Corporate Social Responsibility: Consumer Perception For the UK Apparel Companies

Juh Yan Tan, Mei Yu


This study uses face-to-face administered questionnaires to examine consumer behaviour in relation to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices of 21 popular apparel companies in the UK. The results show that consumers' awareness of CSR practices and the impact of CSR factors on their purchasing decisions are low, which are key obstacles for companies to reap strategic rewards for their CSR efforts. CSR factors have less influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions than other product attributes; however, consumers have high expectations of companies’ CSR practices. Consumers expect companies to engage in CSR initiatives that benefit local communities, employees, and workers in suppliers’ factories.

This paper provides key insights for UK apparel companies to engage their customers and gain competitive advantage for their CSR efforts. With these insights, companies are better informed on consumers’ perceptions and expectations of CSR to benchmark against competitors, and to improve their CSR practices. This research has important implications for UK apparel marketers and policy makers.

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