BTS shoppers, Back To School shoppers, say they prefer in-store shopping to shopping onlines for supplies and clothes.
The Back-to-School , BTS , shopping season in the U.S. is already in full swing, with over one-third (37%) of consumers having begun their shopping – up from the 29% who started at this time last year. Roughly 90% of households indicated a selection of brick-and-mortar retail as a shopping venue for the BTS season.
BTS In-Store Shopping
Consumers will shop in a variety of places for their BTS items this year. While discounters are still expected to be the winners, the number of households selecting this shopping venue dropped from 90% last year to 80% this year. For all 2014 BTS shopping venues, discounters represented a 23.7% share of where consumers will shop.
Many retailers found in regional malls and open-air centers, such as office supply stores, traditional department stores, electronic stores, and apparel specialty stores, should see increased activity during the BTS season. The biggest mover was apparel specialty stores which leaped from an 8.4% share in 2013 to a 10% share this year. The share of online as a BTS shopping venue will be 8.1% this year – a drop from last year’s 8.6%.
Catalogues will comprise a 3% share. This means that brick-and-mortar retail, in total, will comprise almost a 90% share of BTS shopping.
Furthering the trend of “webrooming” – 73% of consumers indicated that they will do research online, and then purchase in a physical store.
“After a tough winter with adverse weather in much of the country, retailers have been enjoying a strong start to summer as pent-up demand has propelled sales,” said Jesse Tron, spokesman for ICSC. “This momentum will continue into the BTS selling season as well, with the vast majority of consumers indicating a strong propensity to shop for school related items. While consumers typically view BTS merchandise as an essential expenditure, we are seeing a strong indication that consumers will be spending on more discretionary purchases as well – a good omen for retail as we progress through the BTS season and into the holidays,” he added.
BTS Will Spend An Average $672
Total BTS expenditures per household are expected to be $672 this year. Excluding electronics, expenditures on BTS items will be $325 – up sharply from $285 in 2013. The share of consumers expecting to spend more this year jumped to 50% – a significant increase from last year when 39% expected to increase spending.
The ICSC-Goldman Sachs consumer tracking survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation between July 10 and July 13, 2014.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 67,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.