What Do People Want to Wear?


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clothing rackYou work for a clothes apparel merchandiser. You have been given the job of purchasing agent and need to help your boss anticipate what consumers are demanding. You are going to look at various retail clothing web sites to determine what is "hot"' and what is "not". By trying to determine what is "hot" and what is "not", you will be learning about determinants of demand and ultimately, price.


You will use a market scenario as a basis for analyzing the relationship between the demand for and the price for a product. The market scenario will allow you see how changes in demand affect products and their prices. Changes in various determinants that influence a product's demand will have an impact on that product's price. Your job is to determine what some of the determinants of demand are and how they will influence price.


pantsHow do different market scenarios affect the demand and price for clothes? Your boss has given you a list of items she would like to sell. The list includes dress pants, winter coats, ski sweaters, and athletic shorts. You will need to select examples of these products online.

You will need to look at many web sites to get examples of products. Potential web sites include but are not limited to the following:

Remember, you want to enter a market that will have increasing demand for your product.

Market Scenarios: Use the above sites to search on-line for an example of each of the following products: winter coats, ski sweaters, athletic shorts, and dress pants. Then complete the interactive activities to determine the effect of the given scenarios on the given products. Make sure to include which determinant caused the demand to change. You may chose the determinants of demand from this list:

  1. Tastes and preferences
  2. Income (normal and inferior goods)
  3. Price of related items, goods and compliments
  4. Future expectations
  5. Number of consumers in the market

For the questions below, write what effect the above scenario has on the product and explain why.

  1. Winter Coat: Unsually mild winter?
  2. Winter Coat: Winter begins?
  3. Winter Coat: Relocate to Southern California?
  4. Winter Coat: Rock stars make it trendy to wear winter coats?
  5. Ski sweater: Skiing becomes more popular?
  6. Ski sweater: Ski sweaters help increase weight loss?
  7. Ski sweater: Unusually mild winter?
  8. Ski sweater: Celebrity endorsements?

For the questions below, write what effect the above scenario has on the product and explain why.

  1. Athletic Shorts: Famous people wear athletic shorts in public?
  2. Athletic Shorts: Schools ban the wearing of athletic shorts?
  3. Athletic Shorts: Working out becomes trendy?
  4. Athletic Shorts: Unusually cool summer months?
  5. Dress Slacks: The move to a more casual workplace?
  6. Dress Slacks: Increase in per capita income?
  7. Dress Slacks: Warmer weather?
  8. Dress Slacks: Increase in employment in the professional sector

What relationship do you see being established between a change in price and a change in demand?



Based on the information gathered in the market selected for online research, you will now list the demand determinants that would currently affect it. You should be prepared to answer these questions in a class discussion about demand and price.

  • What happens to price when demand increases?
  • What happens to price when demand decreases?
  • What type of relationship do you see between demand and price?



  1. Why do businesses advertise their products?
  2. Why might you advise a business to have a sale?
  3. How do seasonal expectations influence demand and price?
  4. In your work purchasing products, how might you be influenced by what you have learned?


Working with a partner, create four original market scenarios that demonstrate a change in demand.

Then draw an arrow on a note card. When your classmates share their original scenarios, hold the card showing whether the demand and price increased (arrow pointing up) or decreased (arrow pointing down).

Share your scenarios with the class and ask them to respond with their note cards appropriately. How did they do?

Ask your teacher for further activities to perform if/when the time comes.