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3R's of Back-To-School

3R’s of Back-To-School

It’s not only parents happy to see their children go back to school in the next few weeks. Retailers are also celebrating. According to our annual Back-To-School survey, average spend for clothing and supplies is up 10% over a year ago, or $584.

The consumer’s view of the traditional retail 3R’s used to be ‘retailer,’ ‘rates,’ and ‘requirements,’ – which retailer was offering the best prices for stuff the kids really needed. But as parents have already earned their Ph.D.’s in smart back-to-school shopping, this year ‘requirements’ has moved to the head of the class.

Unlike other major purchase events like Mother’s Day, there’s a more lopsided distribution in terms of which retailers will be the beneficiaries of back-to-school shopping: Discount Stores 95%, Department Stores 60%, Office Supply 55%, Online 50%, Specialty Retailers 45%, and Catalogs 35%. For some lessons as to parents’ shopping plans, we invite you to read Jill Radsken’s Boston Herald article, “Class Action.”

The top-10 retailers who got A’s in consumers’ intent-to-shop were:

1. Amazon

2. Bed, Bath, and Beyond

3. Gap

4. J. Crew

5. Kohl’s Footlocker

6. Nike

7. Staples

8. Target

9. TJ Maxx

10. Zappos

What brands get what piece of the academic pie is ultimately determined by what retail brands actually stand for. Brand meaning can quickly matriculate into surrogates for added-value, and these days you don’t need a crib-sheet to discover that consumers seek out brands that possess meaning and act more positively to those retailers who do as well.

And that behavior should be a fundamental lesson for all retailers.

Brand Keys, Inc. partner of
Brand Lounge in the Middle East

retail retail brands

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