National Survey Reveals Parents Willing to Spend More on Apparel This School Year

Sears Offers Back to School Fashion at Affordable Prices to Help Make This Year Amazing

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Aug. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly two-thirds of parents who responded to a new survey say they are inclined to spend more on items, including jeans, tops and shoes, for this school year versus last year. Though they may spend more, parents will be using newspaper ads, circulars and loyalty programs to track down deals throughout the season, according to the joint survey by Sears and BlogHer, Inc. While the economic state of the nation continues to have an impact on spending—with the National Retail Federation finding that families will on average spend less on back-to-school shopping than last year(1) – the just-released survey indicates that what parents are looking for above all is value.  

Highlights of the national survey of more than 700 respondents include:

  • More than 60 percent of moms surveyed claim cash is the number one form of spending for back-to-school items, followed by credit cards (28 percent) and checks (four percent).
  • Four out of 10 families will do most of their shopping right before school starts or after school is back in session, yet almost half (47 percent) are keeping an eye on all sales and specials throughout the summer.
  • While online shopping and mobile apps serve as useful tools for moms on the go, eight out of 10 parents (83 percent) will conduct their back-to-school shopping in-store, with more than 60 percent using circulars and 31 percent relying on loyalty programs to get the most out of their budgets.  

Shopping for jeans is an enduring back-to-school tradition that we'll continue to see, with almost one-third (31 percent) of respondents to the Sears/BlogHer survey, citing denim as a primary item they would be inclined to spend more on. Furthermore, nearly half (46 percent) indicated that they would buy two to four pairs of jeans per child, while more than two-thirds (68 percent) of moms plan to keep costs down by spending less than $50 per pair.

"Especially during this tough economic climate, Sears remains committed to providing aspirational, affordable fashions," said Dave Friedman, SVP and president of marketing, Sears Holdings. "This survey confirms the trends we anticipated—that moms are savvier shoppers, now more than ever. That's why our goal for back to school is to provide a wide selection of brands and styles to match every kid's personality at prices families can afford."

From jeans to hoodies to graphic tees, Sears has all the "in" styles to match every kid's personality and every family's budget, with fashion brands such as BONGO, American Star, Dickies and U.S. Polo Association. Sears also has the latest styles in denim, including super-stretchy jeans (jeggings) as well as designer details like "bling" back pockets.

The survey also found that while the rising cost of school supplies remains an issue of concern, there are several other considerations that parents rate as worrisome, including:

  • Budget cuts, particularly to music and arts programs, were ranked as the top concern, with 27 percent of moms ranking that as their number one concern
  • Lack of nutrition in cafeteria food came next, with 20 percent ranking it as their biggest concern
  • Demanding homework load for kids came in behind these other economic and health-focused issues, with 19 percent naming it a top concern

To help customers be on top of all the hottest trends and make this school year amazing, Sears recently launched a new fashion website,, which houses all the latest stories and trends from the world of fashion. While shopping in-store, families can also use convenient kiosks to order back-to-school items that are not in-store or in-stock. To help prepare for the shopping experience, moms can visit to check out the "Mom's Amazing List" app, which allows them to create their own back-to-school shopping list and offers suggested lists based on gender and age.

Sears/BlogHer Back-to-School Survey Methodology

The Sears/BlogHer Back-to-School Survey was distributed between July 21 and July 29, 2011, to two sample populations: the BlogHer Publishing Network and the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) Network. Each of these networks distributed the survey by email to a targeted mom cohort. The survey sample total is 709, and the margin of error equals + or – 3.6 percent with a 99 percent level of confidence.

To review a summary of results from the survey please visit:

About Sears Holdings Corporation

Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at

About BlogHer, Inc.

Reaching more than 26 million women each month (Nielsen Site Census, July 2011), BlogHer is the leading cross-platform media network created by, for and with women social media leaders. BlogHer created and leads the marketplace with the most robust economic and networking opportunities for women in social media and brands seeking to engage in authentic and persuasive dialogue with them. Founded in February 2005 by Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone, BlogHer publishes and syndicates news, information, advice and recommendations to and from 2,500 premium blogs, delivers uniquely insightful research on women in social media across interest areas, hosts the world's largest conferences for women in social media and curates a daily news service, BlogHer's investors are Venrock, GE/NBC Universal's Peacock Equity Fund and Azure Capital Partners.

(1) According to NRF's 2011 Back-to-School survey conducted by BIGresearch, families with children in grades K-12 will spend an average of $603.63 on apparel, school supplies and electronics, within a few dollars of last year's $606.40 average.


Brian Hanover

Morgan Calef

Elaine Wu

Sears Holdings

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BlogHer, Inc.

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SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation

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