Canadian Back-to-School Market


In order to inform a potential entry into the back-to-school market in Canada, provide an industry analysis of this industry that includes an analysis of the players in the market, a breakdown of the market segments, and information on when and how consumers shop in this market.

Early Findings

Information on the back-to-school market in Canada is limited, but available. However, all sources group expenditure on primary/secondary back-to-school items and post-secondary back-to-school in the same market. As such, unless otherwise stated, information below pertains to both primary/secondary back-to-school and post-secondary back-to-school.


  • Top players in the Canadian back-to-school market include Amazon, Apple, and Walmart.
  • No information was found for new entrants to the Canadian back-to-school market, nor were any additional retailers besides Amazon, Apple, and Walmart mentioned.

Market Segments

  • Key products segments mentioned most in back-to-school advertising in Canada were clothing, school supplies and tech. Specific products include Macbook computers and iPads, shoes (specifically Sketchers), locks, headphones, and, strangely enough, slime.
  • Average spending broken down by product category for back-to-school in 2017 were: Clothes: $187 CAD; Supplies: $95 CAD; Shoes: $92 CAD; Beauty: $60 CAD; Backpacks: $47 CAD.

Consumer Behavior

  • Planned expenditure for Canadian parents on secondary back-to-school items was $412 CAD and $318 CAD on primary back-to-school items in 2017.
  • This expenditure increases to $1,630 CAD for university student back-to-school purchases.
  • 92% of Canadian consumers plan to purchase new clothing as part of their back-to-school spending.
  • Canadians prefer to shop for back-to-school "as early as possible." However, 21% of back-to-school shoppers hold out for "the very last minute."
  • 32% of parents in Canada start shopping for back-to-school two to three weeks before school is scheduled to begin.
  • 67% of Canadians plan to do some of their back-to-school shopping online.
  • 97% of Canadian parents involve their kids in back-to-school shopping, "from bringing them along in-store (67 per cent), to picking out products (66 per cent) and letting them make the shopping list (58 per cent)."
In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.