Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to school retail roundup

If you’ve seen the trailer for The September Issue, a documentary film about the fashion industry, you’ll understand why fall is such a critical time.

For kid, tween and teen retailers, back to school is the equivalent of the September issue.

While the economy has affected the situation somewhat, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Back to School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, the average family with students in grades kindergarten through 12 is expected to spend $548.72 on school merchandise, a decline of 7.7 percent from $594.24 in 2008. Total spending on back to school is expected to reach $17.42 billion. 2009 back-to-college and back-to-school spending combined will total $47.50 billion.

And that's about it for the bad news. The good news? According to recent research from Burst Media on back-to-school shopping habits, "only 15.7% of shoppers will spend less money this back-to-school season and almost one-quarter (24.9%) will actually spend more money than last year."

So, then, where is everyone shopping? Which retailers have the best merchandise? Which brands have the best campaigns?

Ypulse featured a great post yesterday "What Worked in This Year's Back to School Campaigns." It's a terrific summary of this year's best BTS promotions and current youth marketing best practices.

Our favorites? Nordstrom's Twilight Saga: New Moon promotion, including exclusive movie merchandise, Kmart's "Schoolebrity" campaign, featuring a sweepstakes, games and special layaway programs, and Sears' "Arrive Lounge” featuring celebrity Selena Gomez.

Let us know your favorites as well. Also, Targeting Kids is on the lookout for cause-related marketing campaigns (both current and up and coming) that target kids, tweens or teens so please let us know about those too.

Happy back to school shopping!

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