The research problem
Because the United Arab Emirates operates as an open economy, the country could not but become a part of the global economic environment and get influenced by its problems. Willing desire to purchase counterfeit products is one of the modern challenges in the fashion industry. Being an attractive tourist destination, the UAE is interested in coping with the problem of counterfeits because it has a negative impact on both the economy, especially the luxury fashion industry, and the country’s image in the eyes of high-end customers, who want to buy authentic goods.
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The central research problem of this research is identifying the basis for developing the strategies aimed at reducing the demand for counterfeit products by policymakers, brand owners, and anti-counterfeiting groups.
The research objectives
This research aims at determining the factors affecting the desire to purchase luxury fashion counterfeits and constant demand for these products as well as trying to draw the connection between those, who are willing to buy counterfeits, and those, who are less likely to spend money on counterfeit luxury fashion items.
The impact of the research
This research is the first study of a kind because no investigations of purchasing behavior peculiar for the UAE were conducted. The researchers hope that their survey would be beneficial for detecting the gaps in policies regulating the inflow and turnover of counterfeits and reducing the volume of demand in this area. These findings might be used by brand owners and policy makers. Brand owners might deploy the findings of this research to draw buyers’ attention to ethical and economic concerns regarding the issue. The primary ideas are that counterfeits can be equaled to stolen goods, their physical appearance does not match the superior quality of the authentic product, and buying them damages the national economy.
Another potential impact of the research is the opportunity to educate respondents on ethical and moral concerns surrounding the issue under investigation pointing to the fact that buying counterfeits does not improve image and self-esteem.
Population & Unit of analysis
The unit of analysis is a business school in the UAE. Respondents are the students of this business school.
Sampling technique is a survey sample. The researchers distributed questionnaires to all students attending the selected business school without posing additional requirements for being chosen as a respondent. They were distributed non-randomly. This method was chosen because the authors wanted to involve those, who wanted to participate in the survey voluntarily.
Data collection methods
The primary data collection methods are questionnaires. They were designed based on the previous studies in this area. The questionnaires included 30 questions. Four of them were used to collect demographic information such as age, gender, educational background, and income. The other 26 questions were developed to investigate the factors influencing purchasing behavior and the reasons for buying luxury fashion counterfeits willingly. No questions determining ethnic background included in order to avoid bias.
Because the central objective of the research is to identify factors affecting purchasing behavior, this research is a qualitative one, as the conclusions are made based on personal attitudes and experience. However, it also included testing several hypotheses, which is a traditional determinant of a quantitative research. It means that the chosen research method is the combination of qualitative and quantitative research.
The sampling frame is represented by students of a business school in the UAE. It is the mix of nationalities reflected the diversity of ethnicities living in the UAE. However, it is paramount to note that the age of the respondents is below 40 years. So, age group should be kept in mind while extrapolating the findings to the rest of society members.
Sample size is 320 students of a business school in the UAE. They are both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Data analysis technique
The results of the questionnaires were analyzed by using the SPSS statistics package. The type of the study is a descriptive study, i.e. it aims at finding the answers to the research questions such as who are the customers, what they purchase, when, where, and why they spend money on counterfeits, how they make decisions to buy counterfeit products. For this reason, the researchers grouped the responses according to purchase intentions.