Retailers Get Ready: The Business of Back to School Shopping

back to school shoppingThe sun is high in the sky and the weather is warm. The beaches are filled with people trying to get in as much fun in the sun as possible. With school just finishing, most are not even thinking about heading back to school. If, however, you’re a retailer in the back to school business, it is likely at the forefront of your mind. Retailers and manufacturers get ready – it is time for some tips to help you get ready for the back to school shopping blitz.

Something to keep in mind if you tend to procrastinate: Last year, the National Retail Federation predicted back to school shopping for the typical family with kids attending kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, or high school will spend $669.28 this year, up 5% from last year. Total back to school spending is estimated to hit $26.5 billion – now that is big business.

Whether you are ready or not, the back to school shopping season is right around the corner. Be ready.

Our first tip? Start now – not next week, definitely not next month, now. Give yourself plenty of time to get your strategy in place. Waiting until the last minute can mean added stress and lost profits.

Tip #2: Don’t just target parents. Some retailers assume that because parents are the ones shelling out the big bucks, they are the ones to target – and that is true – but they are not the only ones. Cater to the kids too – after all, they are the ones likely adding to the cart or asking for certain items over others.

Tip #3: Post-secondary kids and their parents spend even more – so make sure to highlight and focus on those items that are likely to fill lecture halls and dorm rooms.

Tip #4: Make sure you are ready for the rush. Early birds may not cause too much hustle and bustle, but the last few weekends before school starts can often mean long line ups and messy shelves. Make sure to get a plan in place to ensure coverage is not lacking. A company that offers trained people support is a great way to go as an alternative to hiring short-term seasonal employees.

Tip #5: CPG retailers – think about implementing an experiential merchandising campaign to engage customers and combine common products. This is great when you target the entire range of customers – appealing to parents’ concerns about healthy eating and school food guidelines but also kids’ desire for fun.

Tip #6: Manufacturers – due to the high volume traffic in store, be proactive and ensure you have merchandisers ready and available to stock shelves for you during these busy times. If your product is very specific to back to school, don’t get caught with a huge return at the end of the season because the product didn’t get out of the backroom your credit will cost you more than the sales you can gain.

When it comes to back to school shopping, being ready is a sure-fire way to help boost your brand image and bottom line. And Storesupport can help – we have years of experience helping retailers get ready for back to school. Call us today at 1-877-421-5081.

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