Back to School Retail


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"Back to school" shopping is possibly the most important time of year for children's retailers in the United States. Understanding the timing for this annual event is essential for making the back to school time a boost in sales. Recent statistics show that nearly 70% of shoppers will begin their back to school shopping in the month of August, but the most important demographic for children's retail is the group that plans to spend $1,000 or more for their children, and strangely enough, almost 50% of these shoppers fall in the remaining 30% of shoppers that will begin their shopping earlier than August. Though this is a much smaller group, it spends just as much, if not more, than the other 70% of consumers doing their shopping in August. So what does that tell retailers is important for the next season?

Retailers cannot afford to miss this huge spending demographic. The latest time for “back to school" shelving must be July first, though putting out supplies and clothes in mid June is not a bad idea either. By forcing the “back to school" displays up for this extra month, retailers will see almost double in sales, well worth the extra effort in early planning. It is true that “back to school" sales do not necessarily make or break annual sales for all children's retail stores, but it can greatly make up for any loses in the previous spring if timed right for the public.

Target advertising is also important for the for “back to school" sales revenues. Promotional sales are likely to bring in customers looking to get their shopping done as cheaply as possible. Even if the bargain sales are small savings, the “sale" sign will bring customers into the store, ready to buy. Half of the consuming market is vastly more likely to buy during a sales promotion, regardless of the actual savings, and more than half of mothers in this country plan to scout out all the “back to school" sales. Consider this when organizing advertising campaigns in July and August, and target the mothers of the world trying to get their children all the things they need to be a successful student.

It is imperative spend the extra time and planning for the “back to school" season to truly reap the benefits of the this annual American expenditure. Without the right length and timing “back to school" displays many possible customers and sales will be missed, and without the right simple sales promotions, half of those may be lost to competitors. Listening to the public and knowing when and what the need has always been important for retail stores, but it is even more acute when everyone is going back to school.

About the Author: Ron Maier is the owner of Only Kids Hangers, a leading provider of decorative clothes hangers . For more information, please visit


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