Back to School Shopping Disrupted by COVID-19

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Back to School Concerns

Research finds spending has shifted away from traditional school supplies, and that parents are experiencing deep concerns about the upcoming school year

Brands have got to be agile, and use new approaches and product positioning to meet parent shoppers where they are right now with this totally different back to school season.”

— Libby Mapes, Vice President at AMC Global

BLUE BELL, PA, UNITED STATES, August 13, 2020 / — The fifteenth wave of the ongoing study by AMC Global (an international custom market research firm specializing in launch strategies and brand tracking) and OpinionRoute (a leader in insights process management) was released today. With consumers who have children entering K-12th grade, the research focused on back to school shopping and parental concerns about this school year. If school is virtual/online, parents predict decreased spending in traditional back to school product categories like lunch boxes, backpacks and clothing—yet they predict spending more on items critical to home learning such as furniture, computer equipment and electronics. Parental concerns about the upcoming school year include their child being exposed to the virus, coupled with not getting an adequate education, with the majority of respondents reporting feelings of anxiety and worry.

“Back to school is a big topic right now across the country, as different return methods ranging from entirely virtual to hybrid to in-person are implemented in various school districts. And this new normal and uncertainty has impacted a usually busy shopping season,” said Libby Mapes, Vice President of Communication and Corporate Affairs at AMC Global. “Brands have got to be agile, and use new approaches and product positioning to meet parent shoppers where they are right now with this totally different back to school season.”

Some key findings from this back to school study:

-Fifty-one percent of respondents predict that they will spend less in 2020 on back to school compared to 2019, with 72% predicting lower spend on lunch boxes, 70% predicting lower spend on backpacks and school clothes.

-Parents report their top concerns this school year are their child being exposed to COVID-19 (41%), and their child not getting an adequate education (40%).

-Parents report feeling anxious and worried (54%) about school this year, with 11% reporting feelings of confusion, and 10% reporting being sad and being scared.

The study findings are designed to help clients and industry leaders navigate quickly changing consumer behavior during the pandemic. New results will now be released every other Thursday based on the previous week’s polling of U.S.-based general population of primary purchasers age 21+.

View a complete graphical data representations of the back-to-school shopping data and of parental concerns about the school year by following the links here.


About AMC Global
AMC Global are the experts in product launch, with an innovative suite of tools that span the full product lifecycle. The company’s proprietary PFU™ (Purchaser Follow-up) tool, was developed early on to capture insights from real purchasers of new or restaged products immediately following launch. This solution set the stage for the development of numerous tools, some with exclusive patents, to help brands optimize products for launch and deeply understand purchaser and shopper perspectives. The AMC Global team prides itself on the fact that clients consider them true strategic partners, brought in to help their teams forward-think and stay on the cutting edge of analytics and insights. The company is headquartered in Blue Bell, PA.

About OpinionRoute
‍The market leader in Insights Process Management, OpinionRoute is an innovative firm focused on helping clients succeed in the rapidly evolving market research industry. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, we are passionate about data quality and doing things the right way. Our research-first solutions are designed specifically to improve insights. For more information, please visit

Michelle Andre
AMC Global
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Source: EIN Presswire