Exploring the Factors that Impact on the Attitude to Purchase: A spotlight on counterfeit luxury handbags among Durban's emergent Black Middle-class Females

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Increased sales of counterfeit luxury branded handbags are a significant transnational concern. Research effort concerning understanding this purchase behaviour has largely been contextualised outside of Africa, with varying results relating to the impact of attitude on the purchase decision-making process having emerged. With South Africa serving as one of the most profitable counterfeit luxury handbag markets on the continent, this study sought to fundamentally determine whether consumers' attitude effected their buying rationale. The study was conducted in Durban, home to a large female middle-class population, deemed to satisfy many of the characteristics attributed to the typical counterfeit handbag consumer. The study adopted a post-positivist research paradigm and employed a causal research design. In terms of research strategy, the study made use of a quantitative approach. The target population regarding the investigation pertained to Durban's emergent Black middle-class females. In order to segment this population, nonprobability sampling was utilised, with convenience and snowball sampling having been selected. The total sample size amounted to 350 individuals, who provided data by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Once collected, this data was interpreted through factor and regression analyses. The findings of the study confirmed that individual, product and service factors impacted upon the attitude to purchase of counterfeit luxury handbags among Durban's emergent Black Middle-class females. Furthermore, it was discovered that the attitudinal antecedent's of knowledge, perceived risk, ethical obligation, product price and service quality significantly influenced attitude formation, and in turn, attitude to purchase. As such, the information collated allows for those combating counterfeit sales activity to focus their efforts and resources in a more predetermined manner. It is therefore primarily recommended that anti-counterfeiting agents place greater emphasis upon defending intellectual property rights through demand, or ‘consumer focused' initiatives which target specific purchase-prompting variables. This investigation also provides interesting opportunities for future research, including determining whether attitude continues to play an important role across different South African provinces, as well as within international settings.