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Back to School

Last August, children going back to school drove the best monthly rise in British high street sales since January. Parents buying school clothing and stationery boosted total sales lifted 2.7%, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium and accountancy firm KPMG

It seems when it comes to the ‘Back to School” campaign, supermarkets are doing something right. While the price war between the big four means competition is high,  this also means that UK parents are spoilt for choice when it comes to providing the necessary items for their children on a budget.

On average (according to a study by The Guardian), back to school items and yearly school expenditures costs parents £1,195 per secondary school child and £684 per primary school child. With such high costs, parents are looking for a bargain and typically head to supermarkets rather than the high street stores. The convenience of being able to pick up the school items while doing the regular food shop, is an added bonus.


Brandwatch analysed over 246k conversations discussing school uniform and social media and the following received the most attention.

  • Tesco received 20% and is the highest ranking supermarket for back to school mentions
  • Asda closely follows in the supermarket rankings with 16%
  • BHS with 26% of mentions (thanks to their back to school promotion to win £100)
  • John Lewis with 22%

Back to school is a one-off seasonal shopping surge, and with consumer confidence currently  at a 15 year high, this back to school period could be even stronger than 2014. On top of that, a fifth of shoppers leave back to school shopping until the week before school starts, so the window of opportunity for brands is also extensive.

However, with so much competition and limited shelf space, it is vital that your product has the best visibility, availability and timing to maximise the sales opportunity. A clever promotional offer, surrounded by enticing merchandising display in high footfall areas will ensure that the product is noticed and will draw attention away from competitors. And that’s where we come in, as the last pair of hands, improving sales and availability through our strong in store relationships, for clients across all sectors.

If you’d like help with your brand in store, and to avoid merchandising mishaps like the one below, please get in touch.