back to school

As the U.S. continues to reopen in today’s post-pandemic era, many American parents want to redirect their back to school budgets for a much-needed vacation, according to new survey data released today by Mulberry, the product protection partner for direct to consumer brands.

The survey of more than 1,100 U.S. adults also revealed that parents will spend less money on tech this year, more money on new clothes and that savings and convenience are primary considerations for parents’ back-to-school shopping.

“This is going to be a hectic back-to-school shopping season since so many kids missed out on in-person school last year. Parents are looking for deals, yes. But sales aren’t enough to establish long-term brand trust and loyalty. Retailers have to provide real value to do that,” 

Chinedu Eleanya, CEO, Mulberry.

Many Parents Would Choose a Vacation Over Back to School Shopping

A majority of parents (65%) are excited to go back to school shopping with their kids. 

Of those who aren’t, dads are more likely to anticipate shopping conflicts around clothing style or brand than moms (43% of dads vs. 26% of moms), while moms are more likely than dads to anticipate budget conflicts (66% of moms vs. 49% of dads). 

Having said that, about half of American parents (49%) would prefer to skip back to school shopping altogether and spend the money on something else: 

  • 47% would like to spend that money on a family vacation
  • 24% want to put that money towards a new car

More than two-thirds (68%) of American parents feel that back-to-school sales offer real savings, and their top two considerations are price and convenience. A majority (60%) plan to handle their shopping online at major retailers like Amazon and Walmart.

More Clothing, Fewer Electronics For Back to School This Year

With kids returning to in-person school this year, parents plan to buy more clothing and significantly fewer electronics than last year. Of those who did back to school shopping last year:

  • Headphone purchases have dropped from 39% to 24% this year
  • Laptop purchases have dropped from 32% to 20%
  • Tablet purchases have dropped from 25% to 18%

The vast majority of parents (84%) say their kids have damaged or misplaced electronics in the past, and 43% have regretted skipping product protection. Nearly a third (30%) of parents say they have to replace back-to-school items each year.

“Kids can be extremely accident-prone, everyone can benefit from a good product protection plan, but parents who are investing in electronics for their kids are especially at risk.”

Chinedu Eleanya, CEO, Mulberry.

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