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08/06/2021

JLL: These two retailers are most popular for back-to-school shopping

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture

Cost reigns supreme as the top factor for parents in deciding where to shop for back-to-school and two retailers far outstrip all the competition.

Walmart ranked as parents’ No.1 (63.6%) choice for back-to-school shopping in JLL’s 2021 Back-To-School Shopping Survey. Target came in second, at 57.2%.

Other retailers in the top 10 include Amazon (43.9%), Old Navy (7.4%), Staples (7%), Kohl’s (5.8%), Office Depot (5.6%), Dollar Tree (5.3%), Macy’s (4.2%) and Costco (4.1%).  

“Discount stores will continue to attract most consumers, meaning big box retailers will remain the most popular retail types for back-to-school shopping,” said Naveen Jaggi, president of retail advisory services, JLL Americas.

The survey found that parents will spend 21.4 % more this year on back-to-school shopping to average of $356.94 per child, compared to $294.11 last year. It also revealed that more than 25% of parents have started back-to-school shopping, and 6.2% have already finished.

[Read More: Back-to-school spending will hit all-time high]

While consumers will continue to order online and have products delivered, many plan to head back to malls and open-air shopping centers. According to JLL’s survey, about 47.6% of parents will shop at open-air centers and 40.1% will shop at enclosed malls, compared to 31.6% in 2020. 

Physical retail remains key in providing parents with inspiration for back-to-school shopping. More than half of parents will rely on in-store browsing to give them inspiration for back-to-school purchases, with television a distant runner-up at 28%. Individual social media platforms like Instagram (23.2%), Facebook (19.9%) and TikTok (18.3) also provide inspiration by either parents or their kids.

“In the past several months we have seen retail become more resilient and we are expecting back-to-school shopping to prove this and show an increase in retail sales,” said James Cook, director of retail research, Americas, JLL. “We are expecting this year’s back-to-school shopping season to be the strongest one in years, as students begin to return to in-person learning.”