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Retailers gear up for the back to school shopping season

June 29, 2016 03:01 PM
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The Fourth of July holiday weekend is almost here, but some merchants are thinking more about pencils and notebooks than sparklers or red, white and blue streamers.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. consumers say they will shop online for some school supplies this year, according to the “Back-to-School 2016: Insights Into the Spending, Shopping, and Attitudes of American Families.” The report from Field Agent, a mobile market and research firm, surveyed 500 U.S. households about their back-to-school shopping plans.

A little over one-third (38%) of consumers surveyed say they will buy more than 5% of basic supplies online, but nearly as many (36%) said they will buy no school essentials online, the survey said. Only 6% say they will buy more than half of their school-related products online.

The likelihood of buying clothing and footwear online for back-to-school purposes breaks down as follows:

  • 18% completely likely
  • 20% very likely
  • 23% moderately likely
  • 19% slightly likely
  • 20% not at all likely

Office Depot Inc., No. 9 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, is promoting its buy online, pick up in store service for back-to-school shoppers. The office supplies retailer is hiring 8,000 summer workers for its stores during back-to-school season. While many of those hires will stock shelves and work cash registers, they also will help with fulfilling online orders to be picked up in store, she says. 

 

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