The kits are traditionally offered via a school’s PTO/PTA organisation, notifying parents or guardians of the option to purchase all their children’s school supplies through one site. The NPD Group’s Back-to-School Report shows that approximately 27% of consumers are offered the kits by schools and among those who have access to them, 61% said they have opted to purchase the kit this year, up from 55% last year.
“Consumers who purchase kits are primarily doing so because of the time savings. While convenience certainly plays a role as a purchase motivator, we’ve noticed that most aversions to purchasing pre-packaged kits stem from the desire to involve the student in the selection process as well as kit pricing,” said Leen Nsouli, Executive Director and Office Supplies Industry Analyst at The NPD Group.
The majority of BTS purchases are still made in store, although data reveals that consumers are seeking out the convenience factor and moving more of their purchases online, inclusive of pure-play online retailers, traditional retailers, and those offering the pre-packaged kits.
Overall, BTS season sales are down 3% season-to-date, driven by a nearly 14% year-over-year deficit in glue sales. According to Nsouli, warmer-than-usual spring and summer months through the US caused retailers to run longer summer seasonal promotions which contributed to slower BTS sales. However, she added that the latest results showed positive sales growth in mid-August, which is expected to continue into the early part of September.