Coronavirus BRIEFING

New Consumer Survey Shows Safety and Hygiene are Top of Mind for Back-to-School Season

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A new survey of U.S. consumers by Coresight Research provides a detailed update on consumer behavior and sentiment amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

According to the survey, which was fielded on July 8, safety and hygiene are top of mind for consumers for the upcoming back-to-school season. A little over four in 10 back-to-school shoppers said they will buy face masks and/or other hygiene products/personal protective equipment for their children.

Online remains the preferred shopping channel for clothing and footwear. Coresight saw a stable proportion of around one-third of respondents saying they had bought apparel via e-commerce in the past two weeks, versus a little over one in six respondents who had bought apparel in a store.

Representing an encouraging sign for retailers, Coresight has seen downward trends in the ratios of the proportion of respondents buying less to those buying more in discretionary categories.

Coresight asked consumers questions about their attitude to, and expected behaviors during, the upcoming back-to-school season. Two-fifths of all respondents said that they will need to buy back-to-school products this year. Among those shoppers, more than one-third expect to spend less. However, the proportion did not have a clear lead over those who expect to spend the same or more, despite the economic downturn.

Safety and hygiene are top of mind for back-to-school shoppers. A little over four in ten of them said they will buy face masks and/or other hygiene products/personal protective equipment for their child or children.

Coresight’s survey also suggests a shift of back-to-school dollars from products for in-school learning to products for at-home learning: Over one-quarter of back-to-school shoppers expect to spend more on at-home learning products than last year, likely benefiting categories such as electronics and home products; while one in five expect to spend less on in-school products, which Coresight expects to hit apparel, including sportswear.

Click here to access Coresight’s full report on how Covid-19 is expected to impact consumers’ back-to-school shopping behaviors.