According to a recent customer survey conducted by Meijer, most shoppers plan to spend more on school supplies than they did last year. The company noted that 75% expect to make more shopping trips to buy as much as they can on their back-to-school list before the first day of class.
In all, Meijer found that 92% of households with school-age children plan to spend the same amount or more than they did last year for back-to–school supplies. Meijer indicated that families will share the cost of pencils and paper more, with 40% of students helping pay for school expenses, up from 33% in 2014.
The survey results also suggested that sales, promotions and overall low prices are important when customers plan their shopping trips. Meijer stated that it is responding with price drops on more than 300 items now through September, as well as offering nearly 150 items for less than $1. In addition, Meijer will offer Back-to-School Bucks available August 14 to 15 through its mobile-oriented mPerks digital savings program, as well as through print coupons.
Among the trends Meijer stated as critical for back to school:
- Zipper Binders are gaining, particularly in schools that don’t allow students to carry backpacks.
- Customization is critical, as students want to stand out and individualize their school supplies by applying decals, gold foil and sharpie designs.
- Practical can be cool, so backpacks with padded backs and a sternum strap are in.
- Licensed products continue to be popular, with characters from Despicable Me, Minions, Frozen, Rachel Hale, Paw Patrol and John Deere proving to be favorites, and Star Wars looming.
“Families are starting their back-to-school shopping earlier than ever and seem incredibly focused on taking advantage of deals,” said Peter Whitsett, Meijer evp/merchandising and marketing. “We’ve not only expanded our selection, carrying more than 1,250 items, but we have dropped prices on key school supplies while adding more on-trend items like backpacks, locker decorations, notebooks and apparel.”