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Back to School 2009
Press Release

Marketing to Moms Coalition Study Reveals Shopping Trends

CHICAGO - July 22, 2009, Moms will spend less on traditional school supplies this year, but slightly more on clothing and electronics, according to a new survey of 1,225 moms nationwide by the Marketing to Moms Coalition. The survey was conducted in June 2009 and reveals trends among moms of children age 7-17, including both English and Spanish-speaking Hispanic moms.

This year, overall spending is essentially flat, as moms say they plan to spend about $487 on back-to-school spending per household, compared to $484 in 2008 and $449 in 2007. Moms of teenagers (13-17) plan to spend slightly more -- $548. Spanish-speaking Hispanic moms of elementary-school aged children will also spend more -- an estimated $504 per household.

“School supply lists are getting longer and longer, but this year moms will be more frugal with what they buy,” said Bridget Brennan, co-founder of the Marketing to Moms Coalition and author of the newly released book Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World’s Most Powerful Consumers. “We’ve heard moms say they plan to recycle leftover pencils, notebooks and other supplies from last year. And they tell us they plan to look harder to find better deals on essentials than in previous years.”

Most of mom’s budget is spent on clothing (except athletic shoes), followed by sporting and exercise equipment (including shoes), school activity fees, electronics and non-electronic school supplies like paper, markers and books. Moms of elementary school aged children will spend a larger percentage of their budget on clothing compared to moms of teenagers, while moms of teenagers will spend more on electronics. Spanish-speaking Hispanic moms will spend more on school supplies and less on clothing.

Moms Plan to Shop Around
Contrary to past one-stop-shopping trends, moms surveyed this year say they plan to visit many retailers – online and offline. Overall, moms plan to shop around to several channels to get the best value for their money. Slightly more moms say they will visit department stores (+10%), office supply stories (+9%) and shoe stores (+7%), while fewer moms plan to shop club stores (-4%).

As has trended the past three years, more moms will shop online this year (20% up 5% year over year). Moms of teenagers are most likely to spend more online. The top online retailers cited by moms surveyed are Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon, followed by eBay in fourth place.

About The Marketing to Moms Coalition
The Marketing to Moms Coalition is the only industry group dedicated to furthering an understanding of America’s most powerful consumers. A not-for-profit organization, the group’s goal is to share knowledge and insights about moms to help marketers create programs that engage and empower this driving force of the American economy. More information about the coalition can be foundat The founders of the coalition are Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media; Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor; Michal Clements, Managing Partner, Insight to Action; Amy Colton, Senior Vice President, Current Marketing; and Teri Lucie Thompson, Chief Marketing Officer, Purdue University.

About the Survey
The survey was comprised of a nationally representative sample of American Moms contacted in June 2009, via an online invitation. The sample was balanced on region, household size, population density, income and ethnicity. An ending sample of 1,225 Moms with children under 18 living at home completed the online questionnaire. The research firm Insight to Action analyzed results.