With colleges and grade schools going virtual, marketers are trying to come up with ways to pry consumers’ wallets open during the back-to-school season.
Between the lines: Retail sales in July came in higher than they were in February, before the pandemic sent stores and restaurants closing en masse, the Commerce Department reported Friday morning.
The big picture: Marketers are keen to convince parents to turn college-bound teens’ bedrooms into dorm rooms, kitchens into faux cafeterias, and backyards into recess playgrounds — by buying new stuff from retailers eager to keep the fall shopping season from being a bust.
Despite all the factors working against US merchants — like high unemployment and shoppers who are wary of malls — it was the third straight month that retail sales have risen, pointing to robust demand despite an economy that entered a recession in February. “Consumers last month boosted spending on electronics and appliances, health products and restaurant meals,” per the WSJ.
The marketing wizardry: While some retailers are still highlighting their backpacks and lunch boxes, forward-thinking competitors are hawking stylish masks, homeschooling supplies, and products to help turn your home into a school — clever taglines included… Axios