Staples and Best Buy are Top Stores for Back-to-School Shopping in the U.S.

T.J. Maxx was a hit with young shoppers in New York. Popular shopping streets for parents were Lincoln Park in Chicago, the Upper West Side in New York and Walnut Street in Philadelphia.

Statistically, while online shopping continues to be on the rise, 56% of consumers said they will be shopping in-store this year, outpacing the 29% that said they plan to make purchases online. To understand the shopping trend this back-to-school season, Near studied the behavior of parents across five major U.S. cities.

The data showed that Staples and Best Buy were the most popular stores in terms of footfalls, and T.J. Maxx in New York was popular among younger parents. More men shopped during this season, an interesting trend showcasing a possible shift in the prominent parent for back-to-school shopping.

Shopping Hotspots

Staples and Best were the hottest stores in the US for back-to-school shoppers
  • Footfalls at Staples located on its Fifth Avenue store in New York was the highest for the brand.
  • For Best Buy, the other most popular back-to-school retailer, San Francisco was the busiest hub of activity with the Harrison Street location in Union Square having the highest footfalls among its locations across the country.
Nordstrom and Target stores in California were hotspots for back-to-school shoppers

California also was a hotspot for the brick-and-mortar operations of Nordstrom and Target.

  • Nordstrom’s Glendale location at 102 Caruso Ave. had the most footfalls during the back-to-school shopping season.
  • For Target, the most footfalls were in Los Angeles at 8480 Beverly Blvd.
New Yorkers flocked to Midtown Manhattan for their back-to-school shopping

In New York, the highest footfalls for The Container Store, Pottery Barn and T.J. Maxx were from stores located in midtown Manhattan.

  • The Container Store saw the highest back-to-school traffic at its 725 Lexington Ave. location. Pottery Barn’s footfalls were highest at its 1965 Broadway store.
  • T.J. Maxx had the most action in terms of footfalls at its 808 Columbus Ave. store
Bed Bath & Beyond, Office Depot and Macy’s were preferred stores for Chicagoans
  • In Chicago, the Bed Bath & Beyond store on 2838 N. Broadway had the most footfalls, and the Office Depot’s store on 2928 N. Ashland Ave. the busiest hub.
  • Macy’s store on 835 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago was the most preferred shopping destination for Macy’s shoppers.
  • West Elm located on 1330 Chestnut St. location was most popular among shoppers in Philadelphia.

Walnut Street in Philadelphia, Lincoln Park in Chicago and the Upper West Side of New York were the most popular back-to-school shopping spots overall.

Man, That’s Surprising

This back-to-school shopping season saw more dads shopping than the moms.

  • Pottery Barn stores across Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles saw more male than female visitors during the shopping season. However, the bulk of Pottery Barn visitors in Chicago were women, which made up 67% of shoppers at that retailer in the Midwest’s largest city.
  • Males accounted for more than half (54%) of the visitors at Nordstrom’s store in Dallas, too.
  • More than half (59%) of Kohl’s shoppers during the back-to-school season were men.

Deal Me In

People from the swankiest parts of the country seemed to visit Target and T.J. Maxx stores during this year’s back-to-school shopping season.

  • Target saw the highest footfalls at its Beverly Hills store in Los Angeles, which represented 48% of its footfalls for the locations studied, followed by its Chicago Lincoln Park location, which accounted for 26% of the footfalls of the Target stores.
  • For T.J. Maxx, the highest footfalls during the back-to-school shopping season were at its store on the Upper West Side of New York which accounted for 50% of T.J, Maxx’s footfalls during the school shopping season.

Brands have copious data about consumer’s online purchase patterns and by layering it with real-world behavior — where consumers are seen — retailers can get a clearer indication of shoppers’ intent to revisit or purchase. Brands targeting parents can use such insights as they create marketing plans for the back-to-school shopping season.

Published on Medium.

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