Shopper Investigation: Back to School by POPAI UK & Ireland

Back-to-school is a busy time for retailers, as they seek to be the go-to place for purchases for the new term. It can also be an expensive time for shoppers, with growing children needing new uniform, and increased expectations from schools for specific footwear and PE kits, not to mention sundry items like stationery and school bags.

Our research explored what back-to-school looked like in store across a range of supermarket, stationery and value stores. We examined how and where these retailers used P-O-P and which our shoppers found the most impactful.

With such a wide range of products and fierce competition, we wanted to know: who is top of the class and who does not make the grade?

The research

We asked 100 shoppers to visit stores across the supermarket, stationery and value sectors, namely ten each of Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Poundland, Sainsbury’s, Ryman, Tesco, The Works, Waitrose and WHSmith. The store visits were conducted between 12 and 22 August 2023.

Shoppers were asked to record the amount and type of back-to-school signage and P-O-P display they saw, and how effective and useful they thought it was. We also asked them which stores they thought provided the best back-to-school shopping experience.

They also told us about their back-to-school shopping habits, as well as how they go about planning and shopping for this category.

Download now to discover all about back-to-school in UK retail in 2023.


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