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Back-to-School Saturday: You Know, For Kids

This article was written by in Consumer. 5 comments.

November’s Black Friday has been has been around for decades, but it’s only recently that it became the crazed shopping event resulting in deaths due to shopper stampedes. Online retailers invented Cyber Monday to bring some of the hype associated with brick-and-mortar retail locations to the internet. Don’t get me wrong; both “holidays” provide opportunities for discounts, but I can do without the ever-increasing marketing.

Teen Vogue wants to take advantage of the shopping holiday trend. Advertisers who pay more money to Teen Vogue for advertising will be allowed to participate in “Back-to-School Saturday” on August 11. Participating stores will on this day offer free samples and events, but there is no indication that the day will include any bargains. The retailers participating include many of the most popular brands among this demographic, like Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Cover Girl, and Tampax. Like all other spending holidays, this will be great for retailers, but not very worthwhile for consumers from a money management perspective.

Aeropostale - Teen ShoppingIf a sales tax holiday is a temporary reprieve from paying sales tax, a shopping holiday should be a temporary reprieve from buying products. Instead, there’s an increasing number of special events centered around spending money. That’s a great benefit to retailers, not to customers, despite occasional good deals.

For instance, American Express launched its Small Business Saturday campaign last year. On the surface, it seems geared towards helping “Main Street” recover by drawing focus to local stores rather than national branches. The deals, however, are restricted only to people who use their American Express credit cards. Many retailers don’t accept American Express cards because the fees for processing have traditionally been higher than standard MasterCard and Visa fees. By requiring the use of its own cards, American Express forces retailers to pay the AmEx interchange fees, resulting in a nice profit for American Express.

From a retailer’s perspective, the idea is groundbreaking. Take the popular idea of event-based shopping and bring it to one of the most powerful consumer demographics: teenagers and parents of teenagers who want their children to have everything all of their children’s peers have in the fear that not to have the same things would deem their children an outcast. Retailers need to pay a cover charge to Teen Vogue to participate, but the fee will likely prove to be worthwhile.

From a consumer perspective, there’s nothing to this even other than yet another opportunity to spend more money than necessary. Will you participate in Back-to-School Saturday?

Here’s some video insight into marketing the “extruded plastic dingus” to children.

Photo: GabrielaP93
New York Times

Published or updated May 31, 2012.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

Although I do not have school age children, I may participate. I willparticipate if the sales are attractive enough. The marketing and the hype is usually better than reality. I wait and see.

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avatar 2 Anonymous

I woulda just been left out because my parents didnt give a crap about what everyone else had nor did they buy anything name brand or that had a label on it. We got through school just fine in spite of being “label-less.”

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avatar 3 qixx

Did not participate in Small Business Saturday and don’t plan to support this one. If this does catch on it might become the time frame that retailer release their new school lines each year. That would be nice. Last year some of the new school items “for fall” came out before all of the schools were out for summer.

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avatar 4 Anonymous

I buy my kids’ back to school clothes whenever there are the best sales. If that is on this particular Saturday, great. If not, I’ll buy when the time is right.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

Interesting concept. I think I would participate if I was still a student or had children.

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