|Abstract or Summary
- The present study examined the influence of country-of- origin on the apparel purchase decision. One-hundred and eighty-one adult female sweater purchasers were surveyed directly following the purchase of a sweater for personal use in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. The sample consisted of 138 department store shoppers and 43 discount store shoppers. Country-of-origin and price information were recorded from the garments purchased while respondents completed questionnaires. A semantic differential scale was used to measure the importance of country-of-origin and the following purchase criteria in the decision to purchase a sweater: fit, designer label/brand name, expected durability, color, warmth/coolness properties, ease of care, fashion, store, price, quality of workmanship, coordinates with wardrobe, fiber content, feel of garment, and style/design. On a scale of one to seven, country-of-origin received the lowest mean importance score of the purchase criteria with a score of 2.40. This mean was significantly lower in importance than all other criteria except designer label/ brand name. Fit, color, and coordinates with existing wardrobe received the highest mean importance scores, each above 6.25. Findings revealed that only 17 percent of the respondents were aware of garment origin at the time of purchase. A significantly greater proportion of purchasers of U.S. made sweaters (23.9%) were aware of garment origin than were purchasers of imported sweaters (12.5%). Other significant findings showed country-of-origin to be most important to: purchasers of U.S. made sweaters; purchasers aware of a garment's origin; sweater purchasers over 50 years of age; and homemakers. However, even for these groups mean importance scores for country-of-origin remained low. Importance ratings for country-of-origin were not found to differ significantly on the basis of education, income, price paid, or store type. In conclusion, country-of-origin was not found to be an important criterion compared to other purchase criteria that influence the decision to buy a sweater, although a limited number of purchasers did notice garment origin and considered U.S. origin to be an important factor in the apparel purchase decision.