Staples Back-to-School Survey Reveals Majority of Parents Look Forward to Bonding with their Teenager While Shopping

Staples survey shows almost half of parents relive school days while shopping

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--()--While kids may dread the start of school, most parents (66%) look forward to back-to-school shopping as a time to bond with their teenagers, according to a recent Staples survey. And more than two in five parents of teens (43%) say back-to-school shopping makes them relive their own school days, according to the online survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Staples among 1,011 parents of teens 13-19 years old.

“At Staples, we have nearly three decades of experience in offering the widest assortment of back-to-school products at great prices -- and creating great memories for parents and teens,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president of North American stores and online marketing, Staples. “This year, we’re adding the Staples Less List and the back-to-school 110% Price Match Guarantee to Weekly Hot Deals so parents can have even more fun with their kids as they shop and save.”

Back to School Already?

Some may ask why back-to-school season starts in the summer. That’s what parents want. Nearly three quarters of parents of teens say one or two months before school is the best time to shop for supplies. Here’s how back-to-school shoppers break down:

  • Teacher’s pets: 20% of parents say two months before school starts is the best time to shop for school supplies
  • A+ Students: 53% say one month before school is the best time to shop for school supplies
  • Saved by the Bell: 15% of parents say the best time to buy is a week before school starts
  • All Nighters: 9% of parents of teens wait until after school starts

Parents Want Low Prices

With parents of teens spending $133.40 on average for back-to-school supplies per child, price is very important to them. Additional findings from the survey reveal different shopping motives by parents:

  • 41% are very likely to buy something if it is offered as a guaranteed low price
  • 29% are very likely to buy something if it is the deal of the week
  • 21% are very likely to buy something if it is a limited offer

To help parents, Staples is making guaranteed savings happen on the widest selection of essential supplies and technology this season. With its new back-to-school 110% Price Match Guarantee, Staples will match the prices of all competitors with retail store and online presence (as well as plus give back-to-school shoppers 10% off the price difference, whether in store or online. This year, shoppers can also enjoy great prices with Staples Less List of essential products with everyday low pricing all season long and Weekly Hot Buy in the weekly circular and on

Style Watch

  • 40% of parents say it is important for them to purchase trendy products for back to school
  • 60% are likely to buy the hottest new patterns or assortments
  • 35% of dads of teens go for function versus 25% of moms, while 61% of moms say that a little fun with some function never hurt anyone

About Staples

Staples makes it easy to make more happen with more products and more ways to shop. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples lets customers shop however and whenever they want, whether it’s in-store, online or on mobile devices. Staples offers more products than ever, such as technology, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, safety supplies, medical supplies, and Copy and Print services. Staples also offers free shipping for Staples Rewards Members, in most cases overnight. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More information about Staples (SPLS) is available at

About the survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States between April 30 and May 8, 2014 among 1,011 parents of a child aged 13-19 by Harris Poll on behalf of Staples. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For more information about the survey or for full weighting details, please contact Jackie Guzman at 561-998-1995.


Kristine Houston, 508-253-8468
Carrie McElwee, 508-253-1405


Kristine Houston, 508-253-8468
Carrie McElwee, 508-253-1405