NRF: Promotions drive consumers to shop early for BTS items

WASHINGTON Many consumers this year got a head start on their back-to-school shopping because of money-saving promotions offered by stores, the National Retail Federation found in its latest survey.

The Back-to-School/College Consumer Intentions and Actions survey -- which polled 8,201 consumers from Aug. 3 to 10 -- was conducted on behalf of NRF by BIGresearch, and found that the average family has completed 43.2% of its school shopping, compared with 41.6% at this time last year.

A true sign of the times, NRF found more families this year said their school purchases were influenced by coupons, sales and/or promotions. Of those surveyed, 17% of families with children in grades K-12 said all of their purchases were influenced by bargains and coupons, up from 14.7% last year. Additionally, advertising inserts (41.5%), in-store promotions (39.6%), word-of-mouth (27.4%), newspapers (25.5%) and direct mail (21.7%) were among the top media influencers when deciding why to shop at a particular store.

“It’s good to see consumers responding to back-to-school sales and promotions,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Back-to-school will be the first real test for retailers and the economy as we plan for the holiday season.”

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