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Why ‘Back to School’ is big business for UAE retailers?

Tue 30 Aug 2022    
| 2 min read

The most recent survey (Deloitte, 2022) stated that the average household spending on Back to School (BTS) items is $661 (AED2,427) and the global market itself is worth a staggering $34.4 billion (AED126b) – up 24% since 2019 – UAE businesses are geared up for one of their busiest trading periods of the year.

UAE-based e-commerce site Kibsons has seen year-on-year growth in this segment and considers its BTS campaign the third biggest of the trading year, behind White Friday and Ramadan. For Kibsons  – it is not just BTS that fuels the period, but ‘ Back to Campus’ and ‘ Back to Reality for students and parents and focuses strategically on stocking and supplying not just the typical stationary items and kit, but ‘making life easier with a range of ready meal collections and ‘ DIY’ food boxes and kits to save time and convenience for new students and their parents. Even within the Nursery stage, Kibsons sees increased demand for items such as vitamins tablets, diapers and items to make the pre-school breakfast easier and healthier. Known for their food offerings primarily, Marketing Director, Sarah El-Hajji, says that Kibsons has been expanding its range of products gradually and enjoys loyalty in non-perishable categories from brand advocates who appreciate the fast delivery and competitive pricing, hence returning for their non-food ‘ Back to School’ list.

Family mealtime and lifestyle retailer, Citron,  and CEO Sarah Chemmaa states that ‘Back to School‘ is the biggest campaign period of the year for Citron sales-wise. “We have seen 500% growth year on year since 2019 and this year we expect to sell 500,000 units – with lunchboxes, water bottles and lunch bags being our best selling product”

Payal Mirchandani, CEO of Pinca Trading says –  Competition is fierce, At least 50% of the yearly business is made during the back-to-school season for retailers  At Pinca, We focus on trendy/fashion stationery and accessories. We have seen great success in this category and have always focused on this every year.  For the UAE, we usually order a 20 ft container specifically for back-to-school lines- this can range from 10-14 SKUs and approximately  3000 – 4000  units. 

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