For many families, back-to-school shopping is underway, and it’s a time to strategically purchase supplies at the lowest prices in the most convenient locations. According to JLL’s back-to-school consumer shopping survey, most parents plan to get their shopping done well in advance of the school season. More than half start at least two weeks before the first day of school. Approximately 30% will complete their shopping within the two weeks prior to school starting. The remaining shoppers wait until after school starts, as this is when retailers offer additional discounts and sales to offload merchandise.
Almost half of the parents who shop after school starts prioritize low prices and discounts. They also enjoy the convenience of avoiding the rush of shoppers. Those who prefer to shop well in advance focus more on quality and selection than the average parent. These shoppers are likely 65+ year-olds who do their shopping more than a month before school begins.
When it comes to back-to-school shopping, consumers prefer the in-store experience to be able to see and touch products. Parents with the largest budgets and higher incomes are more likely to shop online, as well as older parents and urban shoppers. Although discounters hold the top spot for all product categories, almost 30% of parents who shop for books and electronics do so online.
Overall, the key takeaways from the report are that although there are some key differences in how parents shop for back-to-school this year, they have quite a bit in common. They want to save as much as possible, they want to visit as few stores as possible to get what they need and they plan to spend most of their budgets on clothing. Some parents will shop online for convenience, but the majority will visit retail locations including department stores, office supply stores and dollar stores. Walmart and Target are very popular for back-to-school shoppers and retailers including Kohl’s, Staples, JCPenny and Old Navy are also on their lists.
Download your copy of JLL’s Back-to-School Consumer Shopping Survey.