With schools to re-open in the next fortnight, the ‘Back to School’ rush will likely commence in earnest but and more and more retailers are recognising the opportunity to capitalise on the new school year.
Recent figures from Conlumino show that UK consumers will spend £1.45bn on ‘Back to School’ this year, £21m more than in 2014, and retailers from the grocers to fashion brands are cashing in.
Tesco’s ‘School Shop’ hopes to entice customers with offers of half price stationary and a ‘boost’ in Club Card points that are rewarded with selected items, while River Island is marketing apparel and accessories to older students, using the start of school as a trend.
Conlumino’s data suggests that recovery signs in the economy and greater levels of disposable income may see the ‘Back to School’ spend reap some of that benefit.
Greg Bromley, Retail Analyst at Conlumino, said: “Consumers feeling the benefit from wider improvements in the economy should feel more comfortable in making ‘Back to School’ purchases this year, for what is typically a very expensive time of year for parents.
While purchase volumes are unlikely to pick up massively, parents may start to splash out more on ‘Back to School’ purchasing – this might mean buying their child some extra stationery or a new pair of football boots – purchases that previously would have been postponed.”
George at Asda’s ‘School Uniform Shop’ is sure to put this to the test with its extensive range of lunch boxes and water bottles on offer from a nominal £2.
Last year a total of £842m was spent on school uniforms and consumers surveyed by Conlumino listed quality as the most important driver of store choice when purchasing school uniform – ahead of low prices, convenience and special offers.
“Consumers are demanding uniforms that are durable and will last for the full school year. As disposable incomes continue to recover, consumers are likely to be willing to spend slightly more on school uniform if it will last longer and represents better value for money,” Bromley added.
Marks & Spencer has also taken this into consideration with its ‘School Uniform Innovations’ promoting adjustable cuffs, crease resistance, scuff resistance and stain resistance as some the qualities its uniform offer.