‘Back to School’ sales set to ignite post-holidays retail slump

By Nick Hall | 09 Jan 2019 View comments

Following on from a booming Boxing Day and pre-Christmas sales spend, Australian retailers and service providers are now settling into what is a traditionally quiet period of trading, however, projections from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) are boosting morale.

The peak industry body has predicted that the incoming ‘Back to School’ period will ignite the post-holiday sales slump, with shopping centres, electronics providers and clothing stores to reap the strongest rewards.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA said the trading period was bound to bring a significant increase in revenue, spend and trade.

“As the arrival of a new school year is about to begin, retailers have been preoccupied with stocking their shelves full of back to school products to ensure each student is equipped with the essentials to thrive throughout the new school year,” Zimmerman said.

“With many busy parents returning to work, we believe parents will be opting to purchase back to school items from retailers who offer flexibility, convenience and unmissable sales and bargains.”

Zimmerman suggested that electronics retailers are destined to benefit from ongoing technological advancements in the education system, greatly raising the total spend per child.

In its forecast, the ARA estimated Australian parents will spend over $840 on ‘Back to School’ supplies for each child, up from $829 in 2018.

The increase in spend continues an upward trend that has seen the total cost of school supplies rise by over 40 per cent since 2017, driven primarily by the growing demand for laptops and tablets.

Zimmerman reiterated that while the technology push was a positive spending trend, many retailers stand to improve revenue as a result of increased foot-traffic.

“Retailers who specialise in stationery including Newsagents and Stationers present the ideal destination for parents who wish to cross-off pens and school books noted on their school lists,” Zimmerman said.

“Parents and retailers recognise that the start of a new school year marks a milestone for each student around the country, therefore both parents and retailers will go above and beyond to ensure each student receives the school supplies required to secure a fantastic school year.”