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Parents willing to spend more on kids clothing this school year
Aug '11
Nearly two-thirds of parents who responded to a new survey say they are inclined to spend more on items, including jeans, tops and shoes, for this school year versus last year. Though they may spend more, parents will be using newspaper ads, circulars and loyalty programs to track down deals throughout the season, according to the joint survey by Sears and BlogHer, Inc. While the economic state of the nation continues to have an impact on spending—with the National Retail Federation finding that families will on average spend less on back-to-school shopping than last year(1) – the just-released survey indicates that what parents are looking for above all is value.

Highlights of the national survey of more than 700 respondents include:

• More than 60 percent of moms surveyed claim cash is the number one form of spending for back-to-school items, followed by credit cards (28 percent) and checks (four percent).
• Four out of 10 families will do most of their shopping right before school starts or after school is back in session, yet almost half (47 percent) are keeping an eye on all sales and specials throughout the summer.

• While online shopping and mobile apps serve as useful tools for moms on the go, eight out of 10 parents (83 percent) will conduct their back-to-school shopping in-store, with more than 60 percent using circulars and 31 percent relying on loyalty programs to get the most out of their budgets.

Shopping for jeans is an enduring back-to-school tradition that we'll continue to see, with almost one-third (31 percent) of respondents to the Sears/BlogHer survey, citing denim as a primary item they would be inclined to spend more on.

"Especially during this tough economic climate, Sears remains committed to providing aspirational, affordable fashions," said Dave Friedman, SVP and president of marketing, Sears Holdings. "This survey confirms the trends we anticipated—that moms are savvier shoppers, now more than ever. That's why our goal for back to school is to provide a wide selection of brands and styles to match every kid's personality at prices families can afford."

From jeans to hoodies to graphic tees, Sears has all the "in" styles to match every kid's personality and every family's budget, with fashion brands such as BONGO, American Star, Dickies and U.S. Polo Association. Sears also has the latest styles in denim, including super-stretchy jeans (jeggings) as well as designer details like "bling" back pockets.

The survey also found that while the rising cost of school supplies remains an issue of concern, there are several other considerations that parents rate as worrisome, including:

• Budget cuts, particularly to music and arts programs, were ranked as the top concern, with 27 percent of moms ranking that as their number one concern
• Lack of nutrition in cafeteria food came next, with 20 percent ranking it as their biggest concern
• Demanding homework load for kids came in behind these other economic and health-focused issues, with 19 percent naming it a top concern.

Sears Holdings Corporation

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