Some of the research respondents believe that fabric has got thinner or declined in quality in recent years. Do you think that is a reflection of what is really happening or is it just perceptions? If it’s just perceptions, what can we as retailers do to convince them they are wrong?
Quality and price have always been important to consumers. As a nation, Brits often adopt a slightly pessimistic view on modern life, and this can often include a negative outlook on their perception of “value for money” – this is not surprising considering people’s tighter budgets and the increase in the number of discount stores on the high street.
In the last few years, as a result of higher cotton prices, manufacturers made changes to the fibre mix of their products in order to cut costs. This has not gone unnoticed by consumers, many of whom have reacted negatively to these changes. Due to shoppers’ evolving awareness of price versus quality, manufacturers need to keep a focus on finding ways to add value to clothing – manufacturers must find ways to enhance quality in order to minimise clothing returns, prevent discounting, and restore brand reputation.
Brands and retailers must speak out more about the quality of the products that they are selling, and one easy way to provide reassurance of quality is through the COTTON USA Mark. Since its launch, the Mark has represented the highest global standard for purity, quality and responsibility for consumers and brands around the world. The success of the COTTON USA Mark has helped to support all elements of the supply chain, from the U.S. cotton grower and exporter, to the spinner, brand and retailer. Consumers are becoming increasingly receptive to Mark-labelled products because they perceive U.S. cotton finished goods to be of consistently excellent quality.
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