Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 71–83 | Cite as

Comparing the relative importance of sustainability as a consumer purchase criterion of food and clothing in the retail sector

  • Ragna NilssenEmail author
  • Geoff Bick
  • Russell Abratt
Original Article


This paper aims to determine the relative importance of sustainability as a purchase criterion in South African retailing for food and clothing. A mixed methods approach was used. A focus group study was hosted to obtain the initial data and then a survey of 558 respondents was carried out using conjoint analysis. Results of the focus group identified the criteria that influenced the purchase of food as price, quality, convenience, humane treatment of animals and the organic component of food. For clothing purchases, the criteria were price, fit, quality, brand appeal, ethical sourcing, and the organic component of the fabric. In the conjoint study, it was found that although sustainability-related factors were considered in the purchase decision, other factors played a more important role during the purchase decision process. Recommendations are suggested for retailers.


Sustainability Retailing Conjoint analysis South Africa 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of BusinessUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  3. 3.Wits Business SchoolUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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