It’s time for my favorite annual holiday – which technically isn’t an “official” day, but actually several weeks leading up to one BIG day. YOUR day may not be the same as mine. But trust me, it’s the one holiday most seasoned parents look forward to more than all the others combined. It’s the Back to School Season, and yes, I am so glad it’s finally HERE! I’ve got my Mardi Gras beads on, I’ve hung celebratory colored lights on the bushes and trees outside my front door; and I have prepared a monumental feast with all the trimmings that we’ll still be talking about come Thanksgiving. All in celebration of the fact that my son goes BACK TO SCHOOL (also commonly referred to as the “I Survived a Summer with a Teenager in the House” holiday).
One of the great things about working for The Nielsen Company, the world’s largest market research company which provides measurement services for industries like media, online, mobile and consumer packaged goods, is that we conduct all types of great studies. Nielsen recently released a Back To School Forecast based on more than 110,000 UPCs in the school supply category, and more than 400 million school supply transactions at U.S. food, drug, mass merchandiser stores (including Walmart), dollar, club stores and online sales. We forecasted a modest increase in dollar sales on Back to School items, up 1.7 percent to $2.6 billion. The Forecast makes a few relevant observations including this one: