(IOSR-JHSS) Volume 19, Issue 3, Ver. III


Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS)

19, Issue 3, Ver. III (Mar. 2014), PP 50-61

2279-0837, p-ISSN: 2279-0845.

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of Foreign Products’ Preference Over Local Products:

Case of Shoes or/and Cloth Preference in Gondar Town,


Megibaru Temesgen


1 Department of Social
Anthropology, College of Social Sciences and the Humanities University of
Gondar, Ethiopia

ABSTRACT: Global flows of goods
and ideas threaten the viability of local products and dismantle the economic

of least developed countries like Ethiopia. Urban populations in Ethiopia, with
the existing unbalanced

to western communication media, have become dominated with the knowledge,
values, norms, and

of western communities. Thus, the rich and dynamic culture of the local community
has been diluted.

this research assessed determinants of consumers’ product preference in Arada
and Piazza Shoes and/or

shop in Gondar Town, Ethiopia. Mixed research with concurrent triangulation
strategy was employed.

interview and survey research method with self-administered structured
questionnaires were used.

than half (63.8%) of respondents prefer to use locally substituted foreign
products where allowed to choose

foreign or domestic shoes and/or clothes. Quality, function and place of
manufacture were the criteria of

of products for 91.6%, 91%, and 83.4% of respondents respectively where 58.3%
believe on the better

of foreign products. Proud of and conformity to one’s life styles had
statistical significant positive

with preference of buying locally produced shoes and clothes. Youths especially
youth females have

attachment with foreign products. People prefer foreign products being having
varieties in style, purpose and

the fashion preferred by the current generation. Thus, traditional cloth and
shoes industries should

products considering current styles and fashions demanded by different groups
with different circumstances

with its quality and cultural values.

Key Terms: Determinants of
Product Preference, Domestic Products, Foreign Products


Of The Study

comprises unlimited transport of goods, services, ideas and people. It reveals
interaction and

integration of the people and nations into a common system. International trade
is an agent that promotes

of social and environmental values, resources and services. Socio-culturally,
advanced means of

have aided the increasing dissemination of western values and models of life as
a standard for all

and culture.

norms and practices are gradually being transported across the globe as the
acceptable way of

In view of this, the rich and dynamic African culture has been diluted. Many
aspects of people?s every-day

are in the process of homogenized with those of people living far away.

studies emphasized the potential influences of globalization in disseminating
cultural products of

advanced countries of the world. However, researches are remained to assess the
root causes of

product preferences against its supplementary goods. Accordingly, this research
has been emphasized to

the socio-demographic determinants of purchasing foreign or domestic products
in the case of customers

Clothes and/or Shoes in Arada and Piazza, Gondar Town, Ethiopia.

Statement Of The Problem

flows of goods, ideas, people and capital can seem a threat to national culture
in many ways. It can

to the abandonment of traditional values and practices. Global markets provide
economic advantage to the more

economic states so that integration into global markets often produces local
hardships for producers as

are depressed. The changes brought by globalization threaten the viability of
locally made products and the

who produce them. Globalization, of course, does more than simply increase the
availability of foreign-made

products and disrupt traditional producers. The exposure to foreign cultural
goods frequently brings about

in local cultures, values, and traditions


of Foreign Products’ Preference Over Local Products: The Case of Shoes or/and

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purchase of more expensive foreign products is often done at the expense of
food, health, and education

consequently, contributes to decline in living standards.

is known with a few export goods. Much of the local people are dependent on
imported products

in those products which have local substitution. However, researches are
remained to explore the product

of people in Gondar Town.

Objectives Of The Study

I.2.1. General objective

main aim of this study was to assess the determinants of consumers? product
(local-produced or foreign-

preference in Gondar town (North West Ethiopia) drawing evidences from the
Arada and Piazza Shoes

clothes shops.

I.2.2. Specific Objectives

on the problem stated and the general objective outlined, this study
specifically aimed to:

? Look at the product
preference of consumers in Gondar town.

? Examine the
determinants of consumers? product preference, foreign or domestic shoes and/or

? Assess the awareness
levels of customers towards the effects of dependency on foreign imported


? What perceptions do
consumers have towards local and foreign products?

? What product
attributes are mostly considered by consumers when buying products?


Majority of the population prefer to use foreign products than domestic ones

Socio-economic and demographic variables are significant determinant of product

The mean average for levels of awareness on the costs of preference of locally
substituted foreign

is higher among those who inclined for foreign imported products than inclined
for domestic


Methodology Of The Study

research was conducted with an explanatory research approach. The research
findings were generated

on the perception and response of consumers. Here, mixed research with
concurrent triangulation strategy was

The quantitative part of this research was employed to provide statistical generalization
about the

of customers for clothes and/or shoes imported or locally produced. This
instrument was used to assess

awareness levels of people towards the costs of using locally substituted
foreign imported products. This

survey was also employed to look at the effects of different socio-economic and

on consumer product preference, foreign or domestic shoes or/ and clothes. Open
ended questions were

to provide an in-depth explanation of consumers? perceptions and preferences of
buying of either

or locally produced clothes and shoes. Before the research questionnaire was
used for data collection, the

copies were evaluated for content validity by professionals in the field. In
validating the questionnaire and

guides some items were modified appropriately. Ambiguous and leading statements
were also corrected.

Researcher used the formula of Godden (2004) which is designed to calculate
sample size from infinite

The sample size of this study was calculated based on the following formula

n= Z2 x (p) x (1 – p)


1.962(0.5) x0.5


n =
3.8416 x .5 x .5



on this formula the sample size was 384. Where; n = Sample Size; Z = Z-value ? (e.g.,
1.96 for a 95

confidence level); P = Percentage of population picking a choice, expressed as
decimals; C = Confidence

expressed as decimal (e.g., .05 = +/- 5 percentage points). However, only 367
were complete and used for



of Foreign Products’ Preference Over Local Products: The Case of Shoes or/and

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were selected with stratified sampling technique in which type of shop was used
as means of

from 10 shops of each type (shoes and clothes shop). Simple random sampling was
employed in

proportional respondents from each shop. Participants were buyers in these
common market areas at the

the study.

qualitative data, principally, content analysis was used and ideas were
organized based on specific

and guiding structured questions. In understanding the preference of consumers
in Gondar town,

and frequency distribution were employed. Independent t-test was also used to
compare the mean score

awareness level of customers on the costs of using locally substituted foreign
products. Chi-square test was used

understanding the relationship between product preference and socio-demographic
and economic conditions of

Binary logistic regression was employed to look at the effect of different
socio-demographic and

variables on consumers? product preference (clothes or/and shoes produced in
and outside Ethiopia). The

variable has 2 categories (0 and 1). The value 0 indicates preference for
locally produced products and 1

to using locally substituted foreign imported products. This method of analysis
served for identifying which

variables mostly predict the product preferences of buyers. Only independent
variables which had a

significance association with dependent variable were entered in to binary
logistic regression model. The

model significantly predicted the product preferences of respondents (Omnibus
Chi-squared= 329.317, df =11,



And Discussion

I.4. Socio-Demographic Characteristics of

the 367 total respondents 216(58.9%) were male and the remaining 151 (41.1%)
were female. 287

41 (11.2%), 32 (8.7%), 7 (1.9%) were respondents with the age group of 18-35,
greater than 45 years, 36-

years, and less than 18 years respectively. Half of respondents 185 (50.5%)
were those who are university or

students/ have completed their college or university educational career. The
remaining respondents 56

were those having second and above degree, 68 (18.5%) with grade 1 to 8, 42
(11.4%) between grade 9 to

and 16 (4.4%) were those who did not have formal education. Regarding their
occupation, 24 (6.5%) of total

were farmers, (26.7%) students, 101 (27.5%) business person and 144 (39.2%) of
all respondents were

Therefore, majority of the respondents were young male well educated urban

I.5. Product Preferences of Customers

As indicates
in Pie Chart 1 below, 48.5% of respondents prefer to buy both foreign and local
produced cloths

shoes as per its significance; the remaining 24.25%, 12.26%, 7.63% and 7.36% of
respondents prefer to buy

local, strongly foreign and strongly local products respectively. In the
condition of having a chance of

only one among the two alternative products, 63.8% of respondents are inclined
to buy foreign imported

and/or shoes. Small proportion (36.2%) respondents intended to buy locally
produced shoes and cloths

they are allowed to choose one among the two alternatives as indicates in bar
graph 1. This empirical finding

the findings of Cordell,1992;cited in Opoku1, 2009) that revealed the weak
local product preferences of

underdeveloped countries.


The Perception of Customers for Domestic and Foreign Imported Products

As indicated in Table 1.1a, the majorities (61.6%) of respondents are
proud of the shoes and closes of their

country irrespective of their quality and other characteristics. The
remaining 38.4% of respondents are not proud of

the clothes and shoes produced in their homeland. More than half (58.3%)
of respondents perceive that imported

products have higher quality than domestic ones. The remaining 41.7 % of
respondents, however, did not agree with

the perception that foreign products have higher quality than those
locally produced shoes and cloths. Interviewed

buyers also noted the opportunity foreign imported goods gave them in
aligning their need for more fashionable

products. They also stressed the advantage these products have in
satisfying the needs of different buyers in size and


Individuals with domestic products preference were found to be proud-of
their traditional cloth and shoes

reflecting the norms, values and traditions of their home country. On
the other side, respondents preferring foreign

imported shoes and clothes concurrently stated that imported cloths and
shoes are qualified, considered the current

fashion and fulfilled the demand of different group and purpose as well.

Traditional cloths have also specific attachment with certain traditions
and values and only allowed to be

used in certain religious or national ceremonies. They are not
meaningful and acceptable in other circumstances.

Cloths used in ordinary circumstances are not common and available with
different styles. It is not also used for

recreational purpose being having attachment to special circumstances.

Both groups mentioned that traditional dresses lack variety and fail to
meet the varied interests of

individuals unlike imported cloths and shoes do. Traditional cloths are
in most cases prepared only in a style

appropriate for celebrating national or religious ceremonies. They are
not prepared with styles that fit to routine.


I.7.5. Societal recognition of products and customers’ product

The attachment of using foreign clothes and shoes with the achievement
of better status has statistical

significant association with product preferences as depicted in Table
1.2a X2(1, N=367) =92.71, p=0.000. As shown

in Table 1.7, of the total 33.8% respondents who perceived that using
foreign products (shoes and cloths) help them

to be highly prestigious, 33% preferred to buy foreign products over its
local substitutes. Those who perceived that

using foreign imported shoes and/or clothes help to be socially
prestigious preferred foreign products 524.18 times

more likely than those who criticize as it is false attachment (95% CI
39.98 and 6871.8).

I.7.6. The perceived quality of foreign product and its preference over
domestic ones

Majority 58.3% of respondents agreed that imported products (shoes and
cloths) have higher quality than

local ones. Almost all (91.6 %) of those respondents consider the
quality of the product for decision of buying.

However, the remaining 41.7% of total respondents argued with the better
quality of domestic shoes and clothes,

29.2% of them preferred to buy local products. The Chi-square output
confirmed the statistical significant

association of perception of better quality of imported shoes and cloths
and buying preferences of respondents for

foreign products X2(1, N=367) =128.93, p=0.000 (see in Table 10). This finding was
confirmed and strengthened by

the finding of binary logistic regression stating respondents perceiving
imported products as of superior quality

prefer to buy foreign products 24.25 times more likely than those who
did not agree with the perceived preferable

qualities of those imported products (95% CI 6.31 and 93.17) having
allowed other variables in the model.

I.7.7. Cultural conformity and product preference

Products conformity to the values, norms and ideologies of one?s own
community has a statistical

significant association with customer preference: X2(5, N=367) =125.2, p=0.000 (see in Table 1.2a).
Those deviated

from the life styles of the local community were found to have highly
inclined to buying foreign shoes and clothes

of culturally different styles.

I.7.8. The attachment of quality with the origin and price of the

Customers consider product origin as a manifestation of quality and
durability. If a country has a reputation

of superior quality of a specific product, it creates better image even
for other products of the country as well. One

respondent conceded that all foreign imported products are always of
higher quality than products produced by

domestic industries in Ethiopia. Most of the respondents also claimed
that products of developed countries are of

high quality, durable and suited to current fashion preferred by those
highly prestigious individuals.

Majority of respondents indicated that they preferred to buy expensive
clothes and shoes with the

perception that high priced shoes or/and cloths boast high quality than
those low priced products. It was supported

with the claims of, (2012) “Since consumers usually
associate the price of the brand with its quality, a

brand priced too low is generally perceived as a low quality product and
preferred less than higher price products.”

I.8. Customers’ product awareness and preference of buying

As indicated in the Table 1.13, statistically significant mean average
variation was noticeable in the mean

average for awareness levels for the impacts of using locally produced
products between those customers who

inclined to foreign imported products and domestic products.
Independent t-test analysis in Table 1.11 and 1.12

shows that respondents who are inclined for local products had a
significantly higher mean score (M = 3.96) in their

levels of awareness on the overall significances of using locally
produced products versus with (M=3.43) levels for

those who are inclined to foreign products t (364.76)
=6.73, p=0.00 (equal variance not assumed since Levene?s

p<.05). IV. Conclusion And Recommendations I.10. Conclusion In the condition of having a chance of buying only one among the two alternatives of products (foreign imported and domestic products), majority (63.8%) of the respondents inclined to use foreign imported products. More than half (58.3%) of the respondents perceive that imported products are more qualified than domestic ones. Almost all (91.6 %) of respondents consider the quality of the product for decision of buying. Perceived foreign product quality has statistically significant association with its preferability in the market. Of the total respondents, 334 (91%) consider the function of the product for decision of buying. The place of manufacture of both shoes and clothes is also considered by 83.4% of the respondents as criterion for buying. Though they were less in proportion, 38.4% of total respondents were found to be less proud on their cultural traditions and did not intend to use shoes and clothes produced by local industries. Being proud in one?s own tradition has statistically significant association with preference of buying local dress, shoes and other products X2(1, N=367) =130.14, p=0.000. Tendency of conformity to the life styles of one?s own community has statistical significant positive association with preference of buying and using locally produced shoes and clothes X2(5, N=367) =125.2, p=0.000. Attachment of imported products with better public acceptance has also positive relationship with preference of imported products over domestic ones X2(1, N=367) =92.71, p=0.000. 33.8% of respondents used foreign imported products with the mere perception that they could help them to be socially recognized and thus become members of those who are perceived as prestigious. Gender, attachment of product quality with products import nature, residential background, education level, and societal recognition of using imported products determined product preference of customers with EXP(B) of 0.173, 24.25,0.001, and 524.18 respectively. Gender has statistical significant association with inclination of buying foreign imported or domestic cloths and shoes): X2 (1, N=367) = 9.17, p=0.002. Of the total 41.1% female respondents, 30% inclined to use shoes or/and cloths imported from outside. Male respondents are relatively better in using domestic products with 33.8 % out of the total 58.9% respondents inclined to foreign imported shoes and cloths. The association between age and product preference of respondents was highly significant: X2(3, N=367) =87.78, p=0.000. 54.2% of respondents from the total of 78.2% youth with the age range 18-35, prefer foreign products over domestic ones. All of respondents whose age is greater than 45 prefer to use locally produced shoes and clothes. Out of total 89.1% respondents of urban background, 59.9% inclined for imported clothes and shoes. Oppositely, of the total 10.9% rural respondents, the majority 7.1% prefer to use locally produced shoes and clothes. Residential area has statistical significant association with product preference. Buying preference of foreign products (shoes and cloths) increase with better educational level X2(4, N=367) =80.4, p=0.000. Page 9 Determinants of Foreign Products' Preference Over Local Products: The Case of Shoes or/and Cloth 58 | Page This empirical study enabled to identify the product preferences of Arada and Piazza shoes and/or cloth shop consumers in Gondar Town. It was helpful to show the attitudes and perceptions of the local people towards domestic and foreign products. The study gave an insight on the awareness levels of customers on costs of buying locally substituted foreign imported goods on the cultural identity of the local people, development of tourism industry, exploitation of local resources, development of domestic industries, GDP of the country and living standard of the local people. It fills the knowledge gap in the socio-economic and demographic determinants of product preference (foreign or domestic products). Additionally, the out of this study will be utilized in providing field based and practical information for the researchers and the University of Gondar in strengthening community service programs and teaching being supplementary pillars in higher institutions. I.11. Recommendations Having significant load of determining products? preference, product quality, which is less associated with products produced in local industries, should be enhanced. Since foreign products are socially accepted and have become source of better prestige than local products, awareness raising programs on the social and religious values of domestic products should be promoted. Awareness raising programs should be enhanced in improving the understanding of the society on the nature of both type of products and significance of using shoes and cloths produced by local industries. In fulfilling the demands of all age groups and determining product?s significance for different contexts, emphasis should be given to increase product varieties, quality, and fashion suitability. Local industries should be given financial and technical support in improving their capacity of producing products having competitive qualities, fashion and varieties considering the demands of local customers. To underscore the contribution of conformity of individuals to the culture of the local community, enculturation of the new generation with local values is demanding. The reason of strong attachment of youths especially youth females and urban residents with foreign imported products requires detailed qualitative investigation. The demand and reason of foreign inclination of those groups should be considered for intervention. Customers should be selective and prioritize the functional aspects of products and consider the contributions of using local products for the future competitiveness of local industries and preservation of indigenous identity markers of a nation. Table1.3a the output of Binary Logistic Regression  


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