The Potential of Packaging to Enhance Consumers’ Perception of the Service Offering and to Boost Brand Equity of Apparel Retail Stores
Cornelia Pieterse, Alet C Erasmus

Abstract
This study investigates the role of packaging in an apparel retail context in terms of consumers’ evaluation of the service as well as the potential of packaging to enhance brand equity. The experimental design involved young females who performed a specific purchase task in two different retailers that offer the same product brands in a major shopping center where after they completed particular parts of a questionnaire that contained slightly amended versions of established service quality and brand equity scales. Sales personnel were informed about the study but were unaware of the dates and time of arrival of participants. Findings of this study confirmed the contribution of packaging as a notable element of a retailer’s marketing mix and a subsequent need to redefine the concept to accommodate much needed changes to elements of the marketing in a cut throat retailing environment. Findings indicate that there is much room for improvement of packaging in clothing retail outlets and that the influence of packaging on customers’ service quality perceptions as well as their perception of brand equity cannot be ignored.

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