Office Depot, Inc. Unveils How Parents and Students Plan to Approach Back-to-School Shopping This Year

New Back-To-School Shopping Trend Report Reveals Teens Have More Influence Over Parents As They Age And 84 Percent Of Students Go Beyond The Recommended School List To Add A Personalized Touch To Their Supplies

Graphic credit Office Depot, Inc.

BOCA RATON, Fla.--()--Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions formed by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, today unveiled how parents and students approach back-to-school shopping, including who in the family has the most influence over purchasing decisions and whether shoppers stick to a provided classroom list or add personalized items to their school supplies.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Office Depot, Inc.1, nearly 70 percent of teens admit their parents have equal or greater influence over which school items they purchase. However, there is a significant shift in who becomes the influencer as teens get older—nearly three-quarters of 13-14 year olds admit their parents have greater say (76 percent vs. 57 percent) in what they buy, while 16-17 year olds say they have greater influence (43 percent vs. 24 percent) during the purchasing process.

While teens might have a role in the back-to-school shopping trip, parents also look to recommended supplies from their child’s school or teacher. When parents are in charge of the shopping, a majority (73 percent)2 state they stick to the list provided by the school or teacher, whereas the remainder mix it up with input from their child or go beyond the list and purchase items based on what they believe their child would like.

“Back-to-school shopping is an equally important experience for parents and students since they often look to secure the right mix of core essentials and supplies that allow the individual to express their personality,” said Ron Lalla, executive vice president of merchandising for Office Depot, Inc. “From the latest tech and designer school supplies to the top brands for kids and teens, including over 1,000 items $5 or less, Office Depot and OfficeMax help shoppers find what they need, in the style they want, at a price they’ll love so students go back to school with the tools to succeed and the confidence to express their personal style.”

Whether through new clothes, haircuts or supplies, the start of school gives students the opportunity to make a statement and show off their personal style, but where and how they find inspiration has recently evolved, adding additional influences to the mix – teens and social media. In addition to finding inspiration from retail stores (61 percent)3, advertisements or articles (59 percent) and parents (58 percent), more than a quarter of trend-setter teens (27 percent) have discovered products they would consider purchasing from other students, and almost as many (22 percent) have done the same using social media, such as Facebook® or Twitter®.

With nearly twice as many teens reporting that they see themselves as an influencer (40 percent)4 or someone who others follow, rather than one of the influenced (24 percent), it is no surprise that an overwhelming amount of students (84 percent) veer off of their school’s supply list and add to it by selecting trendier options in addition to basic supplies when shopping for back-to-school items and more than half (54 percent) prefer trendy or customizable items to simple items because it allows them to make a bold statement about their personality.

To learn more about the wide assortment of core essential and trendy, fashionable back-to-school products as well as special deals available at Office Depot and OfficeMax, please visit or

Survey Methodology/Sample Qualifications

Office Depot conducts a monthly benchmark study to gauge the mood of small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) and personal shoppers. An online survey was administered among a nationally representative sample of small and medium-sized businesses and personal shoppers between June 6, 2014 to June 26, 2014 among a total of 1,503 small and medium-sized businesses with 1-99 employees (N=997) and personal shoppers (N=506).

Interviews were conducted by Kelton Global via an email invitation and an online survey among a nationally representative sample of teens. The survey was conducted between July 8, 2014 and July 16, 2014 among a total of 1,007 teens ages 13-17.

About Office Depot, Inc.

Formed by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, Office Depot, Inc. is a leading global provider of products, services, and solutions for every workplace – whether your workplace is an office, home, school, or car.

Office Depot, Inc. is a resource and a catalyst to help customers work better. We are a single source for everything customers need to be more productive, including the latest technology, core office supplies, print and document services, business services, facilities products, furniture, and school essentials.

The company has combined pro forma annual sales of approximately $17 billion, employs more than 60,000 associates, and serves consumers and businesses in 57 countries with more than 2,000 retail stores, award-winning e-commerce sites and a dedicated business-to-business sales organization – all delivered through a global network of wholly owned operations, joint ventures, franchisees, licensees and alliance partners. The company operates under several banner brands including Office Depot, OfficeMax, OfficeMax Grand & Toy, Reliable and Viking. The company’s portfolio of exclusive product brands include TUL, Foray, DiVOGA, Ativa, WorkPRO, Realspace and HighMark.

Office Depot, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at:

Additional information about the recently completed merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax can be found at

1 Kelton Global: Back-To-School Survey, June 2014

2 Office Depot Personal Shopper Index, June 2014

3 Kelton Global: Back-To-School Survey, June 2014

4 Kelton Global: Back-To-School Survey, June 2014


Office Depot, Inc.
Julianne Embry, 561-438-1451

Release Summary

Office Depot and OfficeMax's new Back-to-School trend report unveils how parents and students approach shopping for school supplies.


Office Depot, Inc.
Julianne Embry, 561-438-1451