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Retail Insights

Back to school and Fresher’s week

Many snacking and lunchbox drink brands launch marketing campaigns and new products in time for September’s back to school season. Alcohol manufacturers aim to profit from a festive university Fresher’s Week, typically taking place in the second half of September. Looking at last year’s performance, what sales uplift can brands and stores located near schools and universities expect?

Stationery is probably the first thing that comes to mind. There is a general c. 50% uplift in weekly sales of stationery, crafts and arts in Septembers vs January – August. However, this uplift appears across the board, and is not related to proximity to schools. On the other hand, sales of arts and craft products in shops on/near university campuses soared by up to 232% in September 2018.

Interestingly, sales of vaping products increased more strongly (+8% vs general growth of +4%) in c-stores near schools in the same period but there was no such uplift in stores on/near universities.

% sales uplift of chilled foods, soft drinks, snacks, and electronic goods was 2-3 times higher in c-stores near universities than in the general market. Bakery % sales uplift was four times higher, food to go – 5 times higher than the September sales uplift in all other independent c-stores.

Alcohol is a key part of the back to university and Fresher’s Week season. Based on last year’s data, shops in and around university campuses should be prepared for a 41% sales uplift in RTD high strength premixes, 16% in spirits, 8% in wine, 3% in beer and 5% higher sales of cider which declined by -2% in all other stores in September 2018.

2018 Sep Schools
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