Consumer Behavior

Exploring Consumer Motivation for Apparel Renting: Insights from Interviews with Renters

Authors: ,


The purpose of this research is to explore the consumer motivations for engaging in online apparel rental and proposes testable hypotheses. Given the lack of empirical research on apparel renting behavior, grounded theory approach was taken for data collection and analysis. A mass email was sent to a random sample of 5,000 female faculty, staff, and students enrolled in or employed at three campuses of a large Southwestern university in the U.S. Fifteen apparel renters participated in the phone interviews, each requiring 30 to 60 minutes. A semi-structured interview guide was used to uncover their motivations for renting apparel. Each interview was audio recorded and transcribed verbatim to allow for text analysis. After an iterative analysis of core concepts and themes that describe motivations for apparel renting, the final list of motivations was determined. The qualitative data revealed nine motivational factors (i.e., saving money, saving shopping time, size assurance, styling, ease of use, special occasion, product trial, never wear same dress twice, fashion leadership), supporting four themes including affordable access, smart shopping, utility, and no burden of ownership. Based on the findings, specific hypotheses and suggestions on future research have been provided. 

Keywords: Renting, consumer motivation, grounded theory

How to Cite: PARK, H. & Armstrong, C. M. (2019) “Exploring Consumer Motivation for Apparel Renting: Insights from Interviews with Renters”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings. 76(1). doi: