Last Monday’s 2013 Back-To-School Checkout issue noted that the number of shoppers that plan to head out this season dropped by 3.5% and that most channels, with the exception of dollar and office supply, will experience a drop in traffic.
It seems that shoppers are spending less as well; families with school-aged children will spend an average $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies, and electronics, down from $688.62 last year. Source 1
Interestingly, this drop in number of shoppers and spend is the result of more frugal and practical mindsets. Having splurged last year, parents will be reusing what they can this season. In fact, 35% of families plan to reuse last year’s items, compared to 20% in 2012. Source 2
This mindset is most likely negatively effecting durable goods sales such as jackets, backpacks, shirts, and any other products that have longevity. While non-durables such as pencils, paper, notebooks, and any other items that have been exhausted during the last school year will still have to be replenished. With shoppers having shorter, more basic shopping lists, it is no surprise that office supply and discount/dollar stores found slight increases rather than drops in traffic. These are convenient and efficient retailers for basic replenishment needs for school.
With more shoppers focusing mostly on supplies, remind your audience that they can replenish them at your retailer.
Source 1: “On The Heels Of Historically High Back-To-School Season”, 2013 Spending Expectations Decrease, National Retail Foundation, July 18, 2013
Source 2: “Deloitte's Back-To-School Survey Finds Frugality Will Rule”, Retail Customer Experience, July 29, 2013
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