Canadian Music Trade - August/September 2017 - Page 22

Be Ready for the Back-to-School Rush By Megan Beam I t seems like only yesterday that the school bells rang through the halls across the country to signify another school year drawing to a close. But as tanned skin fades, bug bites heal, and the warm weather begins to drift away just a few months after, many parents and students are now fully immersed in the back-to-school scramble ahead of September. As such, parents, teachers, and students from coast- to-coast are taking retailers – clothing, stationary, and in many cases, musical instruments – by storm. Some have been planning their shopping lists months in advance to ensure they have exactly what they want and need well ahead of the rush; in other cases, last-minute shoppers are bursting through the doors to snag the final few items they need to check off of their lists. It can be a hectic time not only for the returning students and teach- ers, but the retailers as well. 22 • CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE According to the annual survey compiled by the National Retail Federation, the combined spending for elementary, second- ary, and post-secondary students is estimated to reach $83.6 billion U.S. That’s a 10 per cent increase compared to last year’s findings. Needless to say, it’s an important – and often stressful – period in the fiscal years of many retailers. Then again, it’s arguably just as stressful, or maybe even more so, for parents preparing to push their kids onto the school bus for the first time in months. Based on a recent poll done by Ebates.ca, the expenses of school shopping and the hectic schedule associat- ed with this time of year are two of the biggest stressors for Canadi- ans when the back-to-school season hits. Nearly 97 per cent of Ca- nadian parents say they are overwhelmed as it’s a transitioning time for their whole families, but they make sure to do things in order to include their kids in the process that is back-to-school shopping, which includes bringing them along for in-store purchases, allowing