Research Proposal: Women’s Clothing Sizes: Jet

Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. The purpose of the study

3. The type of the study

4. Sample design

5. Data-collection method

6. Personnel requirements

7. Cost and time schedule

8. Analysis plan

9. Conclusion

10. References

1. Introduction

At the moment, many retailers consider options to increase the supply of plus size apparel products for customers, especially female ones because of high purchase rates among females and the increasing share of the plus size population. This trend is particularly strong in the US and the EU. In such a situation, Jet, a large South African retailer operating nationwide and having about 10,000 customers also has to consider the possibility of increasing the supply of plus size products to its female customers. However, the company has to determine first whether the share of plus size female customers will increase or not. Before taking the final decision, managers of Jet have to know whether the demand on plus size products will grow or not. Therefore, the company needs detailed marketing research to find out current and upcoming trends and the possible change of the demand on plus size products (Pine & Gilmore, 2009). The proposed research aims at helping the company to find out current and upcoming trends concerning the plus size customers. To put it more precisely, the proposed research intends to respond to two main research questions:

1) What is the share of plus size population in the total female customer population of the company at the moment?

2) Will the share of the plus size female customer population grow in the nearest future and how significantly the growth, if any, will be?

Therefore, the proposed research will help Jet to take the decision on whether to increase the supply of plus size products to meet the possible rise of demand on such products or not.

2. The purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is to determine the share of the plus size female customers in the total customer population of Jet. The ultimate purpose of the identification of the share of the plus size female customers is to determine which strategy for Jet to choose in the nearest future. As the company plans to expand the offer of products of plus size female customers, the company has to identify whether the share of plus size female customers is large or not and whether the share of such customers in the total customer population of the company will grow in the nearest future or not. The proposed study will help the company to determine whether to increase the plus size products offer or keep its current sale practices without changes. 

3. The type of the study

The study will use the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative method used in the course of the study is the survey which involves female customers of the company. They will take part in the survey and provide the researcher with responses to questions that help to find out the share of the plus size population in the total customer population of Jet.

The quantitative method will be used at the stage of the data analysis because the researcher will have to calculate the share of the plus size female population in the total customer population of the company.

The proposed study raises some ethical issues, such as pirvacy issues of pariticpants of the study.

Also, some questions of the survey may be embarrassing in a way for participants of the study, including questions concerning their size and weight. This is why it is particularly important to conduct the study anonymously and guarantee participants that the researcher will not disclose any personal, private information about participants that are at the researcher’s disposal (Newel, 2001). To protect the privacy of participants of the study, the research will be conducted on the condition of anonymity. The researcher will not reveal the information about participants of the study to third parties. Moreover, participants will complete their survey anonymously and all responses and results of the survey will get their ID number and no personal data will be retained about participants of the study.

In addition, participants of the study will receive informed consent forms, which they have to read and sign to agree to participate in the study. The informed consent form will provide details of the study, its purpose, the role of participants  in the study, and expected outcomes of the study.

4. Sample design

The sample population will be selected randomly among the customer population of the company.

The total number of participants enrolled in the study will be around 5,000. Female participants only are eligible for the study because the current research focuses on the female customer group only and the main research question is what is the share of the plus size female customers and how the share of such customers is likely to change in the future.

The age, education, employment, race, level of income and other aspects are irrelevant for the study and participants are eligible for the study regardless of their age, race, level of income, education or professional background.

The participation in the study is benevolent that means that participants of the study are free to abandon the study at any point, whenever they feel comfortable or better for them to abandon the study.

All participants of the study will receive informed consent form which they have to sign and send it back to the researcher to prove their agreement to take part in the study and to show their awareness of the purpose of the study and their role in the study along with expected effects and outcomes of the study.

5. Data-collection method

The survey will involve female customers of the company and help to measure the size of women, who shop in Jet on the regular basis and who are in the database of the company.

Survey will be conducted online.

Responses of participants of the study will be collected and processed by the researcher with the help of the statistical analysis and detailed analysis of responses of participants of the study.

6. Personnel requirements

The personnel requirements concern the research team that will consist of the researcher, who conducts the study and researcher assistants, whose task is to help with the data collection and processing. As the study involves about 5,000 participants, 5,000 surveys have to be processed. This is why the research team will work on processing the surveys to classify them and to conduct the analysis of findings of the study.

7. Cost and time schedule

Costs of the study will comprise R500 000. The costs of the study include administrative costs, communication costs, transportation costs, technical costs which include costs spent on require applications and tools used for the data collection, processing, and analysis.

Table 2. Time Schedule:

Date Action
January 2019 Beginning of the study Selection of the sample population Recruitment of participants Preparation of surveys
February 2019 Participants, who agreed to take part in the study sign informed consent form Participants receive surveys via emails, respond and send them back to the researcher The research team redistributes functions The research team prepares data analysis tools and applications needed to process the data collected in the course of the study.
March 2019 Participants respond to surveys and send them back to the researcher via email The research team receives surveys and inputs the data for the further processing
April 2019 The research team completes data collection and input of the data for the further processing The research team processes the data The researcher groups participants and starts the data analysis
May 2019 The research team conducts the data analysis to respond to the research questions
June 2019 The research team completes the data analysis The researcher prepares findings of the study and sums them up along with the analysis of the data The researcher prepares the conclusion and responses to the research questions of the study The researcher conducts the evaluation of the study and presents the study to Jet managers.

8. Analysis plan

The gender is the main criterion for the enrolment of participants and the gender of participants of the study should be double checked at the analysis stage of the research.

The age of participants is important to find out possible changes in the body weight and size driven by aging or changes that occur in the course of the natural, physical growth of women. For example, young women at the age of 18-19, who have an opportunity to get enrolled in the study, are likely to increase their body weight in 15-20 years or even sooner, as they grow old. As they increase their body weight, their size naturally changes too. Therefore, the analysis should take into consideration the age of participants and put young participants to at risk group because this group may increase its body size in the course of time.

The height of participants of the study is another criterion to take into consideration in the course of the analysis because it will help to determine the actual size of customers, when the height is compared to their weight and compared to the average height-weight correlation that helps to determine the size of participants.

The body weight is important because it shows whether participants of the study have overweight issues or not because such participants are likely to be plus size customers. The identification of overweight female customers and their share in the total number of participants is one of the key indicators of the plus size potential of female customers of the company. Overweight participants of the study are likely to have size plus because overweight leads to the increased size of customers. As a rule, overweight customers need plus sizes (Peters, 2012). The share of overweight participants will give insight into the share of overweigh female customers in the total customer population of Jet.

Also, the analysis of changes in the body weight of patients will help to determine the common trend, whether the weight and, therefore, body size of female customer really tends to increase or not.

Finally, one of the most important criteria for analysis is the size indicated by participants of the study in the survey.

At the same time, the size, height and weight of participants should be correlated. To put it more precisely, there is a risk that some participants may try to hide their real size or indicate smaller size than they actually have. In such a situation, the height and weight correlation will help to determine whether the body size indicated by participants is true or not. Similarly, they may hide their real weight. Then the size of participants should be compared to the body-height correlation. In case of the revelation of disparities in terms of body weight and height and the size indicated by participants, two ways of action are possible in terms of the proposed research. First, those participants, who are likely to indicate wrong data, should be excluded from the sample population. Second, participants, who admitted incorrectness in the data, should be admitted and considered as plus size. However, the latter option will put under a question the validity and reliability of findings of the study because inaccuracies admitted by participants are unclear since the researcher cannot determine precisely, where the participants put incorrect data, whether it is weight or size.

The data collected in the course of the study will be roughly classified into several groups. First, participants of the study will be verified in terms of their gender and, if male participants are identified, they will be automatically excluded from the study. The gender verification occurs on the ground of the survey, where participants of the study have to indicate their gender.

The next step in the data analysis involves the analysis of specific data concerning the age of participants. All participants will be divided into the following age groups: 18-25 years old; 26-35; 36-45, 46-65; and 65 and above. Age grouping is important because younger females have the risk of increasing their weight and, therefore, increasing their size to plus size. Therefore, two groups are in a way at risk groups that may potentially increase the size. This is why the next step is the analysis of the data concerning the weight change in customers. The research team has to identify the common trend in the weight change, i.e. whether the average weight of participants tend to increase, decrease, or remain unchanged (Robbins & Finley, 2005). The information obtained at this stage of the analysis is pivotal because it contains the response to the research question. If the average weight of participants tends to increase, this means that the share of plus size customer population is likely to grow. In such a way, the company can use the findings of the proposed study to determine concerning the future trends and sale policies.

However, the trend to decrease or increase of the average weight of participants is not enough for obtaining reliable outcomes of the study. In addition, the research needs to find out the share of plus size customers. To meet this goal, the next step of the analysis is the analysis of the weight and size of participants. Participants with overweight and plus size will be grouped as plus size customers. The share of the plus size participants compared to the total number of participants will show the share of plus size customers in the total customer population of Jet. As the study involves about 5,000 participants, the level of error will be about 10%. Such deviation is plausible and findings of the study will allow the company to come up with the final decision on whether to increase the share of plus size products or not.

9. Conclusion

Thus, the proposed study focuses on the analysis of current trends in the demand on plus size products among customers of Jet. The company will obtain findings of the proposed study that will give them relatively accurate information on whether the plus size female customer population of the company grows or not and what the share of such population in the total female customer population of the company is at the moment. The company will use findings of the proposed study to take the final decision concerning its further policies with regard to the plus size product supply.

References

Newel, D. (2001). Gaining a Holistic View of the Customer. LA: Printword.

Peters, T. J. (2012). In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. New York: Harper & Row.

Pine, J. and Gilmore, J. (2009). The Experience Economy, Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Robbins, H. and Finley, M. (2005). Why Teams Don’t Work: What Went Wrong and How to Make it Right. Princeton, N.J.: Peterson’s/Pacesetter Books.

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[Accessed: October 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: October 1, 2020]