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Back to School Shopping - US - June 2011

  • How can social media build brand relationships and invite recommendations?
  • To what extent can local retailing help back to school shopping sales?
  • Can mobile apps help communications with teens and parents?
  • What options exist to target fashion-oriented teens?
  • What product developments will appeal to kids and parents shopping for back to school clothes?

While this is the first report that Mintel has compiled on back-to-school-shopping, Shopping For Children’s Clothing—U.S., November 2010 and Kids As Influencers—U.S., June 2011, as well as the June 2010 and July 2009 reports of the same title provide material that may be of interest to the reader.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Anticipated spending data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                  • Anticipated spending reflects perceptions of macroeconomic conditions
                    • Discount and value department stores remain dominant channels
                      • Online retailers making gains
                        • Most prefer value-priced brands for supplies and mid-priced for clothing
                          • Most parents consult kids but make the final decision themselves
                            • Most approach the BTS season with a list and budget
                              • Clearance racks and waiting for sales are key tactics among parents
                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                • Use social media to build brand relationships and invite recommendations
                                  • Consider local retailing efforts
                                    • Develop apps to connect with teens and parents
                                      • Consider offering more customization options for fashion-oriented teens
                                        • Ethical apparel may appeal to green kids and parents
                                          • Figure 1: Kids 6-11 years attitudes toward environment, June 2002-June 2010
                                        • Focus on value more than price by highlighting points of differentiation
                                        • Inspire Insights

                                            • Trend: Life Hacking
                                            • Anticipated Spending on BTS Shopping

                                              • Key points
                                                • Consumer anticipated BTS spending fluctuates with economy
                                                    • Figure 2: Consumer anticipated spending on back to school shopping, at current prices, 2006-10
                                                  • Anticipated BTS spending increased 22.5% in 2010
                                                    • Figure 3: Consumer anticipated spending on back to school shopping, by segment, 2009-10
                                                  • 2010 clothing and accessories anticipated spending at 2008 level
                                                    • Figure 4: Consumer anticipated spending on back to school clothing and accessories, 2006-10
                                                  • Anticipated 2009 computer spend defies overall trends
                                                    • Figure 5: Consumer anticipated spending on back to school computers and electronics, 2006-10
                                                  • Anticipated shoe spending reflects clothing and accessories
                                                    • Figure 6: Consumer anticipated spending on back to school shoes, 2006-10
                                                  • Anticipated supplies spending increased the most post-recession
                                                    • Figure 7: Consumer anticipated spending on back to school supplies, 2006-10
                                                • Competitive Context

                                                  • Increased usage of school uniforms may detract from clothing sales
                                                    • Pre-assembled school supplies kits may eliminate need to purchase at retail
                                                      • Online shopping up as more kids use mobile
                                                      • Retail Channels

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Anticipated discount store use back to pre-recession levels
                                                            • Figure 8: Consumer anticipated retail channels for back to school purchases, 2006-10
                                                            • Figure 9: Stores shopped for back to school supplies, clothing and shoes, March 2011
                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Population growth will contribute to growing demand for BTS items
                                                              • Figure 10: U.S. population by age, 2006-16
                                                            • Rapidly growing minority segments key to BTS marketers
                                                              • Figure 11: Households with children by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2009
                                                              • Figure 12: U.S. population by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                            • Reduced funding puts pressure on parents and teachers to supply the classroom
                                                              • Obesity trend changing the BTS landscape and exposing opportunities
                                                                • Figure 13: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents, 2-19 years, for selected years 1971-2008
                                                              • Persistently high unemployment drives frugality
                                                                • Figure 14: Unemployment, Jan. 2007-May 2011
                                                              • Low consumer confidence also likely to undermine growth in 2011
                                                                • Figure 15: Consumer confidence, Jan. 2007-May 2011
                                                              • Gas prices remain high in Q2 2011 and could undermine BTS spending
                                                                • Figure 16: Weekly U.S. regular all formulations retail gasoline prices, Jan. 1, 2007-June 6, 2011
                                                            • Leading Companies

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Walmart, Target lead among mass merchandisers
                                                                  • Figure 17: Top retail stores where purchases made in the last four weeks, by ages of children in household, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                  • Figure 18: Teens’ top retail stores where purchases made in the last four weeks, by age and gender, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                • Leaders emphasized value, used social media and mobile in 2010
                                                                  • Leading retailers’ BTS marketing overview
                                                                    • Walmart
                                                                      • Target
                                                                        • Kohl’s
                                                                          • JCPenney
                                                                          • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                            • Overview
                                                                              • Online and social media engages teen and tween audience
                                                                                • JCPenney, “New Look. New Year. Who Knew!”
                                                                                  • Macy’s, mstylelab
                                                                                    • Sears, “Crush Your Style”
                                                                                      • Retailers direct deals to customers with smartphone apps
                                                                                        • Kmart2Go
                                                                                          • Figure 19: Kmart2Go smartphone app, May 2011
                                                                                        • JCPenney Weekly Deals
                                                                                          • Figure 20: JCPenney Weekly Deals app, May 2011
                                                                                        • Walmart
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Walmart smarthone app, May 2011
                                                                                      • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                        • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                          • Walmart
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Brand analysis of Walmart’s BTS positioning
                                                                                          • Television advertising
                                                                                            • Figure 23: Walmart back to school television ad, 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 24: Walmart back to school television ad, 2010
                                                                                          • Walmart pitches popular CPG food brands for BTS
                                                                                            • Figure 25: Walmart and Nestlé back to school promotion, May 2011
                                                                                          • Walmart uses Facebook to illustrate value beyond just price
                                                                                            • Target 
                                                                                              • Figure 26: Brand analysis of Target’s back to school positioning
                                                                                            • Television advertising
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Target back to school television ad, 2010
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Target BTS television ad, 2010
                                                                                            • Kohl’s
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Brand analysis of Kohl’s back to school positioning
                                                                                            • Campaign spotlight
                                                                                              • Television advertising
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Kohl’s back to school television ad, 2010
                                                                                                • Figure 31: Kohl’s back to school television ad, 2010
                                                                                              • Kohl’s uses Facebook in tandem with television
                                                                                                • JCPenney
                                                                                                  • Facebook
                                                                                                    • New Look. New Year. Who Knew! on Facebook
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: JCPenney Facebook back to school ad, July 2010
                                                                                                    • YouTube
                                                                                                      • Gap
                                                                                                        • Old Navy
                                                                                                        • Decision Makers for BTS Purchases

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Most parents involve kids in decision-making
                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Decision maker on back to school purchases, by child age, March 2011
                                                                                                            • Moms more likely to make decisions together with kids
                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Decision maker on back to school purchases, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                          • Teen Attitudes Toward Clothing and Fashion

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Many teens feel stylish, like to keep up on new fashions
                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Teens’ attitudes toward clothing and fashion, by age and gender, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                                              • Most kids and teens happy with the way they look
                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Girls’ attitudes toward clothing and fashion, by kids’ and teens’ age groups, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Boys’ attitudes toward clothing and fashion, by kids’ and teens’ age groups, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                                            • Parent Attitudes Toward Shopping With Kids

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Most parents want to treat their kids
                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Attitudes toward shopping with kids, by ages of children in household, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                • Affluents more likely to want kids to manage their money carefully
                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Attitudes toward shopping with kids, by household income, Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010
                                                                                                              • Brand Level Preferences for BTS Supplies and Clothing

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Most avoid premium supplies brands and favor mid-priced clothing brands
                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Brand price level of back to school items purchased, March 2011
                                                                                                                  • Affluents more likely to buy premium
                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Brand price level of back to school items purchased, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                • Channel Preferences for BTS Supplies and Clothing

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Mass/discount the dominant channel for supplies
                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school supplies, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Other stores shopped for back to school supplies, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                    • Most shop at mass for clothing but affluents often shop other channels
                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Other stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                    • Nearly four in 10 parents bought from Walmart in the last four weeks
                                                                                                                    • Attitudes Toward BTS Supplies and Clothing Shopping

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Most get a list from schools and enjoy shopping with kids
                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school supplies, by child age, March 2011
                                                                                                                        • Affluents more likely to buy kids what they ask for
                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school supplies, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                        • Most concerned that girls’ styles are too “grown up” for their ages
                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school clothing, by child age, March 2011
                                                                                                                        • Affluents more likely than others to give BTS advice
                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school clothing, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                      • Money-saving Tactics for BTS Shopping

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Most parents bought from sales racks or waited for sales to save money
                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Money-savings tactics for back to school shopping, by child age, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Women more likely than men to use a number of money-saving tactics
                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Money-savings tactics for back to school shopping, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Lower-income parents gravitate to sales, middle incomes use coupons
                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Money-savings tactics for back to school shopping, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                        • Impact of Sales Tax Holidays

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Where available, most took advantage of sales tax holidays
                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Shopped during sales tax holiday, by child age, March 2011
                                                                                                                            • Large majority would take advantage of tax holidays if offered in their state
                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Sales tax holiday impact on shopping if offered, by child age, March 2011
                                                                                                                            • 55+ most likely to state they would do all BTS shopping during tax holiday
                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Sales tax holiday impact on shopping if offered, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                          • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Across ethnic groups, kids have input on BTS purchases
                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Decision maker on back to school purchases, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                              • Blacks are more likely to buy mid- or high-priced clothing for their kids
                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Brand price level of back to school items purchased, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                              • Blacks more likely to pay a premium for high-quality items
                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school supplies, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                              • Blacks more likely to say their kids wear the latest fashions
                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school clothing, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                              • Blacks less likely to engage in a number of money-saving tactics
                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Money-savings tactics for back to school shopping, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                            • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                • Pay For What You Get
                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                      • Going Solo
                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                            • Low-priced Listers
                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Back to school shopping clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Decision maker on back to school purchases, by back to school shopping clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Brand price level of back to school items purchased, by back to school shopping clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school supplies, by back to school shopping clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school clothing, by back to school shopping clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Money-savings tactics for back to school shopping, by back to school shopping clusters, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Back to school shopping clusters, by child age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Back to school shopping clusters, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Back to school shopping clusters, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Back to school shopping clusters, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Back to school shopping clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                  • Custom Consumer Groups: Child Age and Area

                                                                                                                                                    • Suburban and urban teens more likely to get premium shoes and clothing
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Brand price level of back to school items purchased, by custom consumer group, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Channel preferences vary considerably between urban and rural parents
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school supplies, by custom consumer group, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Other stores shopped for back to school supplies, by custom consumer group, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Rural and suburban more focused on value channels when clothes shopping
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by custom consumer group, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Other stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by custom consumer group, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Rural consumers more likely to stockpile in summer
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Money-savings tactics for back to school shopping, by custom consumer group, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Other Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Decision maker on back to school purchases, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 79: Decision maker on back to school purchases, by age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 80: Brand price level of back to school items purchased, by gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 81: Brand price level of back to school items purchased, by age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 82: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school supplies, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 83: Other stores shopped for back to school supplies, by gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 84: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school supplies, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 85: Other stores shopped for back to school supplies, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 86: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school supplies, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 87: Other stores shopped for back to school supplies, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 88: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 89: Other stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 90: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 91: Other stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 92: Mass merchandiser, club and wholesale, and department stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 93: Other stores shopped for back to school clothing and shoes, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 94: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school supplies, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 95: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school clothing, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 96: Money-savings tactics for back to school shopping, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 97: Shopped during sales tax holiday, by adult age, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 98: Shopped during sales tax holiday, by area, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 99: Sales tax holiday impact on shopping if offered, by household income, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 100: Sales tax holiday impact on shopping if offered, by race/Hispanic origin, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 101: Sales tax holiday impact on shopping if offered, by area, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 102: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school supplies, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 103: Attitudes toward shopping for back to school clothing, by adult gender, March 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                      • American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
                                                                                                                                                      • American Apparel Producers Network
                                                                                                                                                      • American Eagle Outfitters Inc
                                                                                                                                                      • Apparel Search Company
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                                      • Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • Footwear Distributors & Retailers Of America Inc
                                                                                                                                                      • Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA)
                                                                                                                                                      • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • International Council of Shopping Centres
                                                                                                                                                      • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                                      • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                      • Kohl's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                      • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • National Association of Retail & Thrift Shops (NARTS)
                                                                                                                                                      • National Office Products Alliance (NOPA)
                                                                                                                                                      • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                      • National Shoe Retailers Association, Inc
                                                                                                                                                      • National Small-bore Rifle Association
                                                                                                                                                      • Nestlé USA
                                                                                                                                                      • Office Depot (North America Retail)
                                                                                                                                                      • Office Furniture Dealers Alliance
                                                                                                                                                      • OfficeMax, Inc
                                                                                                                                                      • SAM's Club
                                                                                                                                                      • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                      • Toys R Us
                                                                                                                                                      • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                      • Victoria's Secret
                                                                                                                                                      • Walgreen Co
                                                                                                                                                      • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                      • Yahoo! Inc
                                                                                                                                                      • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                      Back to School Shopping - US - June 2011

                                                                                                                                                      £2,684.63 (Excl.Tax)