of that change during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding both psychological and financial factors and demographic characteristics as well. One thousand eighteen responses were collected from consumers in the current study. The random sample was collected from all governorates, cities, and refugee camps of Palestine; they were assessed and analyzed by conducting a descriptive and regression analysis using the SPSS software platform. The results suggest that Palestinian consumers are fully aware of the economic crisis and are suffering financially specially regarding the significant reduction in income levels and purchasing power. Moreover, the results demonstrated that the Palestinian consumers found themselves obligated to adopt a more rational and frugal lifestyle and plan their finances and expenses more carefully, and furthermore, prioritize essentials over any other expenses, which explains the significant drop in apparel purchasing and consumption that the current study revealed. Results of the study also demonstrated that the financial crisis that emerged as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic has vitally deepened the consumers’ fear of the future financial situation and contagion of the disease and consequently their intention to purchase apparel is impacted adversely, furthermore marital status is also a significant factor since having a family with young children can magnify the fear of the future financial situation and the concerns about job security and the ability to provide for the family, in addition to concerns about the family health and fear of catching the disease. The Palestinian consumers’ financial situation and income level has proved to be the most influential factor regarding apparel consumption, in addition to other factors used to investigate the change in apparel consumption due to the current economic and financial crisis, the results of the current study demonstrated that consumers tend to reduce apparel consumption as their income levels drop. The results also showed that the Palestinian consumer adopted new behavior trends that are more cautious and frugal since their perspectives and motives on apparel purchase has changed, not to mention that the current situation made the perception of product availability a real issue for the consumers in such hard and stressful times due to financial and Health situations..