The big debate surrounding schools has been whether or not to be open to face-to-face learning and this debate continues to rage as some regions are in a good position due to issues like a high COVID-19 community while others are infected with older buildings with below average ventilation systems and old-fashioned overcrowding are having trouble finding a way to give lessons.
Regardless of whether the student is learning from a distance or from a sports school, aids are required. Paper, pens, craft supplies, computers, and other gadgets are required, and suppliers of these goods benefit from them, even in the face of a tank economy and a lack of clarity about how the whole school year will play out.
A report by consumer data analytics firm Placer.ai argues that sales and foot traffic are declining year-over-year for most major school supply companies like Office Max, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, but the situation could be much worse and more timely weeks show an influx of store visits.
Some stores were hit harder than others. Weekly visits from Office Max, Staples, and Office Depot decreased about 30% each year for the week of August 10th. Others, like Best Buy and Target, saw a decline of less than 7% for the same week.
What is all-round good news for retailers is the weekly increase in store visits since the week of July 13th. Office Depot, Staples, and Best Buy saw significant gains from week to week through August 3, where Office Depot and Office Max previously peaked, with a slight decline in the week of August 10. Staples grew all along the way, hitting a high of 19.8% by August 10, the last date the report examined.
Walmart and Target did not see as large an increase as the other stores, but also not as large a decline as the other, which was much more of the basics of school and office supplies, during the weekly periods studied, possibly due to their wider offering outside of school and office supplies Depend on office supplies.
This theory was supported by the report's remark that in-store time at Walmart, arguably the most diverse product offering of any retailer listed above, increased 4.5% year-over-year, suggesting shoppers are looking for more of your seeking needs from a unique place.
This may come at the expense of places like Office Depot, which the report claims will benefit from consumers making multiple trips to get supplies.
The report also suggests that increasing reliance on the home office may be able to mitigate some of the large swings that office and school supply retailers experience each year, skyrocketing in the weeks leading up to school opening and beyond dry out.