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Abstract

The knowledge of factors affecting the end-consumers choice of building material for specific purposes, i.e., the mechanisms of substitute competition, necessary to understand the competitive situation of wood, is limited. In this paper interviews of floorcovering customers and sales representatives are analysed. The results suggested that by using a multivariate projection method, PLS-DA (Partial Least Square Discriminant Analysis), it is possible to extract the most important predictors of material preferences from answers to open-ended questions and make comparisons between the two groups, thus allowing partismony, as there is no need for follow-up study with pre-structured response alternatives to quantify variables (e.g., using Likert scales). End-consumers and sales representatives show agreement in their assessment of determinant attributes and appraisal of the different materials. Unlike the other materials, the decisive reasons for choosing wood appear to be exclusively non-functional.

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