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Back-To-School Bigger Than Holiday Season For Some Retailers

Amazon.com, Inc. NASDAQ:AMZN, Office Depot, Inc. NYSE:ODP - Back-To-School Bigger Than Holiday Season For Some Retailers

Most investors know how big the holiday shopping season is for retailers. However, you might be surprised to learn the back-to-school season is even more critical than the holidays for a handful of retailers.

A new report by Cardlytics breaks down the back-to-school numbers based on online purchase data from 120 million accounts during back-to-school season in 2015. Overall back-to-school spend last year was up 2.4 percent compared to 2014.

Not surprisingly, the majority of that growth came from e-commerce. In fact, pure-play online retailers like Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN 0.69% out-grew brick-and-mortar retailers by 24x during last back-to-school season. Online stores generated 14.5 percent growth in back-to-school spend in 2015, while brick-and-mortar stores saw overall spending decline 2.4 percent.

According to the report, the back-to-school season is the most critical season of the year for office supply companies and shoe and athletic footwear companies. More than 50 percent of annual customer spend for these specialty retailers comes during back-to-school season. Office Depot Inc ODP 0.96%, Staples, Inc. SPLS 1.77%, Nike Inc NKE 0.63% and Foot Locker, Inc. FL 0.38% are hoping for a strong showing from back-to-school buyers this year.

One major wild card the past two years has been Amazon’s July 12 Prime Day. According to the study, Prime Day has single-handedly siphoned off some of the back-to-school spending that traditionally occurs later in the year. Amazon shareholders are hoping that trend continued this year.

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