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Staples woos back-to-school shoppers

With back to-school season underway, many retailers are already offering deals and discounts to drive traffic to their online and brick-and-mortar stores. Staples is no different.

The retailer’s price-match program, launched a little more than a week ago, gives shoppers incentive by promising to match a competitor’s price — including prices on Amazon and any retailer with both online and brick-and-mortar stores — on any items sold in Staples stores or on Staples.com. Customers will then receive 10% off the difference.

But that’s not the only thing Staples does to generate store traffic. The retailer enlisted Harris Poll to conduct its latest survey, which polled 1,011 parents of teens ages 13-19. The survey found that while kids may dread the start of school, most parents (66%) look forward to back-to-school shopping as a time to bond with their teenagers. And more than two in five parents of teens (43%) say back-to-school shopping makes them relive their own school days.

The survey becomes yet another marketing tool that allows Staples to not only tap into that sense of nostalgia that gets parents to think about back-to-school shopping but also position itself as the immediate go-to place where parents can take care of their children’s back-to-school needs.

“At Staples, we have nearly three decades of experience in offering the widest assortment of back-to-school products at great prices — and creating great memories for parents and teens,” said Alison Corcoran, SVP of North American stores and online marketing, Staples. “This year, we’re adding the Staples Less List and the back-to-school 110% Price Match Guarantee to Weekly Hot Deals so parents can have even more fun with their kids as they shop and save.”

Some of the survey’s findings include the following:

  • 20% of parents say two months before school starts is the best time to shop for school supplies
  • 53% say one month before school is the best time to shop for school supplies
  • 15% of parents say the best time to buy is a week before school starts
  • 9% of parents of teens wait until after school starts
  • 41% are very likely to buy something if it is offered as a guaranteed low price
  • 29% are very likely to buy something if it is the deal of the week
  • 21% are very likely to buy something if it is a limited offer

The survey was conducted online within the United States between April 30 and May 8 among 1,011 parents of a child ages 13-19 by Harris Poll on behalf of Staples. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.