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Back-to-School Trends for 2022

According to the National Retail Federation’s Annual 2021 Back-to-School Survey, 51 percent of K-12 and college shoppers begin shopping for the items they need as early as July. Make the grade by taking note of trending back-to-school items and the data about what people are buying.

Where Are They Shopping?

  • 48% Online Shopping
  • 15% Local/Small Business

Electronics Rule

Back-to-school shopping has included a sharp increase in the purchase of electronic equipment in the past few years. Display electronics like mini fridges and microwaves front and center to establish your business as a school shopping destination.

School Style
In 2021, clothing and accessories comprised the second largest category of planned back-to-school spending, reaching $11.1 billion. If your operation sells clothing, merchandise your school products (backpacks, pencils, etc.) near your clothing department to create a consolidated shopping experience.

Parents Pockets
Average amount 25-44 year olds spent on school supplies in 2021: $1,006.17

Product Selection

Need additional product selection assistance? Locating local school supply lists is a great way to tailor your store’s product selection to your customers and establish your operation as a back-to-school shopping destination.

Contact local schools and ask for that year’s supply lists. Be sure to merchandise products for all age groups.

Directly contact local teachers and ask for their supply lists or locate their Amazon wish lists. Advertise to your community that you have all the products on the lists in stock and ask them to support local instead of big-box stores or Amazon.

Acting on Impulse
Highlight fun products, like fidget toys or colorful pencil pouches, and basic supplies, such as pencils and pens, near checkout registers. This practice boosts impulse add-on sales and creates a conversation about your operation in relation to school shopping.

Source: Annual 2021 Back-to-School Survey, National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

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About Carly Froderman

Carly joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor. Born and raised in Indiana, Carly earned a B.A. in English from Indiana University Bloomington. She enjoys reading, hiking, and cheering on the Indiana Hoosiers.

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