(BPT) - It's that time of year again - time to trade summer break for lunch break, road trips for recess and home in bed for homework instead. Yes, back to school is in full swing and if your kids are going to start another year, they need the latest gear. Here are the five hottest trends in back to school this year so your team can head off to class with a pass:
It's not just the price, it's the deal
Costs are rising everywhere and salary rarely keeps up. That puts cost-efficient solutions at the forefront again this year. Parents are looking for affordable options that are also quality deals and the best price will result in a buy more often than not.
Designed by students
From homework and lunch to lockers and backpacks, the Staples Designed by Students Collection includes tools designed by actual students that help to address common classroom needs. The Big Pen, for example, is a writing instrument and pencil case all-in-one and the Big Props Pencil Case doubles as a tablet stand. The Super Folder includes storage areas, a zipper pouch, clear pockets for class schedules, a pencil sharpener, sticky notes and a writing pad. Any of these options are perfect for kids on the go. The colorful Portable Desk (pictured) has a smooth writing surface with interior compartments for notebook and pencil storage plus a side slot for headphones and power cords.
Shopping starts mid-summer
Black Friday it's not. Parents don't start their back-to-school shopping the day after the previous school year ends but research shows they don't wait until the last minute either. Fifty-three percent of surveyed parents say purchasing supplies one month before the start of the school year is the optimal time according to research from Staples.
Positive impact is king
This back-to-school season, Staples and Me to We, a social enterprise that provides people with better choices for a better world, are making socially conscious shopping easy with a new line of eco-friendly school supplies. Each product provides a life-changing impact in a developing community where Me to We's partner, Free the Children, works. The exclusive Me to We Collection includes notebooks, composition books, binders, portfolios, backpacks, pencil pouches and more that will help make a difference.
eCommerce sales continue to grow
In 2011, businesses reported retail eCommerce sales of $31.98 billion and the market has grown roughly 15 percent every year since then. This year back-to-school eCommerce sales are expected to top $56.35 billion. For consumers, brick and mortar stores remain a useful tool when they need helpful advice or to compare options side-by-side and 78 percent of surveyed parents say they do most or all of their shopping in physical stores. However eCommerce sites are gaining popularity in part because they present the opportunity to order the necessary supplies easily while managing other back to school preparations.
The 2015-16 school year will be like no other and the same can be said for the back-to-school season that precedes it. By capitalizing on the trends of this season, you'll set your students up for an entire school year of success in the months ahead. To find all of the back-to-school supplies you need, visit Staples.com/backtoschool.