During the frenetic back-to-school shopping season, US consumers had access to substantial price cuts on television sets, according to a GfK analysis of advertised discounts. Manufacturers and retailers offered savings of 9% on TV sets, compared to pre-back-to-school prices; last year, TV discounts averaged just 6% during the same time of year.
To view a graphic of GfK’s findings, click here
By contrast, US consumers received minimal or no incentives to buy several other high-demand items for college students and others heading back to school.
The new study from GfK’s Promotion and Causal Retail team compared advertised prices for the same SKUs before and during the back-to-school season, and also year-to-year during this time period. The analysis covered retail print circulars in over 80 key US markets, from July 15 through the first week of school (which was the first week of September this year).
In total, the frequency of back-to-school advertising this year was up 5% versus the same period last year for the key categories GfK examined. In some cases, categories were heavily promoted, but discounts were still small. In Desktop Computers, for example, GfK recorded a surge of 24% in advertising activity year over year; yet the category had discounts in the 2% range.
“Overall, back-to-school advertising is increasing, which shows that retailers are banking on key sales as they head into the holiday period,” said James, Kennedy, Managing Director of GfK’s Promotion and Causal Retail team. “However, retailers are choosing instead to promote SKUs that were not advertised in the weeks leading up to back-to-school. This means that retailers are using this time period to introduce new and different models into the market.”
GfK’s Promotion and Causal Retail researchers help clients gauge the return on their investments in causal marketing, including printed vouchers, online offers, and in-store promotions. GfK identifies and analyzes all pricing, placement, and promotions at stock-keeping unit (SKU) level, while they are live, and can also monitor the impact on sales.
GfK is one of the world’s leading research companies, with around 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.51 billion.
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