Sales during the important back-to-school season are set to rebound from the pandemic-related lows seen last year, in large part thanks to expectations that children will return to school in person and will need wardrobe updates and school supplies.
From July 15 to September, consumers will focus on shopping for BTS, and although stores are largely reopened for in-person sales, many consumers – who have new confidence in online shopping thanks to lockdowns linked to the pandemic – still plan to shop at home.
Shopkick found in a survey of more than 7,400 Americans from May 5 to 10 that 71% expect to send their children back to school full-time in person. However, around 56% of those polled said they would buy more online than they normally would, and more than half of those polled said they plan to shop less.
However, many shoppers plan to venture into stores: 92% said they would go to stores, up from 66% last fall, and big box retailers like Target and Walmart will take the majority of shoppers. at the store. Amazon will be the winner in online sales, according to the Shopkick survey.
“As Americans prepare for back to school in different ways than last year, some habits persist. Retailers need to be prepared for an influx of in-store shopping without neglecting the omnichannel mobile experiences that consumers have grown accustomed to over the past year, ”said Shopkick.
About 42% of buyers plan to spend between $ 101 and $ 300 on BTS, while 21% will spend between $ 301 and $ 600. About 12% will spend more than $ 600, Shopkick said.
Consumers who plan to spend more on BTS purchases said they would because they didn’t spend that much last year while the kids were at home completing schoolwork remotely.
Clothing is the most important category consumers will spend, at 60% of dollars spent, while 24% of dollars will be spent on basic school supplies like backpacks, notebooks and pens. The majority of buyers also said they were looking for deals.
“This back-to-school season will be defined by choice as online sales remain strong, physical shipping picks up steam and strong promotions help retailers compete for buyers’ portfolios,” said Steve Sadove, Senior Advisor of Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman. of Saks Inc. in a statement in early June.
Mastercard SpendingPulse predicts spending in stores and online to increase 5.5% year-over-year from July 15 to September 6. Compared to 2019 levels, sales are expected to increase by 6.9%.
Clothing sales are expected to jump 78.2%, according to Mastercard, and department stores are expected to see their sales increase 25.3% year-over-year.
“When it comes to retail, the positive outlook is that children will continue to grow older, so buying new clothes for school is a no-brainer,” said Beth Goldstein, accessories and clothing industry analyst. shoe at NPD Group.
For its part, NPD recently noted that the BTS shopping season could be “stretched” as many school districts do not return to school until after Labor Day, which is September 6. However, some districts start as early as August 2.
“Some larger school districts don’t reopen until September, so there’s a good chance the traditional back-to-school season will be extended,” Goldstein said. “Depending on how the promotions go in June, we could see an early and late increase this year.”
Back-to-school supplies saw strong sales for Amazon during its Prime Day event on June 21-22, for example.
Overall, the National Retail Federation predicted in early June that annual retail sales would increase between 10.5% and 13.5% to $ 4.44 trillion to $ 4.56 trillion, from $ 4.02 trillions of dollars in retail sales last year.