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Is Back to School Back to Normal?

With the 2022 school year just starting in the US, we use our unique demographic data to isolate households with children and see how their spending patterns have changed versus previous years.  In today’s Insight Flash, we look at total back to school spend for households with children, a breakdown in growth rates by subindustry, and which brands saw the strongest trends.

Since just after back to school three years ago in September 2019, spend has risen more quickly for households with children than for those without.  Households with children spent 36% more in August 2022 than in September 2019, while households without children spent only 32% more.  In general, the July and August back to school months tended to have a wider gap in spend growth rates between the two groups than September when school was in session.

Spend by Demographic

In 2022, the largest growth in spend per shopper with children in back to school categories was for Footwear/Athletic Apparel.  Office/School Supplies also saw a positive change in spend, with a decline in 2021 possibly due to leftover remote learning supplies from the prior year.  Clothing categories for family and children also saw positive growth, while more discretionary categories like Online Education, Books, Toys, & Games, and Electronics saw y/y declines.

Change in Spend per Shopper

Note:  Households with children only

In the 35 days leading up to Labor Day Sunday, households with children were 2.6 times as likely to shop at Jostens as our overall panel, and 2.4 times as likely to shop at Pure Hockey or TeamSnap.  In general, prep for back to school sports overindexed for households with children, along with amusement parks as families got in one last day out before the homeroom bell started ringing.

Top Brands