Back-to-School Gives Moms Opportunity to Indulge

Retailers are in the thick of the back-to-school season and trying to make the best of a stubbornly sluggish economy. As such, Experian Simmons is devoting this post to analyzing the seasonal trends in American moms’ tendency to indulge their kids.

Since the onset of the recession, the propensity of moms to indulge their children has been on the decline. In fact, as of May 3, 2010, Experian Simmons classified only 71% of moms ages 18 to 39 as indulgent* down from 74% who were indulgent on May 4, 2009 and 80% who were indulgent on May 5, 2008. Fortunately for retailers, both the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons serve as a sort of stop loss if not an outright reversal of the decline as more moms indulge their kids during these key times of year than they do during other months.

Experian Simmons is already seeing this trend during the current back-to-school season. As mentioned above, the percentage of moms who were indulgent had fallen to 71% by the end of the 2009-2010 school year. But by June 21, 2010–when many retailers were preparing to roll out the school supplies–fully 83% of moms were indulgent. This trend illustrates that even if times are less than ideal, moms will usually find a reason to indulge their children – a speck of good news for troubled retailers.

Experian Simmons will continue to monitor this and other important consumer trends and share those findings here. To be the first to know when new insights from Experian Simmons DataStream are available request an alert here.

*Indulgent moms are 18-39 year old moms who agree with one of the three statements: “I often indulge my children with little extras;” “My children have a significant impact on the brands I choose;” “I like to provide my children with the things I didn’t have as a child”