GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – In a year full of “new normals,” Chicagoan Sharon Glovier continues to readjust her priorities when it comes to shopping for her family. This is especially true as the mother navigates the uncertainties surrounding the upcoming school year and how they may affect her children.
“I’ve always been the type of mom who focuses on my pocketbook, especially for school supplies,” Glovier said. “This year, I decided we are only shopping at stores that are highly sanitizing their carts and keeping public areas clean. Finding a deal for everything or saving a few dollars isn’t more important than being careful for my kids.”
She is not alone in her back-to-school shopping approach. A new survey from Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer Meijer documents how the pandemic has changed the ways in which both parents and teachers prepare for fall as school districts reveal return-to-learn plans for in-person and virtual learning. Among the results, the study reveals that nine out 10 parents rate safety measures as a deciding factor when choosing a brick-and-mortar retailer to shop their lists of supplies.
“While price is always an important factor in shopping decisions, there are definitely ‘new normals’ when it comes to how customers are checking items off their lists for the upcoming school year,” said Brandon Pasch, Director of Back-to-School Merchandising for Meijer. “We are seeing more customers mention the efforts we make regarding safety as they focus on the items most necessary as potential learning plans are determined by schools.”
Based on results from the survey, which queried 1,200 parents and teachers in July, the “new normals” for the back-to-school shopping season include:
When are they shopping?
How are they shopping?
What are the top items?
Finally, both parents and teachers are poised to expect the unexpected. More than 80 percent of parents and teachers expect the new normal for their students to be a mixture of virtual and in-person learning. As decisions are made based on the pandemic, they plan on not completing their school supply lists. The forecast, based on survey results, is that parents and teachers will adjust, refill and update their supplies multiple times in the coming months.
“We anticipate the back-to-school shopping season extending well beyond normal as parents and teachers adjust to new developments in their learning plans,” Pasch said. “As a retailer, we are focused on doing our part to offer selection and shopping solutions to help them through these next few weeks and beyond.”
About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 253 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.
Contact: Joe Hirschmugl, 616-791-3943