Due to a relatively robust economy and improved consumer confidence, this year’s back-to-school spending will surge 4% over last year, says EY.
The company adds this means parents’ spending will hit its highest growth level since 2008.
“Positive economic indicators…are driving parents to…get their children what they need…[and] want for school,” says Daniel Baer, EY partner and Canadian retail leader.
He adds clothes, shoes and stationery purchases will drive sales. And discount, department and dollar stores will benefit most this season.
Further, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador are expected to lead retail sales throughout the season. Quebec and Ontario are expected to post average sales.
EY notes that more U.S. retailers, like Target, have moves to Canada since they’re looking for new opportunities. This increased competition will have an impact on the back-to-school season and parents’ spending since homegrown stores are being “pushed…to…include…more aggressive pricing strategies, better selection, and [more] online offerings. That’s something parents will appreciate,” says Baer.
He adds Canadian retailers must be flexible and responsive to shoppers’ needs. “This back-to-school shopping season will be a good indicator of how ready Canadian stores are for more a competitive environment.”