Back-to-School Shopping Season Extended: 1 in 10 Parents Plan to Make Purchases After School Begins

Placed Releases Back-to-School Shopping Study

SEATTLE, WA, August 22, 2013 - A new study released by Placed, found that 1 in 10 parents plan to finish their back-to-school shopping after the start of school, suggesting an extended sales season for retailers. Based on data from Placed Insights, Back-to-School Shopping: 2013 Trends, provides analysis into shopping timelines, advertising preferences and smartphone usage during the back-to-school retail season. To download the full report, please visit:

"Back-to-school is a make or break season for many retailers," said David Shim, Founder and CEO at Placed. "With the potential for this back-to-school season to extend well past the official start of classes, many retailers have additional opportunities to drive shoppers into their stores as they cross the last items off their shopping lists."

Two-Thirds of Parents Identify as Last Minute or Late Back-to-School Shoppers

The study leveraged Placed Questions, a feature within Placed Insights, which combines survey research with the direct measurement of consumers’ location activities. The study surveyed parents about when they plan to complete their back-to-school shopping and found a strong preference towards last minute and late shopping.
  • 58% of parents planned to finish shopping less than one month before the start of school.
  • 11% planned to finish shopping after the start of school, which could bode well for retailers looking for an extra bump in sales after the official end of the back-to-school season.
  • Early birds accounted for 31% of shoppers, composed mainly of those planning to complete their shopping one month before school (25% of parents), while just 6% planned to complete their shopping two months prior to school.

Costco, J.C. Penney & Kmart Customers Likely to Finish Shopping After Start of School

Using direct location measurement, Placed further analyzed the behaviors of parents that planned to finish their shopping after the start of school to discover which retailers this shopper segment showed a preference to visit.
  • Those parents that planned to finish back-to-school shopping late were 34% more likely to visit Costco, 22% more likely to visit J.C. Penney, and 21% more likely to visit Kmart than an average consumer, which suggests a possibly longer back to school season for these retailers.
  • Late shoppers were more likely to visit all three major office supply stores, Office Depot, Office Max and Staples, compared to an average consumer.
  • In contrast, parents who planned to finish shopping after school begins were less likely to shop at electronics retailers, including Best Buy and RadioShack.

Download Your Copy of Back-to-School Shopping: 2013 Trends

Back-to-School Shopping: 2013 Trends provides insight into how parents are navigating this year’s back-to-school retail season with analysis into shopping timelines, advertising preferences and smartphone usage. To download the full report, please visit:

To learn more about Placed Insights, please visit or contact

About Placed Insights:

Placed Insights is the first ratings service for the physical world, providing actionable intelligence into the paths and behaviors of U.S. consumers across more than 130 business categories and 1,000 businesses. Based on the world’s largest location panel, Placed Insights combines innovative big data techniques with trusted market research methodologies to quantify offline consumer behavior. For more information on Placed Insights, please visit:

About Placed

Placed is the leader in location-driven insights and ad intelligence. Measuring billions of locations across the world's largest opt-in location audience, Placed provides the most comprehensive understanding of consumers' offline behaviors. Connecting the physical and digital worlds, Placed is the industry standard currency for brands, agencies, and publishers to measure ad exposure to store visit, target location at scale, and deliver actionable insights into consumer behavior.

Founded in January 2011, Placed is headquartered in Seattle and is backed by Madrona Venture Group and Two Sigma Ventures.

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