NRF’s Back to School Shopping Survey Results
Labor Day weekend is upon us and that means kids across the country head back to school—in some areas of the country the school year has already resumed. But how many parents have completed their back-to-school shopping?
A survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that as of mid-August some families had barely started their back-to-school shopping. According to NRF’s latest Back-to-School/College Surveys, the average family with children in grades K–12 completed just half (49.9 percent) of their shopping by that time, down slightly from last year (52.1 percent).
“As the shopping season draws to a close, budget-conscious parents are likely hoping that end-of-summer sales and promotions will be just what they need to wrap up their school lists,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay, in a statement. “Much of the delay this summer could also stem from families holding out for a sales tax holiday in their state, as well as from influential teenagers who want to first see what their friends are buying before they ask mom and dad to commit to their fall needs.”
According to the survey, as of August 12, fewer families had stepped out to take advantage of retailers’ special school savings opportunities; specifically, one-quarter (23.6 percent) had not started shopping yet, up from 20.9 percent last year. However, 15.7 percent say they have completed their lists, which is about the same amount as last year.
College families on the other hand, got a good jump on retailers’ sales and promotions this summer: 23.4 percent say they are completely finished with their lists, up from 20 percent last year. Additionally, slightly fewer families this year say they haven’t started shopping (26.2 percent vs. 28.8 percent last year.)
Some back-to-school shoppers made it a point to look for coupons and sales for new footwear, supplies, electronic items, and apparel. And, according to the most recent survey, 15.2 percent of back-to-school shoppers said 100 percent of their purchases were influenced by coupons, sales, and promotions, the highest percent since 2011; 14.8 percent of college students and their families say 76–99 percent of their shopping was influenced by coupons, also the highest for that range in the survey’s history.
In July, NRF found eight in 10 (81.1 percent) families with children in grades K–12 said the state of the economy would impact their school spending in some way; seven out of 10 (77.2 percent) college students and their families agreed.
In the survey, when asked what payment method back-to-school families used most often to purchase school necessities, 44.9 percent say they have or will use their debit cards more than cash (24.9 percent) and credit cards (27.9 percent). College students and their families have or will use debit cards (43.4 percent), followed by credit cards (33.7 percent) and cash (18.9 percent).
To wrap up their lists, most back-to-school shoppers will shop at discount (54 percent), department (47.7 percent) and clothing stores (35 percent), and online (24.8 percent). One-third (33.7 percent) will visit an office supply store and 10 percent will shop local and support small business.
Back-to-college shoppers will finish their shopping at discount (47.4 percent), department (40.3 percent), and clothing stores (26.8 percent). And, 37.4 percent will wrap up their lists online, which is the most in the survey’s history.
The NRF asked parents this year about specific course/school requirements. According to the survey, nearly one in five parents (18.2 percent) say that 100 percent of their back-to-college electronics purchases were influenced by course/school requirements.
For back-to-school families, whose lists often include supplies needed for the classroom, 21 percent of parents say that 100 percent of the supplies they buy are influenced by classroom and school requirements. When it comes to electronics, 16.4 percent said that every electronic item they buy is influenced by classroom lists and school requirements.
WIT Workshops, Cocktail Party at Fall Toy Preview
Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) is hosting its first Winning Moves workshop on Monday, October 6 at the Dallas Market Center at 1pm. This is an event that will provide WIT members with an opportunity to develop their careers and grow their businesses. Women-owned businesses can pitch their products to Walmart, inventors can present their product concepts to toy companies, and members seeking professional development advice can meet with toy experts for a speed mentoring session.
Continuing WIT’s work with Walmart’s global Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Initiative, WIT’s Winning Moves workshop will feature panel discussions on topics such as selling products to Walmart, strategies to raise capital, and developing and manufacturing a product.
WIT’s Winning Moves workshop is free and takes place on Monday, October 6 at the Dallas Market Center starting at 1pm, which is a day before the opening of Fall Toy Preview. The panel discussions are open to all registered Fall Toy Preview attendees. The late afternoon pitch and speed mentoring sessions are only available to WIT members. All attendees are required to register in advance at WomeninToys.com. Pitch sessions are first come, first served for WIT members. Companies interested in applying for the Walmart pitch meetings are required to complete the application form at WomeninToys.com by September 5, 2014.
The event will close with a cocktail party, which is open to all.
Trending on TTPM: Back to School
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