By admin | August 5, 2012
Here at Field Agent we want to bring you relevant insights for your business in a timely way. In addition to our extensive retail audit functionality, we have the ability to pick the brains of our almost 11,000 Agents across the country through in-home or in-store surveys.
This past week we polled 100 female Field Agents from across the country with at least one child returning to school in Kindergarten to Grade 12. Our survey revealed some very interesting insights about Back To School shopping in Canada, including how much families plan to spend per child and where they plan on spending it.
This year, consumers are very value-conscious when it comes to back-to-school spending. According to Daniel Baer at Ernst & Young, “Consumers’ low confidence level means they are careful, looking for bargains despite brand loyalty, and aren’t hesitant to compare prices before buying, whether shopping in stores or online from home or by mobile.”
Our poll through Field Agent revealed that overall, families plan to spend approximately $245 per child on back-to-school spending. Furthermore, approximately 60% of those polled plan on spending up to $200 per child.
Of the respondents polled, approximately 50% of the overall budget will be spent on clothing, 30% on school supplies and 20% on school lunch items.
The survey also revealed that an overwhelming majority (approximately 60% of those polled), plan on spending the majority of their overall back-to-school dollars at Wal-mart. Staples, Superstore and Costco were also important contenders.
Most shoppers polled will buy school supplies from Wal-Mart and Staples. Top leaders for clothing include Wal-Mart, Old Navy, The Gap, Superstore and H&M. But, approximately 35% polled plan on buying clothes from other retailers. Top contenders for the school lunch purchases were Superstore, Wal-Mart and Costco.
Other retailers that respondents plan on shopping at include Best Buy, Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, Future Shop, Dollarama, Jean Coutu, Grand & Toy, Giant Tiger, Canadian Tire and Rexall.
According to Ernst & Young, back-to-school sales this year started earlier in the US, forcing Canadian companies to follow suit.
Wal-Mart Canada is tailoring its back-to-school campaign this year around value-conscious consumers. According to Lee Tappenden, chief merchandising officer Wal-Mart Canada, “This year at Wal-Mart we are offering our strongest ever value campaign around the back-to-school period.”
The company will be offering more than 100 back-to-school items for teachers and students for a dollar or less. This will include things like pens, pencils, notebooks, lunch bags and pencil cases. The company will also be offering quality, affordable fashion basics.
Our Field Agent poll revealed that approximately 23% of those polled would spend between 40-59% of back-to-school spending dollars at Target next year after they open up shop in Canada. Shoppers are eagerly anticipating shopping at Target next year.
Target’s current back-to-school campaign in the US is very effective from the store entry. The store is focused on providing all back to school needs, from school supplies to clothing to lunch supplies.
Target is definitely on shoppers’ minds and will prove to be a major force in the back-to-school sales category next year. It will compete head-to-head with Wal-Mart in this category so next year will be a revealing one to see how consumer’s dollars will be split up.
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