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

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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 Urban, Ladies Urban, Bedding and Bath, Homegoods, Kitchenware, General Merchandise, and Children’s Clothing. I saved Children’s Clothing 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 Clothing 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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