Back To School Specialty Retail Trends And Top Products

As we gear up for Holiday, ActionWatch compiled the top sales trends and products from this year’s back-to-school August sales surge. Here’s a look at what went down at the registers of ActionWatch’s panel of over 250 specialty surf and skate retailers according to their POS systems:

Design: Eric Cheek


ActionWatch Back-to-School Sales Review  
There are a few product categories that experience their highest volume sales in the main back-to-school month of August (with the exception of December, of course). We focus on those categories here and compare them with August of last year and also list the top-selling styles in shoes, pants, denim and backpacks.

Average Revenue per Store and Revenue Growth — August 2012

Male Female
Avg Revenue per Store Revenue Growth Avg Revenue per Store Revenue Growth
T-Shirts S/S $6,896 2% $585 -16%
Other Shirts* $716 16% $875 7%
Non-denim Pants $968 12% $267 29%
Denim $1,167 -15% $167 -30%
Shoes $9,791 -3% $3,581 29%
Backpacks $1,633 9% $824 23%
*The ‘Other Shirts’ class is composed of sleeved shirts that are mostly knits for men and may be sleeved knits or wovens for women.
Most of the categories that have big back-to-school volume jumps beat sales revenues from August last year, but denim, women’s tees and men’s shoes were down.

S/S T-Shirts (Male)
Unit Shares by Price Point
Aug 2011 Aug 2012
$30 2% 2%

T-shirt prices shifted to a higher range this year during back-to-school shopping as the $20-$30 price range took eight points of unit market share from the lower priced tees.
Top Styles in August 2012
(all styles listed in alphabetical order)

Shoes – Female
Sanuk – Donna
Toms – Classic
Toms – Wedge
Vans – Authentic
Vans – Authentic Lo Pro

Shoes – Male
Adidas – Busenitz Pro
Nike – Dunk High Pro SB
Nike – Stefan Janoski
Vans – Authentic
Vans – Chukka Low

Non-denim Pants – Male
Analog – AG Chino
Hurley – Corman 2.0
RVCA – Weekender
Volcom – Frickin Modern

Non-denim Pants – Female
Billabong – Cosima
Billabong – Cord Pixie
Billabong – Laying Low
Roxy – Beach Side
Volcom – Rev Up

Denim – Male
Kr3w – K Slim
Levi’s – 511
RVCA – Regulars
Volcom – Nova
Volcom – Solver

Backpacks – Male
Dakine – Campus
Dakine – Mission
Fox – Kicker
Quiksilver – Schoolie
Volcom – Equilibrium

Backpacks – Female
Billabong – Take Me With You
Dakine – Garden
Dakine – Jewel
Dakine – Prom
Fox – Dirt Vixen