Monday, June 17, 2024

Aussies to spend $2.5b as school returns

Australia’s back to school (BTS) purchases are set to generate $2.5 billion in sales, according to research by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan.

The inaugural research reveals that approximately five million Australians (24%) will spend an average of $512 each on BTS related merchandise.

Of those surveyed, 44% of Australians making BTS purchases said they would be spending more than last year, while 22% said they would spend the same and 34% said they would be spending less.

Key findings of the research include:

  • Of those participating in the sales, 61% of respondents are making purchases for primary school, 47% for high school, and 13% for university or TAFE.
  • The 35–49-year-old age bracket are set to make up the lion’s share of BTS spending, making up $1.6 billion of the $2.5 billion overall spend.
  • Around 14% of those participating in the sales plan to spend more than $1000, while 10% plan on spending less than $100.
  • Men ($1.26 billion) and women ($1.28 billion) are tipped to spend close to the same amount.
  • The most popular purchases will be stationery (mentioned by 54% of respondents), school uniforms (51%), footwear (50%), books (37%) and lunchboxes or water bottles (26%)

ARA CEO Paul Zahra says the projected BTS purchases appear strong as retailers look to build momentum to begin the year.

“BTS sales are important for retailers to build momentum after the Boxing Day period and springboard into the year ahead,” he says.

“The BTS period is where we see retail trade ramp back up, as many Australians return from their holidays and prepare their kids for the school year.

“Typically, uniforms, stationery, books and shoes make up most of the spending, with tech, school bags, lunch boxes and water bottles also highly sought after.

“With high interest rates and tighter budgets, parents will be expecting better value than ever before.”

Mr Zahra acknowledges that it’s a challenging time for some families, who are struggling to afford supplies.

“With the cost-of-living crunch, it’s very tough out there for a lot of families – especially when it comes to purchasing back to school items for their children,” he says.

“These aren’t just items on a shopping list – they’re essentials that can make a real difference in a child’s life.

“Many schools provide exemptions and financial support for those experiencing financial hardship – while some state governments have their own programs to assist.”

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