No two back-to-school shopping seasons are the same. Just like spring and fall fashion trends, there are always newly trending clothes and even different shopping behaviors you’ll start to observe in the weeks ahead.
If you want to make your store a hot spot before class begins again, here’s what you need to know.
Better late than never
If you think the holiday shopping season is the only time consumers rush to the mall at the last minute, guess again. According to the National Retail Federation, procrastinating shoppers will be coming out in large numbers this year. Around 30 percent of back-to-school shoppers will wait until the last two weeks before class to go get their apparel and supplies – up from 25 percent last year.
That means you should keep those hot items on the store racks and keep your custom color mannequins dressed in their back-to-school best longer than usual.
Ramp up your online efforts
But where are those shoppers heading first? Clothing stores have some great business to look forward to, as families plan to spend 9.1 percent more at these outlets compared to five years ago, the NRF reported. Online stores are the big winner as far as trends go, however. Online back-to-school spending has increased 15.6 percent over the last five years.
Even if your store doesn’t have an ecommerce website, you may still be able to ride the wave by ramping up your social media postings or updating your website.
What items are in?
As with any back-to-school shopping season, there are a few favorite items that most shoppers are buying. However, there’s always a subtle twist to the style of those classics. Here are a few examples.
“College families spend $300 more than K-12 families.”
Backpacks have become functionally simple but much more intricate in terms of designs and textures. Look at just about any back-to-school fashion source and you’ll find simple one- or two-pocket bags with flashy graphics and interesting materials. Backpacks are being made with everything from quilted material to suede and fringed leather – the typical school tote has a little more character this year.
Don’t forget jewelry either. Pencil cases and trapper keepers aren’t the only accessories students like bringing along to the first day of class. Dainty gold and silver pieces are in-style right now. Think wire-thin necklaces and rings that are worn in multiples. Make sure you keep those jewelry displays front and center for the next few weeks.
Remember, grade school shopping is popular, but college students are hitting outlets and stores, too. In fact, the NRF noted that college families spend over $300 more compared to K-12 families during their shopping sprees. There may be more grade school students, but you’ll need to stock up on trending young adult wear, too.