Survey: Discounters will top back-to-school shopping destinations

New York City A new back-to-school shopping survey released Thursday by Accenture found that discount stores will dominate the back-to-school shopping venues this season.

According to the survey, 87% of parents will shop at discount/mass merchandise stores; 58% at office supply stores; 43% at department stores; 32% at drug stores; 24% at electronics goods stores; 24% at grocery stores; 20% at specialty stores; 18% at online-only retailers; and 15% at home stores.

“Prices and discounts will be top of mind for parents as they start their back-to-school shopping,” said Janet Hoffman, managing director, Accenture Retail Practice. “They are still cautious of overspending but they will be diverting their spending from other areas to make sure their kids have the back-to-school items that they need.”

According to the survey, conducted online from July 30 to Aug. 2 among 502 adults with children entering school this year, 64% said that they spend less on themselves at back-to-school time to ensure they can buy their children what they need.

Parents surveyed said their top three priorities when choosing a retailer for back-to-school products are pricing and discounts (89%); quality of the products (74%); and in-stock products (48%).

Customer service and in-store atmosphere ranked low on the list of priorities.

More than a third (35%) of parents plan to purchase electronic products such as computers, cell phones and other electronic items for their children. Basic school supplies such as pens and paper (86%) and clothing (81%) are at the top of the back-to-school shopping list.

The survey also found that 53% of parents will spend between $100 and $500 on their back-to-school shopping this year. Twenty-eight percent said they plan to spend more than $500 on back-to-school shopping. Half plan to spend the same amount on back-to-school shopping as last year; 30% plan to spend more money than last year and 20% plan to spend less money than last year.

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