Shipt Chief Business Officer Rina Hurst (left) and Progressive Grocer Managing Editor Bridget Goldschmidt on the back-to-school-themed bus during the kickoff event in New York on July 20.
Same-day delivery company Shipt has kicked off a series of two-day back-to-school events in New York, running July 20-21, with subsequent stops planned in Boston (July 23-24), Philadelphia (July 27-28) and Baltimore (Aug. 1-2).
The events, held in collaboration with Alexandria, Va.-based Volunteers of America, will allow participants to visit a colorfully decorated bus showcasing examples of the top back-to-school items in the areas of school supplies, snacks and college dorms, and offering interactive games. Other features include the opportunity to put supplies in a backpack for a needy school-age child under Volunteers of America's Operation Backpack program, and a cozy outdoor play and reading area for children.
Shipt conceived of the events after a recent survey that it conducted of parents, caregivers, teachers and college students revealed that back-to-school shopping is starting earlier than ever, with 50% of teachers and 37% of parents and caregivers starting in July. Chief Business Officer Rina Hurst attributes this fact to high inventory at this time of year, along with good deals. Further insights of this kind are available in Shipt’s Ultimate School Shopping Guide for parents, teachers and students, based on the survey as well as proprietary Shipt data.
“Back to school season is incredibly exciting – new school supplies, new teachers and new routines – but can also feel overwhelming and stressful with all that’s needed to prepare and purchase,” noted Hurst, herself the mother of two grade-school kids. “After a summer of free time and fun activities, it’s difficult to get back into the mindset of the school season, which is why Shipt is taking the guesswork out of back-to-school shopping this year. Our Ultimate School Shopping Guide makes back-to-school shopping easy by sharing insights from parents, teachers and students around the country on what products you really need to purchase this year, and where you can save your budget. With just a few easy steps, you can have your entire Ultimate School Shopping Guide delivered right to your door so you can focus on getting organized and ready for the busy year ahead.”
Among the guide’s other insights, many of which will be highlighted at the events:
While nearly half of parents (41%) said that they buy just five to 15 pens or pencils for the year, those same supplies are what more than half of parents (52%) said that their kids run out of the fastest.
The top two items that teachers run out of the fastest in their classrooms are pencils and dry-erase markers – last year alone, Shipt delivered nearly 5,000 dry-erase marker packs.
Preparing school lunches is a full-time job for some parents, with more than one in four (28%) noting that they buy school snacks and lunch supplies daily. According to Shipt data, more than 27 million packages of Cheez-Its were sold last year around back-to-school season, in addition to 23 million packages of Goldfish and almost 900,000 Nature Valley Granola Bars