Date of Award

Fall 11-18-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing




Dr. Robin McCoy


The fashion retail industry has already been undergoing an extensive transformation since the introduction of e-commerce in the late 1990s. However, changes in consumer shopping behavior caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have fundamentally altered the industry in a matter of months. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is relatively recent, there is a lack of literature regarding the challenges and opportunities for fashion retailers in light of these changes in consumer behavior. This project will illuminate the challenges and opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic for the different distribution modes in the fashion retail industry: brick and mortar stores, e-commerce, and omnichannel retailing. By synthesizing existing literature on the prior e-commerce disruption, pre-pandemic situation, and the COVID-19 situation, this study will provide context to explain fashion retail industry’s current state of flux. Research findings will also reveal valuable insights about consumer shopping behavior in a pandemic and the role consumers play in industry transformation. Based on these insights, this study will provide research-based recommendations for fashion retailers to thrive in the current landscape and as the industry eventually moves to a post-pandemic environment.