With most children in the U.S. going back to school this week, it would stand to reason that the majority of back-to-school (BTS) shopping has commenced. But recent research from various outlets has found that many consumers wait until after school starts. According to a MasterCard Research study from last year, August 29 was the busiest day for BTS shopping. And if it’s true that history repeats itself, consumers will be out in droves this weekend searching for great deals on supplies and apparel.

What follows are some statistics from various sources that suggests consumers are shopping later in 2015:

  • 26 percent of respondents in a Deloitte survey said they would wait to shop until after school starts; the study also found that total spending is expected to be down this year.
  • According to a PM Digital study, online shopping tends to begin and end earlier than in-person shopping.
  • An NPD survey revealed that the majority of consumers (55 percent) plan to finish BTS shopping in August, but 23 percent say they will finish in September and 4 percent in October.
  • Mintel research revealed that one quarter of their respondents felt they got a better deal if they waited until the end of the BTS season.
  • The lowest price vs. the highest quality was found to be the determining factor in where consumers do their BTS shopping according to research by JLL and Integer & M/A/R/C Research.
  • A Brand Keys survey found that the majority of respondents will do their BTS shopping at Target.
  • Target was the retailer that spent the most on BTS advertising last year according to Kantar Media research.

This is just a sampling of the findings in MarketingCharts’ Back to School Stats 2015 Update. Read more.


MarketingCharts staff. “Back to School Stats 2015 Update”. Marketingcharts.com. 8/18/2015.