Aussie retailers preparing kids with back to school essentials

Media Release

Wednesday 9 January 2019: With the school holidays concluding in a few short weeks, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) anticipate the sale of uniforms, school shoes, stationery, technology and backpacks will significantly increase over the coming weeks, as parents prepare their kids for the upcoming school year.

The ARA predicts many stores and shopping centres across the nation will re-directing their attention from the festive season to back to school supplies, as this is the peak trading period for back to school sales.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said retailers who specialise in the apparel, footwear and stationery sectors are bound to see a significant increase in  trade throughout January.

“As the arrival of a new school year is about to begin, retailers have been preoccupied with stocking their shelves full of of back to school products to ensure each student is equipped with the essentials to thrive throughout the new school year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“With many busy parents returning to work, we believe parents will be opting to purchase back to school items from retailers who offer flexibility, convenience and unmissable sales and bargains.”

As the use of technology begins to spread throughout the education system, sales in portable technology are also expected to see a hike, with most public schools asking parents to purchase either an iPad or Surface Pro for children in Year 3 or Year 4 as a one-off expense.

“With the use of technology becoming increasingly prevalent across the Government education system, parents will be on the lookout for new technology that will enhance their child’s learning experience and stimulate their imagination and creativity,” Mr Zimmerman said.

While technology may be a popular learning tool for tech-savvy youngsters, stationery retailers can still expect to see an incline in sales as well, with many parents purchasing writing materials for their children.

“Retailers who specialise in stationery including Newsagents and Stationers present the ideal destination for parents who wish to cross-off pens and school books noted on their school lists.”

The ARA has forecasted Aussie parents will spend over $840 on back to school supplies for each child. With school shoes accounting for up to $150 of the total cost, Mr Zimmerman said parents should look to purchase from shoe retailers who offer shoes that exude comfort, support and durability.

“As shoe retailers drive enthusiasm and innovation into the back to school category, we’ve noticed a rise in the purchase of Velcro and scuff resistant shoes in the traditional shoe styles,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“While the private school system prefers a more traditional school shoe, the ARA have recognised a surge in the number of sporting shoe styles purchased by parents, particularly in the Government primary school system, the result of an ongoing eased approach to the black shoe standard policy.”

With the number of back to school essentials growing every year, retailers who provide expert advice on specific products will flourish in sales and notice a considerable increase foot-traffic over this trading period.

“Parents and retailers recognise that the start of a new school year marks a milestone for each student around the country and therefore both parents and retailers will go above and beyond to ensure each student receives the school supplies required to secure a fantastic school year.”


For interview opportunities with Russell Zimmerman ARA Executive Director call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As Australia’s leading retail peak body industry, the ARA is a strong pro-active advocate for Australian retail and works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.


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