DODGEVILLE, Wis. (July 12, 2010) – It’s no secret that back to school is a busy time for families, but moms also view it as a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the coming year. According to the 2010 Back-to-School Survey conducted by Parents magazine and Lands’ End, 75 percent of moms see back to school as a “fresh” start time – not just for kids, but for the entire family. When asked why they enjoy back-to-school shopping, 74 percent of moms said it reminds them of the excitement they felt as a child and 65 percent said it is a rite of passage for their children.
A majority of moms (69 percent) also think it’s fun to see the new styles and trends, yet 62 percent said they have purchased clothing for back to school because it reminds them of something they wore at their kid’s age. However, moms also want kids to express themselves – 65 percent said it was important for back-to-school wardrobes to reflect their child’s personality, while 94 percent of moms said their kids are somewhat or very involved in back-to-school shopping.
”Back to school is one of the busiest times of year for moms, but it also allows a time of new beginnings for the entire family,” said Taryn Mohrman, associated lifestyle editor, Parents magazine. “We teamed up with Lands’ End to find out what moms really want and need as they get ready this fall so that we can offer advice and tips that will help make this stressful season easier and more enjoyable for everyone.”
Mom’s Shopping Strategies
This year quality and budget are top priority for savvy moms – so-called “value” clothing that falls apart halfway through the school year doesn’t offer the true value they desire. An overwhelming 98 percent of moms said quality and durability were important for back to school, while 99 percent said price. Fewer than a quarter of moms (22 percent) will shop with
the “disposable” mindset of buying less expensive clothing because they believe their kids will outgrow or wreck them.
“Moms know that buying quality items will help their back-to-school budget go further this year,” said Liz Pierce, senior design director, Lands’ End. “Details like inside adjustable waists on jeans, cargos and skorts, and Graphic Tees that are pre-washed to resist shrinking offer parents old school value in the new school styles kids love.”
Nearly half of moms (44 percent) identified themselves as Smart Cents Shoppers, looking for the perfect combination of quality and value. More than half (55 percent) said they will shop for items that will be able to be reused or passed down to another child. While 68 percent reported they would shop with a budget in place this year, more than two-thirds of moms (68 percent) indicated they believe their family will have stayed within the planned budget when their back-to-school shopping is completed this year.
Hand-Me-Downs Help Stretch the Budget
In the 2010 Back-to-School Survey, moms also reported they will reuse or pass down items, such as tops (79 percent), outerwear (75 percent), jeans (74 percent) and backpacks (57 percent). In fact, 85 percent reported that their kids’ back-to-school wardrobes will contain items that have been previously worn. So how do kids feel about hand-me-downs? They think that it’s okay when jackets (58 percent), jeans (53 percent), tops (51 percent) and backpacks (38 percent) are handed down. More than a quarter (26 percent) of kids who said they have never had hand-me-downs, wished they did.
Looking for a One-stop Shop
This season, moms will be looking to minimize hassle by shopping at places that can help check more than one item off their list. The majority of moms (68 percent) said they prefer to shop places that offer a complete selection of items needed for back to school, including clothes, shoes and backpacks. When shopping, 55 percent of moms said they will look for items that can easily be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. More than half of moms (55 percent) also said that extended sizes such as slim, plus and husky are important for back-to-school shopping this year.
“It’s not surprising that moms are looking to maximize time by minimizing stops during this busy time,” explained Pierce. “This year, we have kids covered with a complete selection of back-to-school items including 40 percent more styles in slim, plus and husky sizes.”
“Official” and “Unofficial” School Uniforms
Moms and kids agree; the “unofficial uniform” for back to school is t-shirts and jeans. When asked what types of tops and bottoms they wear to school most frequently, 64 percent of kids said t-shirts and 53 percent said jeans. Moms agreed; 70 percent said their kids wear t-shirts and 66 percent said their kids wear jeans three or more days per week.
One in five moms reported that they will be shopping for both uniform and non-uniform clothes for back to school this year. Of moms surveyed, 20 percent indicated that some of their kids wear uniforms to school while others don’t. In addition, 79 percent of moms with kids who wear school uniforms said they plan to shop for back to school online.
“School uniforms are a trend that keeps on growing,” said Pierce. "With our newly launched personalized online shopping experiences for Preferred Schools and the largest selection of uniform items at 209 Lands’ End Shops at Sears, its easier than ever for parents to shop for school uniforms.”
The 2010 Back-to-School Survey also uncovered the following interesting facts:
- Willing to Chip In – 17 percent of kids said they will use their own money to purchase back-to-school items this year. Of those who will chip in, 58 percent said they enjoyed it.
- Parents Come Out on Top – When asked what helps them decide what they want for back-to-school clothes, 81 percent of kids said their parents, while 55 percent said friends and only 17 percent said celebrities and sports figures.
- Essential Accessories – Of kids who wear a school uniform, boys were most likely to customize their outfit by wearing fun shoes (38 percent). Girls were most likely to wear accessories like scarves and jewelry (26 percent).
Parents, published monthly by Meredith Corporation, has been America’s #1 family magazine for more than 80 years. Since its inception in 1926, it has been a trusted source by every generation of parents. Currently, the magazine is a powerful community of 15 million readers devoted to supporting the efforts of parents, educators and other citizens who strive to make the world a better place for our children. Parents can be found online at www.parents.com.
About Lands’ End
Lands’ End® is a classic American lifestyle brand with a passion for quality, legendary service, real value and a simple two-word promise to stand behind everything it sells: Guaranteed. Period.® Lands’ End delivers timeless style for Men, Women, Kids and the Home at landsend.com, 1-800-800-5800, the Lands’ End Shops at Sears and around the world. Lands’ End is a proud member of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD).
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Editor’s Note: Lands’ End conducted a research study of 450 moms and 500 kids ages 6 to 12 to gain insight into back-to-school shopping behaviors. The self-administered, 47-question online survey for moms was fielded from June 9 – June 13, 2010. The 38-question online survey for kids was administered by KidzEyes, a division of C&R Research, and fielded from June 9 – June 13, 2010.
Respondents to the mom’s survey are members of Mom’s Mind Pool Research Panel.