Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Lionel de Souza



Many privately owned brick-and-mortar fashion boutiques in the United States fail to succeed beyond the first 5 years of business. The knowledge of the factors responsible for the decline in the survival rate of traditional or brick-and-mortar fashion boutiques may be essential to these entrepreneurs’ survival. Grounded in the general systems theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies used by successful brick-and-mortar fashion boutique owners to negate the threat of online retailers. Data were collected through interviews with 5 brick-and-mortar fashion boutique owners, who operated businesses in the southeast region of the United States for more than 5 years, denoting success in fashion retailing. Secondary sources of data included secondoary data from the U. S. Small Business Administration, U. S. Census Bureau, and fashion industry reports. A thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: the importance of marketing, fashion trends, and customer preference.. The outcomes of positive social change will expectedly result from the contribution to strategic knowledge generated from the study, in the formulation of innovative retail business strategies. The potential knowledge utilization of the study results may serve to increase the success rates of online fashion startups and positively influence improvement in the economic status and welfare of fashion business professionals in the community.