Back-to-School Shopping Not What It Usually Is

Audrey Tobin ('21), Orbit Contributor

Back to school shopping had a makeover this year. 

Never before have students of this quantity started their school years off virtually. No first day of school outfits or new Fall wardrobes for these students, as lots of kids now find themselves wearing their pajamas to class. Back to school season is crucial for retailers everywhere. How will this decrease in demand affect their business? 

According to a CNBC article by Melissa Repko, retailers such as Target, Kohl’s and The Children’s Place reported that the shopping season was off to a slow start. Sales were reported to pick up as schools were set to start at a later date, however it seems shoppers spent more on computers than new outfits. Professor Ashwani Monga explains in the article that “even those who haven’t felt the pandemic or its economic impact are likely to pull back on spending that could appear showy, such as a fancy school bag or a new wardrobe of designer clothes.”

I wear pajamas every day instead of putting on an actual outfit. I haven’t worn jeans since the Cold War.

— Sofia Azevedo ('21)

RMHS student Sofia Azevedo (“21), when asked how her everyday school style has changed from prior years, replied by saying “I wear pajamas every day instead of putting on an actual outfit. I haven’t worn jeans since the Cold War.” Azevedo is not the only one who feels this way. Wilmington High School senior, Olivia Dennett had a similar response to the same question. Her response being “I wear sweatpants and fluffy clothes every day. I literally look like I’m half asleep in class.”

When asking these two students if they had done any back to school clothes shopping, Azevedo said “I didn’t shop for back to school clothes at all.” and Dennett said “Yes, Online. I shopped at Lululemon for leggings and sweatshirts. But I didn’t do nearly as much clothes shopping then I’d usually do for back to school.”

Retailers have lost the interest of many shoppers this back to school season. Sales have declined and companies are struggling. These kids don’t feel like they are in regular school, therefore, the regular back to school shopping habits aren’t happening.