Back to School Means Back to Brick and Mortar, According to Citi Retail Services

A new nationwide study commissioned by Citi Retail Services has discovered that 65% of millennial parents believe shopping in-store enables them to more effectively remain within budget goals compared to shopping online.

According to a provided report summary, these parents plan to do the majority, 72% on average, of back-to-school shopping in a store rather than online this year.

“More millennials are entering parenthood, which is having a profound impact on retailers,” said Leslie McNamara, Managing Director and EVP of Business and Market Development for Citi Retail Services. “These parents place tremendous value on their children’s opinions when shopping and are not as swayed by brand on big ticket items like electronics. Retailers can incorporate this into their approach when marketing to millennials, whose habits may defy generalizations as they enter the next stage of their lives.”

The survey indicated that 91% of millennial parents feel that they consider their child’s opinion when back-to-school shopping more than their parents did when they were young. This stat is revealing, and signals to retailers that new parents are increasingly leaning on their children’s recommendations and input for back-to-school products.

In other key findings, we’re told that sticking to a budget is key, but it’s not the only reason millennial parents prefer shopping in-store. The top reasons are:

  • To test items, such as trying on clothing or testing electronics (63%)
  • To include their child in decisions on what to buy (60%)
  • To more easily compare products (48%)
  • To get better deals (43%)

“Millennial parents are still relatively new in the back-to-school market, so it is important that retailers evaluate and shape their retail experience to reflect how these parents actually approach shopping,” said McNamara. “Perception is key when understanding this demographic, and when it comes to factors like budgeting, the length of the season and child-input, there is still much to uncover with respect to the rationale and thinking of millennial parents.”