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According to the Toronto District School Board, the first day of class for all students is September 5, 2017; this date represents an opportune time for Toronto businesses to reap the benefits of higher-than-usual consumer spending. An estimated 13% of consumers will begin their back to school shopping two months prior to the start of the school season, and 32% will begin their shopping two to three weeks in advance, so the upcoming weeks have the potential to be a financial boon for businesses hoping to capitalize on this temporary shift in consumer spending.

 

Whether you’re a big-box store, an office supply chain, or an independent retailer your focus should be on inventory and marketing. The ability to effectively drive traffic to your business, along with ample inventory, can potentially result in a very profitable third quarter.

Capitalize on back to school shopping early if you can, but don’t sweat it if you have to do it last minute – there are surely parents who will be more last minute than you. Popular retailers such as Office Depot and Staples have already generated a list of in-demand school supplies, which encompasses everything from backpacks to writing instruments. According to an article in the Huffington Post, parents will spend an estimated $108 per child on supplies, which doesn’t account for clothing or big-ticket items like electronics. Back-to-school is a great time to grow your business because there is already an existing demand for certain products; as a retailer, you would simply be left with the task of directing prospective customers to your store and stocking enough products.

 

 
And how should Toronto businesses go about attracting customers? Businesses should consider promotional products, which are products that reinforce branding and promote sales. These products can be anything from pens to sticky notes with your company’s name or logo, and tracking down good promotional products in Toronto can help by ensuring that your business is on the minds of consumers when they think of a particular product. According to business2community.com, a business community website, businesses have seen an appreciable return on their investments when advertising via promotional products, with many of the businesses reporting the following

· 90% of recipients have used the promotional product at least once per week.
· 10% have given the promotional product to a friend of family member.
· 87% have kept the promotional product for more than a year.
These numbers illustrate a very high success rate in terms of advertising. Promotional products help by driving new customers to your business, and potentially attracting the friends and family of those customers to your business as well. Back-to-school is a great time to grow your business because, as previously stated, the demand is already there and promotional products can help by attracting those customers to your business. You’re also creating brand loyalty, so next year around this time, buyers will think of your business in the same context. If third quarter profits are important to your business, there’s no time like the present to start attracting customers.

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