Frederike Bauer & Elisabeth Bussu
University College Maastricht, PEERS
Students’ fashion consumption in Maastricht
Frederike and Elisabeth have conduced research under guidance of the Made2Measure project. Their research was aimed at spending patterns of students within Maastricht. Below an executive summary of their research can be found.
In today’s society, materialistic products like clothing and accessories are used to express our personality and signal the belonging to a certain social group. Especially individuals showing tendencies of trendsetter behaviour appear to value appearance highly. It has also been shown that people demonstrating trendsetter behaviour spend more money on clothing and other materialistic products. With the municipality’s intention to stimulate the development and growth of the local fashion industry in mind, the study’s first aim was to determine whether students at Maastricht University show tendencies towards a trendsetter shopping behaviour or not. The second aim is to determine to what extent students use and how they perceive the shopping opportunities presented by the city. Given that students make up 13 per cent of the Maastricht’s population, it is of great use for the municipality to know whether shops should alter their strategic direction to cater to the student population. Thirdly it is our aim to find a possible interaction in regards to shopping preferences between trendsetters and trend followers. Given these goals the following research questions were developed: Do Maastricht students exhibit a behavioural trend towards being either trendsetters or followers? What are students’ shopping preferences and to what extent does the current shopping environment in Maastricht meet these? How does being a trendsetter or follower affect shopping behaviour and preferences of students? Our research relies on a quantitative approach with an online survey which was distributed to students of Maastricht via social media (Facebook) and e-mail. In total, 209 complete observations covering all type of degrees and eight faculties and study programs were collected. We found that Maastricht University students show indeed a significant tendency towards being trendsetters. They are satisfied with the shopping opportunities Maastricht offers, yet the majority prefer to spend their money elsewhere. We did not find any differences between demographic groups, i.e. controlling for gender, faculty and nationality. Trendsetters and followers do not differ in their shopping behaviour but show different preferences regarding which characteristics they value in fashion items. These results lead to the recommendation for the municipality to not focus specifically on attracting more students as customers since they seem to be satisfied with the shopping environment. The reasons why students do not spend their money in Maastricht must lie elsewhere and are unlikely to be controllable by policy.
You can find the full paper created by Frederike and Elisabeth here: REPORT
This project has been executed in collaboration with UCM PEERS