Almost One Third Of Shoppers Not Doing Back-To-School

With a big back-to-school shopping weekend looming, there's more bad news for retailers. New results from an Integer Group survey indicate that an increasing number of shoppers don't plan to do any back-to-school shopping at all this year.

The study, revealed in the latest issue of The Checkout, found that 31 percent of respondents won't be in the market for back-to-school products this year, up from 27.7 percent last year. Integer predicted that mass, clothing and drug channels of retail will see the biggest drop in traffic, projecting 2.3 percent, 3.2 percent and 5.5 percent declines respectively.

"The shoppers who are heading out this year plan to visit fewer channels, meaning retailers will have a harder time maintaining the same level of foot traffic as last year," said Craig Elston, senior VP for insight and strategy at the Integer Group. "Retailers will have to strive harder to get shoppers through the door by investing more in order to entice people with promotions, deals, proper communication, and incentives outside of the store."

Meanwhile, David Berman, founder of Durbin Capital, told CNBC that he is expecting the coming second quarter to be worse than expected. The first quarter came in at 2 percent growth versus 4 the quarter before. While he said that some of that deceleration could be due to factors like weather, the straight answer is that consumers are spending their money on things like travel, home and cars.

"We actually think it's going to be a lot worse than people think," he said. "We thought things would bounce back, but they don't seem to have….The consumer, as I see it, is actually not weak. I think the retailer is weak."

If retailers are going to prove Berman wrong, Saturday is the time to do it.

For more see:

- See this Drug Store News story
- See this Retail Info Systems News story

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