School’s out for summer… but not for not much longer.

To all you parents
out there, it’s time to tell your kids to face up to the cold hard truth and to
stop crying, because it’s a fact… summer will end and soon. Now some may say I
am jumping the gun a bit after all its only mid-July but to anyone in the
retail business be it physical virtual or both knows that September really
starts in July. September Back to School spending is not the off the charts
holiday season, but it’s nothing to sneeze at either. Back to school spending
is expected to total around $27.8 billion this year with an average of $519 per
student for those in grades K-12 according to a study by the research group
Deloitte. The college-bound totals are quite staggering as well; parents are
expected to shell out $25.1 Billion or $1,362 per student this year. That’s
over 50 billion dollars being spent over the next few weeks for everything from
high tech gadgets to the basics like clothing.

This is a crucial
period for your total annual sales, it’s that last big bump before the final
fourth quarter, and it cannot be taken lightly. Categories most in demand at
this time include Mens
, Ladies Urban,
Bedding and Bath,
Homegoods, Kitchenware, General
, and Children’s
. I saved Children’s
for last because I want to make an important point about this
category that is often overlooked. Kids don’t have a disposable income! It may
sound silly but think about this for a minute. Kids are not pulling out their
credit cards for their back to school clothes. Sure they may be involved in the
decision-making process, but it’s the parents who are doing the actual
spending. These parents are also making an important decision to do all this
shopping in one fell swoop rather than piecemeal as they may do for themselves
and their own wardrobes when shopping for clothing.

If you are
not a parent, think back on your childhood, and what your mom or dad did for
you when it was time to go back to school. They probably dragged you from store
to store, had you trying on dozens of items before dragging bags and bags of
clothing home. It is critical for those specializing in Children’s
to ramp up now because Back to School is when the bulk of the
sales happen for this category. The dollars being spent now will likely be the
last until late in the year, so you have a limited window of opportunity to
make these sales.

As any parent will
tell you, Kids are not cheap! And at $519 per student for back to school
spending in grades K-12 that is very clearly evident. Anyone who passes on this
opportunity should also go back to school.

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