Deloitte: Restrictive BTS spending no more
NEW YORK — Days of cutting back-to-school spending are over, as nearly 9-in-10 consumers plan to spend the same or more, according to Deloitte’s annual back-to-school survey.
The survey — which polled 1,134 parents of school-aged children in grades kindergarten through 12 — found that while 88% surveyed plan to spend the same or more on back-to-school shopping this year, 34% declared that they plan to spend more this year. Among them, these consumers cited higher prices and the fact that their children need more expensive items that they did last year (58% and 34%, respectively). But as consumers intend to spend the same or more when compared with last year, the tradition of setting a budget or seeking out sales is still on the mind of shoppers: 59% of consumers said they have a back-to-school shopping budget in mind, while 66% said they will shop for items on sales.
"Consumers’ price sensitivity and bargain habits have been hard to break," said Alison Paul, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution sector leader. "Retailers will likely have to give consumers a good reason to fill the baskets in their stores, such as promotions that incentivize volume purchases or return trips. Retailers may need to quickly analyze their customer data and traffic to identify, replenish and market the popular items that can keep the momentum up throughout the season."
But what is influencing parents to buy certain items this year? Deloitte said the answer lies in two places: traditional media and word of mouth. Respondents ranked television as the No. 1 influencer (41%), followed by family members and newspapers (both 37%) and friends (36%). Among factors influencing children’s purchases, 59% of parents claimed friends to be the top source of information, followed by television (41%). In addition to traditional media, Deloitte’s survey showed that smartphones and online channels once again will guide bargain-hungry shoppers this year. As fewer respondents feel stores are offering them more value for their money (36% this year, compared with 47% last year), more than 4-in-10 (43%) smartphone owners indicated they use their devices at least half the time for back-to-school shopping. Smartphone owners said such activities as price checking (62%) and downloading discounts, coupons and sale information (45%) will be carried out this year.
How does social media factor into this year’s back-to-school shopping intentions? Among those who plan to visit social media sites during the back-to-school shopping season, Deloitte said 70% will seek promotions and nearly half (49%) will browse products. Social media users also are increasingly seeking and posting reviews, as 4-in-10 (39%) said they plan to seek out reviews, up from 28% last year, and the number who plan to post them doubled, from 9% in 2011 to 18% in 2012.
"As children contribute more to the back-to-school budget and shoppers act on input from friends and family, retailers need to consider the multiplier effect of each consumer interaction," Paul said. "That should signal retailers to focus on making a customer’s experience with product availability, assortment and service consistent across all digital and store channels. Their delivery also should be appropriate for each customer segment, regardless of location, from clear signage about mobile applications visible to the teenager in the store, to the associate that can help busy parents and advertisements that air during children’s TV programs."
Additional information about Deloitte’s back-to-school survey and findings can be found here.
2012 Jersey Shore Undy 5000 raises more than $80,000 to help battle colon cancer
LONG BRANCH, N.J. — The 2012 Jersey Shore Undy 5000 raised more than $80,000 for local and national colon cancer screening, awareness and support programs, Boehringer-Ingelheim — which sponsored the event under its Dulcolax brand — announced Saturday.
The Undy 5000 event, a national series of 5K run/walks where participants "run in their undies" to help raise awareness around colorectal cancer, was promoted through local Shop Rite stores, which displayed posters and encouraged their customers to sign up for this run. More than 20 Shop Rite staff members put on their best boxers and participated in the race itself to raise money for the cause.
As a part of its ‘Donation Match’ program, the makers of Dulcolax will match up to $100,000 in retailer donations made to the CCA. For the Jersey Shore race, the makers of Dulcolax covered the cost of registration for Shop Rite participants and matched all of the funds that the Shop Rite team raised, resulting in more than $8,500 donated in support of the Jersey Shore Undy 5000.
Details regarding the CCA’s Undy 5000 5K Series can be found at Undy5000.org.
Tom’s of Maine brings back Propolis & Myrrh Gingermint baking soda toothpaste
KENNEBUNK, Maine — Tom’s of Maine, a maker of natural personal care products, has announced the return of its Propolis & Myrrh Gingermint baking soda toothpaste.
First introduced in 1998, the toothpaste features a blend of ginger root oil layered with baking soda and peppermint with extracts of stevia for sweetness. The only natural ginger-, baking-soda- and peppermint-flavored toothpaste available, Propolis & Myrrh Gingermint baking soda is available at health and specialty retailers nationwide and online at TomsOfMainestore.com.
Originally conceived by company co-founder Kate Chappell, the fluoride-free toothpaste gained popularity for its fresh flavor combination and use of botanicals propolis and myrrh, which leave the mouth feeling refreshed and clean.
Like all Tom’s of Maine toothpastes, Propolis & Myrrh Gingermint baking soda helps prevent plaque buildup with regular brushing and contains no artificial chemicals or flavors, preservatives or synthetic additives, and no animal testing or animal ingredients.