Back-to-school retail activation trends 2018

Date : 20 August 2018

With parents usually opting for one big school supplies shop, capturing the back-to-school spend is a huge opportunity for retailers.

We explore three of the key back-to-school retail activation trends that we have seen this year.

Making it easy

Retailers have been creating shop-in-shops and power aisles, making back-to-school shopping simpler for parents. There were great examples of shop-in-shops offering full ranges and services so that busy parents could complete their school shopping all in one place. Power aisles featured 'try before you buy' uniform items and stationery bundles including everything needed for the school year.

Another key feature was the integration of in-store and online. Retailers were helping to make the transition back to school easier for students by offering collection to a store closer to campus.

Offering value for money

With uniform being an expensive purchase for parents, retailers were offering competitively priced, quality uniform. Uniform bundles were available for under £10 from a number of retailers, saving parents money on their back-to-school shop. Products were also quality tested, meaning that as well as being cheap the uniform is made to last.

Loyalty savings were also a key back-to-school strategy. Retailers were using the back-to-school opportunity as a way to boost their loyalty scheme membership by offering members deep discounts on back-to-school supplies.

Lunchbox inspiration

Healthy solutions was a popular lunchbox trend this year, with a number of retailers flagging healthy lunchbox alternatives. Online recipe ideas and healthy snack hubs were a great way of appealing to growing health-consciousness amongst consumers.


Subscribers can read the full Best of back-to-school 2018 report here.

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