With the Back to School season underway, retailers have their sights set on attracting heightened customer interest. Average spending on Back to School products in the US is set at USD 250. Boosted by festivals such as Dubai Summer Surprises, an increase in Back to School promotions has been observed in this region also, with retailers hopeful of tapping into this trend in the coming weeks.
Figures released by Euromonitor International reveal that the region’s appetite for Scientific/Educational toys was worth as much as USD 69.2 million in 2011, up nearly 50% from 2006. This increase can be partly attributed to the Back to School retail surge seen at the start of each school term.
The Back to School category attracts considerable interest each year from international manufacturers and suppliers according to Epoc Messe Frankfurt, organiser of Paperworld Middle East, the region’s latest trade fair for office and stationery supplies and Playworld Middle East, the region’s only dedicated trade event for toys, games and children’s lifestyle products.
“The Back to School period is always a busy time for retailers,” said Ahmed Pauwels, Chief Executive Officer of Epoc Messe Frankfurt. “There is a traditional high-spending on children’s products here making it an attractive market for international toy and stationery manufacturers. Retailers in the malls and supermarkets make great efforts to attract families to their stores during this time with special promotions.”
“The value of education cannot be measured and parents are anxious to send their children to school with all the necessary supplies and equipment they require in the classroom,” he added.
Many of the Back to School products available in the regional market were first introduced through Paperworld and Playworld Middle East earlier this year. Having a wide range of products and merchandise which is new and unique to the market helps retailers attract additional custom.
Dubai-based distributor First Kid has launched a range of Ben 10 and Lamborghini branded merchandise including school bags, stationery, canteen items, water bottles and paper products, all of which are expected to be in demand amongst young school boys.
For the girls, newly released in the region is the KISS! Hello Kitty merchandise which has recently been taking the world by storm. Additionally, the old favourite Strawberry Short Cake school bags are making a comeback and have been re-introduced to the market by Turkish distributor Hakan Canta.
Playworld Middle East is a trade platform for toys, games and children’s lifestyle products and is co-located with Paperworld Middle East, a business and networking trade fair for the office and paper products industry. The next edition will take place from March 5 to 7, 2013 in Dubai and is expected to once again attract a broad mixture of professional visitors from distributors and suppliers to merchandisers, manufacturers and key decision makers who work in these trades.
The Paperworld brand has been exported to regions of importance to the sector around the world. The result is a global network of events that brings together demand and supply to the benefit of both exhibitors and visitors.
PaperworldChina: 19 – 21 September 2012 inShanghai
PaperworldRussia: 25 – 27 September 2012 inMoscow
Hong KongInternational Stationery Fair: 7 – 10 January 2013
Paperworld: 26 – 29 January, 2013 inFrankfurt
Paperworld Middle East: 5 – 7 March, 2013 inDubai
Playworld Middle East: 5 – 7 March, 2013 inDubai
Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.