2011 Back to School Trends – Part 1

Top 10 Back-to-School Trends for 2011 

Incredibly, it’s nearly back to school time!  Each year, trends are a little different, and sometimes a bit surprising.  Kathy Grannis, National Retail Federation spokesperson, recently published an article titled Top 10 Back-to-School Trends for 2011.  Five of these will be presented here today; the remainder in my next blog.  This is what is expected this year:

Parents will be spending where they need to, saving where they can.  They will be taking inventory before shopping to see if any of last year’s items will be usable before buying new.   For example, if the kids’ old jeans from last year still fit, new ones will not be purchased.  If, however, there are things that kids really need, like school supplies to replace what was used up from last year, parents will be receptive to spending more in this category.  It won’t be as easy to talk Mom and Dad into things this year.

It’s more about the best deal than the best price.  Quality and service will be considered above cost when making choices.  Value matters more this year.

The slow economy is still impacting spending.  Consumers will try to compensate by spending more on store brands and generic products (38%) and doing more comparative shopping on line (31%).   By spending less overall (44%) and shopping for sales more frequently (50%) consumers hope to cut expenses.

Department store shopping is back.  A survey by BIGresearch reports that 47.6% of college shoppers and 57% of K-12 shoppers will shop in department stores this season, the highest number in an 8-year survey history.

Electronics sales are expected to decrease for the season, changing the trend from previous years.  These products are no longer seen as “seasonal” and are expected to be purchased when needed throughout the year.  Many consumers may be waiting for newer models to be released or for holiday gift-giving later on.

At CCS, we keep up with current retail trends to assist our customers.  Keep reading our informative blogs for more news about trends, products, services and technical help.  There’s something new every week!  Contact us at sales@ccscentral.com.

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