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Home Sweet Home: An Exploration of Women's Home Furnishings Shopping Experiences

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Trisha W. Kemerly (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Nancy Hodges

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to develop an in-depth understanding of the female experience of shopping for home furnishings and the role of the Internet in this process. The three primary objectives guiding the current study were: (a) to examine the concept of "home" within the female home furnishings shopping experience; (b) to explore the use of multiple channels within the home furnishings shopping process; and (c) to investigate the meanings that home furnishings have for female consumers. Six female home furnishings consumers representing different lifestyles and life stages comprised the sample. A phenomenological research approach was used to gain insight into the home furnishings shopping process. A combination of interview and journal responses formed the basis of data collection. Data were analyzed for commonalities and differences across participants' experiences. Three levels of interpretation were developed through the data, including personal narratives, thematic interpretation, and consideration of theoretical contributions. Findings indicate that the home reflects each participant's personality, personal values, and what is important about time spent at home, whether alone or with family and friends. Shopping for home furnishings is a complex experience that reflected the participants' lifestyles and life stages, the similarities and differences in their decision-making considerations, and the role that the retailer plays in taking the final step of the decision-making process and purchasing furnishings for the home. Findings reveal what home furnishings objects mean to the participants, and how the process of acquiring them reveals common issues faced by consumers seeking to create their own concept of home. Although this study provides an in-depth understanding of women's experiences with an overlooked product category - home furnishings - it also points to several areas of potential future study.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2012
Keywords
Furniture, Home, Home furnishings, Online, Shopping, Women
Subjects
Home furnishings $x Purchasing
Women consumers $z United States
Shopping $z United States