Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back-to-School Shopping Isn't Over Yet!

As we creep closer and closer to the Labour Day long weekend, you'd think that most students and parents have already completed the lengthy back-to-school shopping process that includes grabbing everything from new backpacks, to computers, and clothing. But according to several surveys, retailers, both in-store and online, can gear up this weekend for a rush of last-minute shoppers.

An Angus Reid study, conducted on behalf of Staples Business Depot, finds that many consumers plan to start their back-to-school shopping later this year; while a Visa Canada survey claims that 13% of Canadians are eager to shop online between now and Labour Day.

Both studies are optimistic about the amounts Canadians will spend on back-to-school gear. Angus averages more than $200 per person ($20 more than last year), while Visa is much more generous for online shoppers, claiming that they'll each spend $881. 40% of these respondents indicate that they'll spend more online this year than they did last year. But Visa does note that 41% plan to buy computers online, which explains the inflated amount.

The Visa study also finds that 30% of back-to-schoolers choose to shop online instead of in a store, due mainly to convenience, and perceived better prices and selection.

The best advice for retailers out there? Offer great deals this weekend, send flyers or e-mails to customers outlining these enticing deals, and make sure stores are well-staffed to accommodate the rush of parents and college-bound teens looking to stock up for the school year. Keep in mind that many won't be perky about the end of summer, so anything you can do to excite them will help.

Happy Labour Day Weekend!

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