Consumers Plan to Indulge in the Back-to-School Shopping Season

The NPD Group, a leading market research company, released the results of its annual back-to-school study of consumers’ purchasing intentions for the 2012 season. In general, consumers intend to spend more this year, but as they did last year, they will start their shopping a little later.

“Retailers should plan to see a rise in sales when the temperature drops,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “The summer heat wave in much of the country is a possible contributor to the delay in back-to-school shopping.”

Even though consumers plan to spend more this season, the type of retail outlets they intend to shop in has shifted. As a result, apparel, apparel accessories, footwear, school bags, sports equipment, and calculators will receive more attention.

“There will be waves of sales growth – in the early stages, school supplies and electronics will do well,” said Cohen. “And when school is back in session apparel and footwear will show some true promise, driving shoppers to department, sporting goods, and specialty stores.”

The study shows consumers expect value to remain a key factor in their back-to-school shopping decisions. Back-to-school shoppers aim to listen to students for reasons to purchase an item – illustrating kids’ influence on these seasonal shopping trips.

“Parents will be going back to school this year, too, back to school for shopping, that is,” stated Cohen. “In order to find the value and to learn what the trendy/fashionable articles are that students want, parents and students have some homework to do.”

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