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UK back to school market to reach £1.7bn

UK shoppers are set to spend £1.7bn on back to school items in 2019, with the market forecast to grow by 1.5%, according to research by GlobalData.

Stationary and school accessories are expected to be the fastest-growing categories in the back to school market, at 2.0% and 1.9%, respectively.

The study suggests school accessories will experience greater growth than last year due to consumer concern surrounding single-use plastics, boosting purchases of lunch boxes and water bottles in particular.

Uniform and sportswear make up a combined 76.4% of back to school spending and are predicted to rise by 1.5% in 2019.

The study also suggested Amazon Prime Day, offered Prime members the opportunity to stock up on essentials and branded items at lower prices, as well as encouraging back to school shoppers to start purchasing earlier

Emily Salter, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, said: “As back to school spend shifts earlier in July and August, retailers should encourage impulse purchasing with discounts and offers on smaller items such as accessories and stationery towards the end of the school holidays.

“This will drive additional spending among shoppers who have made their essential back to school purchases earlier in the summer. Additionally, retailers should ensure that promotions and marketing campaigns are timed effectively to successfully compete with other retailers and drive consumer awareness at key times, including Amazon Prime Day.”

Salter also believes the “athleisure” trend will also contribute to this growth, as secondary school children desire items such as shoes, bags and sportswear from brands with often higher price points.

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