Author(s): Nteboheng Patricia Mefi and Samson Nambei Asoba
South Africa has high small business failure rate as well as high unemployment. These problems mean that poverty alleviation, reducing inequalities and raising the standard of living for the majority may not be realised easily. In that context studies on small business sustainability have considered several dimensions to inform policy and practice. This paper focused on small clothing retailers and how consumers perceive local and international brands in their purchasing intentions. It sought to analyse the perceptions of consumers on local and global brands and the implications of these perceptions on the survival and sustainability of small businesses. Data was collected using a questionnaire adapted from the literature. The study found evidence that there is no big difference in the perceptions of consumers on the two groups of brands. This indicated that other factors are more essential for competitiveness than the brand construct. Small retailers in the clothing sector were recommended to have a holistic analysis of their business models for sustainability and not rely solely on the concept of brand.