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Traders’ level of awareness of target consumer preferences of selected apparel in Nairobi, Kenya

Author: 
Beatrice. E. Imo, Keren Mburugu and Olive Mugenda
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This paper examines how consumer preferences and buying practices affect apparel trade within a liberalised market in Nairobi, and the awareness level of apparel traders of these preferences. Data were collected using interview schedules and observation checklists. A random sample of 90 apparel traders was drawn from Kenyatta, Jericho and Central Business District market centres in Nairobi. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software (SPSS®). Results showed that all traders had some level of formal education. The main types of apparel sold were: New Imported and Custom-tailored. Majority of the traders targeted women as their main clientele because they were considered the most willing buyers. They also stocked apparel for men and/or children for more profit. Chi-square analysis showed that the traders’ age, position held in business and source of fabric/clothing significantly influenced the types of apparel they sold. Moreover, the type of apparel sold was affected by consumer preferences for those imported because locally-produced apparel did not meet consumers’ needs in terms of quality and variety. The Ministry of Trade and Industry should formulate mechanisms to enable apparel traders’ easy access to information on existing trends and policies that affect their businesses.

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