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Back-to-school market to hit £1.7bn

UK shoppers are set to spend £1.7bn on back-to-school items in 2019, with the market forecast to grow by 1.5% year-on-year, new research has found. 

Research by data and analytics company GlobalData revealed that uniform and sportswear, which make up a combined 76.4% of back-to-school spend, are predicted to rise by 1.5% in 2019. This is a result of the growing demand for more trend-led and alternative uniform options such as skinny trousers and playsuits.

GlobalData said the athleisure trend will also contribute to this growth, as secondary-school children desire items such as shoes, bags and sportswear from brands with often higher price points, including Nike and Adidas.

Meanwhile, stationery and school accessories are expected to be the fastest-growing categories in the market, up 2% and 1.9%, respectively. 

GlobalData said many retailers launched their ranges earlier in the year to vie for a greater share of consumer spend. Amazon Prime Day, held this year between 15 and 16 July, offered Prime members the opportunity to stock up on essentials and branded items at lower prices, as well as encouraging back to school shoppers to start purchasing earlier – even before the 2018/19 academic year had ended. 

Emily Salter, retail analyst at GlobalData, commented: “As back-to-school spend shifts earlier in July and August, retailers should encourage impulse purchasing with discounts and offers on smaller items such as accessories and stationery towards the end of the school holidays. This will drive additional spending among shoppers who have made their essential back to school purchases earlier in the summer.

“Additionally, retailers should ensure that promotions and marketing campaigns are timed effectively to successfully compete with other retailers and drive consumer awareness at key times, including Amazon Prime Day.”




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