Back 2 School Season and Sales – The Trends

9 Jul,2019

[lead]It’s one of the biggest retail events of the year and whether you like it or not, it’ll be here before you know it![/lead]

Brits were seen spending £4.8 billion during 2017’s Back to School season, making it one of the most anticipated and prepared for events of the year. It falls third amongst big annual shopping events, after Black Friday and Christmas.

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In recent years, it has been found that supermarkets benefit the most from this shopping event, seeing over a third of all sales. It has been suggested that this is thanks to shoppers favouring the convenience of getting everything under one roof. With this in mind, let’s explore how supermarkets target certain products and reap the benefits of this busy time.

Supermarkets & Back 2 School

Recently, many have been noticing the particular impact that ‘Back to School’ has had on supermarkets. Establishments mainly known for food distribution, supermarket giants such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are climbing the leaderboard in the Back to School market, speeding past previous go-to’s like Marks and Spencers and WHSmith.

Most supermarkets now have their very own Back to School campaigns which include promotions and related product launches. Sainsbury’s launched their Back to School Campaign in 2005, and ever since they have seen a huge increase in sales.

With emerging figures, it’s no surprise that most aisles get some sort of marketing makeover during this time. Deals, display units and promotions can be seen everywhere from the clothes aisle, all the way to the chilled aisle marketing packed lunches.

Back-to-school sales are expected to grow more than 10% over 2016 to $83.6 billion — the second-biggest haul for retailers after 2012’s all-time high of $83.8 billion.

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With the almost guaranteed success and returning sales, most marketing begins before the summer holidays do. According to stats, 41% of parents purchase their Back 2 School supplies nearly a month before the academic year begins. This means the season can be spanned over most of the summer (usually beginning in July), with certified sales, especially when there is strategic product focus and an understanding of their target audience. This can usually be achieved by actions such as implemented FSDUs, as well as paying close attention to levels of product availability and compliance- something that Tactical Solutions can help with.

Popular Products

One of the biggest sellers for Back to School is Uniforms; statistics showing parents spending up to £255 a year on them. Some schools only require certain colours and styles, making it relatively cheaper to buy. However, a school uniform consists of many components that when accumulated, racks up quite a bill.  Due to its demand, necessity and its reputation to get mucky, supermarkets market uniforms as easy to maintain, robust, as well as cheap and cheerful.

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Every year, we see Asda implementing effective promotions such as cheap multipacks. Some of the offers available consist of 5 Polo Shirts for  £6 as well as 2 Sweatshirts for £4, in your selected colour.

Marks and Spencers in recent years have marketed uniforms that are specially designed to be ‘Crease-Resistant, Non-Iron, and Stain Resistant’, also including multipacks with substantially low prices and deals.

Aldi made headlines last year due to their £5 uniform, which sold out in a matter of days.

Looking at these similar promotion trends popping up in an array of stores, we can see how supermarkets are addressing their target consumers and clearly having an understanding of their needs, which is a simple and sure-fire way of securing their continuous sales.

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It’s All About Knowing your Audience

When looking at the growing analysis of supermarkets and their relationship with the Back 2 School, it seems to all boil down to an excellent understanding of their target audience and their needs. With secured top positions in the market, supermarket giants like Asda and Tesco understand the gravity of the situation; catering for busy parents by allowing a stressful time to be quick, cheap and easy. Supermarkets have the advantage of being the hub for all things essential, and they have only added to their convenience by marketing back to school purchases.

What can Tactical Solutions do?

Here at Tactical Solutions, we have the teams and the software to help you ensure that your brand is also getting in on the fun. With access to live store data and teams who visit in-store, they are able to resolve issues that might hinder sales and implement effective actions; assuring that your brand is receiving the attention it deserves.