The school holidays may have just started but smart retailers are already focused on taking advantage of back to school sales. 

Despite more and more children using computers in the classroom a pencilcase full of equipment is still needed for traditional subjects such as maths.

Paul Patel, who has a WHSmith Local in Southampton, says his back to school display is already set up and selling well.

“This is the first back to school I have done with WHSmith. It has analysed sales and sent us planograms of what to stock in the two metre bays we have available.

They include a range of colourful filing materials, dictionaries, pens and maths kits –everything the children would need to go back to school. A lot of it is on offer so parents feel like they are getting a deal.

The margins on products in the back to school range are fantastic, up to 50% – some products WHSmith can get a folder for 49p but it can sell for between £2.49 and £3.49. We are relying on presentation for sales so the display is vibrant and attractive and includes Sharpie markers and folders with curved edges.”

Lessons from Paul

  1.  Work with your wholesaler Paul is benefiting from the in-depth knowledge of WHSmiths to ensure he gets his back to school range right
  2. Look for high-margin sellers Paul has also identified products such as folders where he can take advantage of huge margins
  3.  Promote your promotions WHSmith are running a number of back to school promotions which Paul plans to highlight in store

 For the full feature see this week’s Retail Newsagent or subscribe here.