Survey: 40% of parents buy school supplies after the school year begins


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Libris online bookstore conducted a survey from September 1st to 10th among mothers regarding their back-to-school shopping habits. Quality products, competitive prices, and a wide range of choices are the main criteria parents consider when choosing where to shop for school supplies.

When it comes to the contents of their shopping baskets at the beginning of the school year, one-third of respondents purchase only textbooks, collections, and mandatory bibliography books. Meanwhile, 60% opt for educational books, and workbooks and supplementary materials can be found in 71% of shopping baskets.

School uniforms are part of the purchases for 40% of respondents, while sports equipment and other clothing items are included in the shopping baskets of 67% and 56% of survey participants, respectively. 89% of respondents renew their stationery and accessories, while only 14% purchase electronic equipment (smartwatches, tablets, phones) at the start of the school year.

According to the survey, when asked about the type of books they usually purchase for their children, the majority of parents indicated that they prioritize reference books based on their child’s preferences (88% of responses), followed by books from the mandatory bibliography (48%) and textbooks (31%).

The main criteria parents consider when choosing where to shop for school supplies, in order of importance, are: product quality, competitive prices, a diverse selection, promotions and special offers, their children’s preferences, recommendations from educators, store proximity, and recommendations from friends or family.

When asked to rate the importance of utility, price, and aesthetics in the decision to purchase school supplies on a scale from 1 to 5, 73% of mothers indicated that utility was “extremely important,” 23% gave aesthetics the highest rating, while price was deemed “very important” by one-third of parents.

When it comes to the criteria children consider when making decisions about purchasing school supplies, according to parents, for 67% of children, utility is the most important criterion, followed by aesthetics (25%), price (5%), and brand (3%).

When asked where they shop for school necessities, more than 65% of participating mothers responded that they prefer to buy both online and from physical stores, depending on where they find what they need. Meanwhile, 20% prefer to purchase items online, 7% buy physically from large hypermarket chains, and 8% turn to stationery stores or bookstores.

Regarding the need for stationery, one in three parents’ states that they make purchases for the new school year 1-2 weeks before school starts. On the other hand, over 40% go shopping after school begins, based on the list of required items provided by the teacher. 16% of parents buy school supplies during the summer vacation, while 11% state that they do not have a specific habit for these purchases.

85% of parents consult their children when choosing school supplies

While 17% of mothers do not go shopping with their children, over 70% end up shopping with their children for school supplies at least twice a year.

When it comes to mandatory or optional reading books, while a quarter of parents purchase them during summer vacation, and 5% rely exclusively on borrowing from the library, over 65% of respondents wait for recommendations from educators and buy them after the start of the school year.

According to the survey, 85% of parents tend to consult their children when it comes to purchasing school supplies, taking their preferences into account as much as possible. On the other hand, 15% do not do this, saying that either the child is “too young” or “has different criteria from those of the parent”

A maximum budget of 500 lei is allocated for school supplies

In the context of the school year’s beginning, the majority of parents (70%) spend an average of less than 500 lei on textbooks, notebooks, books, stationery, and accessories necessary for the educational process. Meanwhile, one in five parents allocates between 500 and 800 lei for these expenses.

For optional back-to-school purchases, such as educational books and reading materials outside the mandatory bibliography, one-third of parents allocate less than 200 lei, while more than half (55%) allocate between 200 and 500 lei.

When asked how important they consider non-mandatory school supplies in their children’s educational process, including educational books and stationery items like pencil holders, highlighters, markers, folders, etc., nearly 60% of respondents indicated that they are very important as they create a context for a more enjoyable learning process. While a quarter of parents deem them important as they aid in the educational process, 12% state that they are welcome but have moderate importance, meaning they can do without them if necessary.

The beginning of the school year is a special time, and we are excited to bring a touch of magic to this adventure alongside our readers. We understand how important it is for the new school year to start with confidence, which is why we created the ‘Back to School as a Superhero’ campaign. Its purpose is to inspire and support not only children and young people, but also parents and teachers. To add a touch of magic and adventure to this journey of knowledge, three heroes from different universes will join us. Each of them carries a unique and valuable element, reminding us that the beginning of a new school year is about learning, growth, and connection. We invite everyone to befriend the character provided in the kit, discover their superpowers, learn how they can influence and inspire the world around them, and let themselves be carried away by the story of ‘Back to School as a Superhero‘,” says Laura Teposu, CEO Libris.

Under the umbrella of “Back to School as a Superhero,” Libris is running a campaign from September 11th to 24th dedicated to the beginning of the school year. They welcome their readers with discounts of up to 30% on textbooks and school books, free shipping for all orders over 100 lei, and a superhero kit as a gift for any order of at least 100 lei.

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