Canadian Back-to-School Market

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Part
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Canadian Back To School Consumer Insights

Canadian back-to-school consumers mostly wait until the end of the summer to do all of their shopping and less than one-third of them complete their back-to-school shopping early (e.g., June or July). Most of them purchase new clothing, footwear, and backpacks, as well as food for their children's packed lunches, hygiene products, electronic items, and athletic gear. The return to routine acts as a means of motivation for back-to-school consumers in Canada. Meanwhile, parents in Canada usually involve their kids, whether it is allowing them to choose their own clothing, paying for school supplies using their allowance money, or helping them shop online.

WHEN BACK-TO-SCHOOL CONSUMERS IN CANADA SHOP

  • Nearly all (89%) of Canadian consumers in 2018 said that they relish the back-to-school season if all of their shopping is completed early.
  • However, 78% of them wait until August or September to do their shopping as nearly half of Canadian back-to-school consumers believe that better deals on supplies and clothing are available during this time. Another 19% of them wait until the end of the summer because they are too busy to do it at an earlier time.
  • Around 21% of Canadian parents finish their back-to-school shopping as early as June or July in an effort to bypass scrambling at the last minute.

WHAT CONSUMERS SHOP FOR

  • According to Statista, 95% of Canadian back-to-school consumers plan to purchase brand-new footwear in 2019. Around 88% will acquire necessary school supplies, and 80% will get new backpacks for their children.
  • Most Canadian parents (93%) are expected to purchase food items for their kids' lunches, and 71% will obtain certain items for hygiene such as hand sanitizer.
  • While slightly more than half (52%) of parents in Canada will buy athletic equipment for their kids, around 45% will buy electronic items for the school year like calculators. Meanwhile, 40% of them are likely to acquire medication or vitamins.

WHERE CONSUMERS SEARCH FOR INFORMATION

  • Most Canadian mothers rely on the school-provided shopping list to help guide them. According to a survey commissioned by Field Agent Canada, 21% of mothers follow the list provided by their child's school completely, 31% follow it very closely, and 30% follow it fairly closely. Only 11% of moms said that they do not follow the school-provided shopping list.
  • In 2019, most back-to-school consumers in Canada plan to use online sites in some capacity to shop for school supplies, and 41% believe that online sources provide the best possible back-to-school prices.
  • For Canadian parents planning to shop online for school supplies, 70% of them consult retailer sites for the best online deals. About 41% explore cashback websites to find superior deals.
  • Meanwhile, in 2018, 31% of Canadian parents reported using mobile applications to locate deals, and 28% used social media.

WHAT MOTIVATES CONSUMERS

  • Canadians, including teachers, students, and parents, express enthusiasm about the back-to-school season in the nation as at least 60% of them enjoy this time of year.
  • Something that motivates Canadian parents during the back-to-school season is the social aspect that institutions provide. In a survey authorized by Staples Canada, around 80% of the parents participating in the study said they "welcome the social aspect of school."
  • Over half of the respondents also said that they appreciate the rise in 'me time.'
  • The survey also revealed that parents (66%), teachers (71%), and students (69%) are also motivated by the "return to a routine" that the back-to-school season affords.
  • Early back-to-school shopping also serves as motivation for consumers in the country as 91% of parents say that doing this tends to make the season more relaxed for them and reduces the stress that comes with it. It also enables them to continue enjoying their late summer activities without having to experience the "last minute scramble."
  • Regarding the factors that guide their decisions on purchasing back-to-school items, more than half (54%) of Canadian consumers say their personal preference influences their judgment.
  • About 12% of Canadian back-to-school consumers state that social media influences their purchase decisions, while 10% say it is their family members and friends.
  • Just 9% of back-to-school consumers in Canada are influenced by newspaper ads and flyers when it comes to their purchasing decisions, while 8% and 6% are influenced by store websites and online advertisements/searches, respectively.

HOW THEY INVOLVE THEIR CHILDREN

  • Children in Canada typically play some role in the back-to-school market as most parents of school aged kids involve them in their shopping for school supplies, clothing, equipment, etc.
  • When shopping in-store for school supplies, 60% of parents in Canada get their children to help them with the prepared shopping list.
  • The majority (85%) of Canadian parents permit their children to select the outfits they desire to wear to school.
  • Less than one-third (27%) of Canadian back-to-school consumers have their children partake in shopping online with them.
  • For children who are paid allowances for performing chores at home, 23% spend their money on school supplies.
Part
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Part
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Canadian Back-To-School Market: Amazon

Amazon is the most popular online store in Canada for back-to-school shopping. It offers school supplies, clothing, shoes, technology, and backpacks. 22% of Canadian online shoppers are Amazon Prime members.

OVERVIEW

  • Amazon.ca is part of the global Amazon family. It is "known for great prices, selection, and convenience".
  • According to Ayima report, Amazon.ca is the largest online retailer in Canada.
  • Amazon launched two online stores for back-to-school in Canada. One is aimed for kindergarten to grade 12 students and the other store aimed for post-secondary students.
  • This year, Amazon covered in the Prime Day, a shopping extravaganza day. It is a popular day for back-to-school shopping.

TYPE OF PRODUCTS OFFERED

  • Amazon offers a wide range of school supplies, clothing, shoes, technology, and backpacks.
  • School supplies offered include notebooks, folders, binders, Cutting & Measuring tools, Planners & Calendars, Printers & Ink, calculators, Deducation & Crafts, and canon.
  • They also offer technology products such as laptops, printers, staplers, and electric sharpeners.

MARKET SHARE

  • According to Agility, Amazon is the most popular online store in Canada for back-to-school shopping.
  • According to a report by Ayima, 77% of Canadians of all ages placed an order with Amazon within the last 12 months
  • Twenty-one percent of Canadian online shoppers are Amazon Prime members.

SALES

  • Estimated revenue for Amazon Canada for quarter 2 of 2019 is $1.2billion.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We commenced our research by looking into Amazon.ca website. We also searched through industry reports and articles. We were able to provide Amazon's profile and types of products offered for back-to-school. Unfortunately, we could not provide their back-to-school market share and sales.

To locate Amazon's back-to-school sales data and market share, we commenced the research by combing through the company's website and annual reports. We were unable to locate the company's back-to-school sales data and market share as information from their website and annual reports provided general information about the products they offer.
We went further to scour third party companies' databases like Craft, CrunchBase, and ZoomInfo for information regarding sales data for Canada. While we were able to locate the estimated quarterly revenues for Canada, there was no publicly available information specific to back-to-school sales. This strategy failed to locate the required information. The information found mostly referred to the founding year of the company, its CEO, and the number of employees.
Our next strategy was to leverage the information available on press releases and market analysis platforms for information regarding sales data and market share. We utilized Techcrunch reports, Cision, Deloitte, and Forbes hoping to locate this data. This strategy was unsuccessful as information found referred to prices and product reviews.
Digging deeper, we attempted to triangulate the required information by locating the percentage of revenue generated by Amazon in Canada during back-to-school season as available in the public domain, and compare it with the total sales/spend. This strategy was unsuccessful as there was no publicly available information regarding Amazon sales in Canada during that time. We went further by combing through paid reports, industry white papers, and academic reports hoping to find relevant information regarding the revenue generated from back-to-school shopping in Canada and any publicly available information regarding the company's market share. While we were able to locate general market share of Amazon in Canada, its promotional strategy, and media strategy, we were unable to locate data points that could be used to triangulate the back-to-school sales data. We, therefore, concluded that this information was not publicly available.

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Part
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Canadian Back-To-School Market: Apple

In Canada, Apple places a range of products on sale for back-to-school, especially for college or university students. The research team was unable to find Apple's specific share of the back-to-school market and a breakdown of their sales by channel, for reasons detailed in the research strategy. However, the research team has included useful information in those categories and calculated that the Americas' market share of Apple's fourth-quarter revenue in 2018 was 43.74%.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL PRODUCT DEALS

  • In Canada, Apple places a variety of products on sale for back-to-school, especially for college or university students. The parents of students and staff members are also eligible to benefit from the sale.
  • Some deals include Beats headsets and a 20% discount on AppleCare+ when a customer purchases items like a Mac or iPad.
  • Apple's education pricing allows customers to spend as much as $250 less on Mac, and save a maximum of $60 on iPad.
  • Other products included the promotion were the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pros, 15-inch MacBook Pros, iMacs, iMac Pros, the iPad Pro, iPad Airs, Apple pencils, Smart Keyboards, the Apple Pro Apps Bundle, and accessories.
  • Beats headsets that were given in back-to-school promotions were the Beats Studio3 and Beats Solo3.
  • Eligible customers that can take advantage of the back-to-school promotion are students, the parents of students, and faculty or staff at a K-12 or higher education institution.
  • Apple also offers a 6-month trial period of Apple Music to students as part of the promotion.

APPLE'S BACK-TO-SCHOOL MARKET SHARE

  • Apple had a total annual revenue of $265,595 million in 2018. It was an increase from the previous year's total annual revenue of $229,234 million.
  • Apple's fourth-quarter ends at the end of September, which is also the period for back-to-school in Canada, making it the ideal revenue to analyze Apple's share of the back-to-school market in Canada.
  • Apple's revenue for the fourth-quarter in 2018 was $62.9 billion, which was an increase from the $52.6 billion fourth-quarter revenue in 2017. Apple's fourth-quarter revenue was segmented into categories such as iPhone net sales (59%), services (16%), Mac net sales (12%), iPad net sales (7%), and other (7%).
  • Since Apple's back-to-school promotions involve products such as Macs and iPads, the sales from their promotions likely contributed to Apple's fourth-quarter revenues. This would include the Mac net sales (12%) and iPad net sales (7%), along with the other category (7%), since it may include smart keyboards, accessories, and more.
  • In the Americas, including Canada, Apple's 2018 fourth-quarter revenue was $27,517 million. The Americas' market share for Apple in the fourth quarter in 2018 was 43.74%.
  • In the same quarter, the company's revenue by product was $37,185 million for iPhones, $4,089 million for iPads, $7,411 million for Macs, $9,981 million for services, and $4,234 million for other products.
  • Apple accounts for 40% of the North American smartphone market since the first quarter of 2019.
  • Apple also had a market share of 52.97% of the mobile vendor market in Canada between August 2018 and August 2019.

BREAKDOWN OF BACK-TO-SCHOOL SALES BY CHANNEL

  • All purchases for products that are part of Apple's back-to-school promotions can be made online or in-store.

RESEARCH STRATEGY:

To deduce how Apple fits into the back-to-school market in Canada, the research team used several strategies to calculate Apple's market share and to attempt to find a breakdown of their sales by channel. However, we were unable to find Apple's specific share in Canada's back-to-school market or a breakdown of sales by channel, for reasons outlined below.

Apple's company website was our first point of reference in our search. It provided details about Apple's back-to-school promotions, including prices and discounts applicable to college or university students, their parents, and staff members. Additional searches on their website for details regarding Apple's position in the back-to-school market and its online or in-store segment were unsuccessful. However, we were able to find more information about its role in providing products for higher education, including some with education pricing.

Our second approach was to identify annual reports, investor reports, or financial reports that could provide a breakdown of Apple’s revenue by country, region, market, or segment. The research team believed that they might provide the necessary statistics to provide a direct or triangulated answer for Apple's back-to-school market share in Canada. We found information about the company’s total revenue, fourth-quarter revenue, and the percentage that various segments contributing to Apple's fourth-quarter revenue. Apple's fourth-quarter revenue was segmented into categories such as iPhone net sales, services, Mac net sales, iPad net sales, and other. The research team then made an inference that since the back-to-school promotions in Canada involved products such as Macs or iPads, the sales from these promotions likely contributed to Apple's fourth-quarter revenue in the categories of Mac net sales, iPad net sales, and other in terms of accessories. Fourth-quarter revenue was used in this inference since it aligns with Canada's back-to-school period. However, the sources we found did not provide specifics for the back-to-school market or channels in Canada, nor the specific amount that Canada accounts for in Apple's fourth-quarter revenue.

Our third strategy was to find Apple’s net sales by category with the hope that there would be enough information about Canada, including its back-to-school market share and breakdowns by channel. We found a report with Apple's revenue based on segments by country or region and a product summary, but the segments were not broken down to separate Canada from the Americas. We did find that the total revenue for the Americas in the fourth quarter was $27,517 million. We used this to calculate the Americas' market share of Apple's fourth-quarter revenue in 2018. This information was still not specific enough to provide a response for how Apple fits into Canada's back-to-school market and the breakdown by channel. Additional searches for Canada’s market share revealed that Apple accounts for 40% of the North American smartphone market since 2019 and had a market share of 52.97% of the mobile vendor market in Canada between August 2018 and August 2019. However, none of this information was specific to the back-to school market.

Finally, we tried to find direct information about Apple's back-to-school sale channels and their breakdown for Apple's share of the back-to-school market in Canada. We had hoped that we could find enough information to work backwards to triangulate a response on Apple's market share in Canada. However, this was also unsuccessful, beyond finding out that Apple sells products online and in-store. It appears that this information is not made readily available to the public by Apple, since it may reveal too much information that the company's competitors could take advantage of. Therefore, we were unable to find the requested information about Apple's share in the Canadian back-to-school market and a breakdown by channel. However, we have included useful findings from our research and the Americas' market share for Apple in the fourth quarter in 2018 above, along with a description of Apple's back-to-school promotions.

CALCULATIONS

The research team gathered information to calculate the Americas' market share for Apple in the fourth quarter of 2018. It was calculated to gain a better perspective of what Apple's share in the Canadian back-to-school market was in 2018, since Apple's fourth quarter aligns with the back to school period in Canada. Apple's total revenue for the fourth quarter in the Americas, including Canada, was $27,517 million in 2018, and the total revenue for the fourth quarter was $62.9 billion in 2018. We used these values to calculate the Americas' market share for Apple in the fourth quarter of 2018 by finding its percentage of the Apple's fourth-quarter total revenue.

Our calculation was: Americas’ market share = ($27,517 million/$62.9 billion) x 100 = 43.74% .

Therefore, we found the Americas' market share of Apple's fourth-quarter revenue in 2018 to be 43.74%.
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Part
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Canadian Back-To-School Market: Walmart

Walmart is selling backpacks, lunchboxes, clothes and electronics as part of their back-to-school promotion. Unfortunately, Walmart does not breakdown it's Canadian back-to -school market share in totality and by channel.

PRODUCTS OFFERED FOR BACK TO SCHOOL

BACK TO SCHOOL MARKET SHARE

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We were able to garner the back-to-school products offered by Walmart Canada from their website. To address the next part of your query on Walmart Canada's market share and breakdown, we searched the company's website hoping to find a press release or annual report detailing their revenues and breaking them down by season and sales channel. However, this strategy was unsuccessful as we only found the details of Walmart in the US.

Our second strategy was to utilize various credible news sources such as CBC and Canadian Grocer. These sources are rich in financial and retail information, and also provide an external media and press articles around a company. Our idea was to search them for the market share or revenue break down information for the company around back-to-school season. We did not find any information and instead found out that Walmart does not breakdown it's Canadian sales, neither does it give a breakdown of its e-commerce sales for its' international corporations.

Our third strategy was to look at consumer surveys and use the data as a proxy to determine the market share and breakdown of Walmart's back to school sales. However, the only survey we found by Field Agent sampled 512 Canadian mothers which isn't a great representation of the whole of Canada. Useful insights from the study have been provided.

Our last strategy was to try to triangulate the information. For Canadian back-to-school market share, the idea was to locate the total back-to-school market size in Canada in terms of sales and also the back-to-school sales for Walmart in Canada and then use these data points to derive the market share. Because the back to school sales for Walmart were publicly unavailable, this strategy was rendered useless.
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Part
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Canadian Back-To-School Market: Staples

The products offered for the 2019 back-to-school season are provided by category and page number in the current flyer. An estimate shows online sales at approximately 58% and retail sales at approximately 36%. The market share for Staples in Canada is not available.

Back to School Products

  • Staples releases an annual back-to-school flyer (B2S) each year. This year the flyer has 25 pages and shows sales in 13 categories.
  • The product categories include Laptops and Chromebooks on pages 4-5; Audio equipment on pages 6-7; and tablets and phones on page 8.
  • Page 9-10 has tech peripherals, page 11 has calculators; page 12 has lunch bags and page 13 has crayons and colored pencils.
  • Backpacks are on pages 14-15, locks and locker accessories on page 16, and Page 17 has binders and notebooks.
  • Page 18-19 show sales of writing essentials, pages 20-23 shows workspaces, including desks and chairs, and Macbooks and iPads are on page 24.

Market Share

STAPLES CURRENT FINANCIAL STATUS
GROWTH IN ONLINE SALES SINCE 2016
  • The sales for Amazon for 2016 was 139.99 billion dollars, 177.87 billion dollars on 2017, and 239.89 billion dollars on 2018.
  • Amazon sales have grown by 42% since 2016.
  • Given the huge growth in sales by one of Staples' major competitors, and given the fact that the latest figures for Staples are not available, reliable triangulation of the market share is not feasible.

Channel

  • In the last financial report published for Staples, 58.3% of Staples' sales were online, 36.5% were classified as retail, and 5.2% were recorded as other (likely large corporate purchases through the sales department). It should be noted this is annual sales, not back-to-school.

Other Sources of Information

  • Statistica has a number of reports on the B2S market available behind a paywall.
  • Deloitte issues a B2S market report annually. For 2019, Deloitte predicted an average back-to-school spend per student of $519. This is year over year growth of 1.8%
  • The three main drivers of B2S spending are price, product and convenience.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We began our search looking for information on Staples' 2019 back-to-school products. The link to their back-to- school flyer and a list of product categories is supplied. For market share we began by looking for annual reports for Staples, hoping to find figures we can use to triangulate market share. Unlike most companies, there was no link at the bottom of their website for corporate information. Further, searching found there is no corporate website for Staples, and there are no recent annual reports for Staples.

We turned to market research reports from places like marketresearch.com, Orbis, Statistica and Crunchbase. Statistica does provide reports for Canadian back to school markets but the information is behind a paywall. Hoping the business press would give us news about Staples, we searched business magazine sites like Forbes, CNBC and the New York Times. It was in the NYT we found the first information about the acquisition of Staples.

From the Times, we discovered that Staples was purchased in 2016 by Sycamore Partners, a private equity group. We found confirmation for these actions on the Sycamore Partners website. It was subsequently delisted by NASDAQ. We found Staples' final filing for 2016 in the SEC database EDGAR. Sycamore Partners does not release financial information. This was confirmed by a notice of exception from filing financial information for 2018 submitted to the SEC by Sycamore Partners. All information taken together has resulted in an inability to determine Staples' market share. We were able to provide a breakdown of sales by channel from the 2016 financial report.
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Canadian Back-To-School Market: Indigo

Indigo is a book, gifts, and toys company based in Canada that offers both online and in-store back to school products. Indigo had a 38% market share in the Canadian book retail market in 2016.

COMPANY OVERVIEW

  • Indigo is a Canada-based company specializing in selling books, gifts and toys.
  • The company operates in 10 provinces in Canada. It also has an online store.
  • The company has 120 small stores under Coles, 90 superstores under Chapters and Indigo, Indigospirit, The Book Company, and SmithBooks.

INDIGO PRODUCTS OFFERED

  • Products offered by Indigo include school supplies, teachers' books, toys, tech, school books, and backpacks.
  • The school supplies include markers, paper pads, notebooks, rulers, pens, crayons, pencils, erasers, and scissors.
  • Indigo also offers products for kids' lunch, outdoor play, arts and crafts, dolls & playsets, kids' tech, and science and discovery.

OTHER USEFUL FINDINGS

  • According to New Shelves, Indigo had a 38% market share in the Canadian book retail market in 2016.
  • Indigo is the largest bricks & mortar book retailer in Canada.
  • Indigo's revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was $192.6 million.
  • Indigo's revenue for the first quarter of 2018 was $205.4 million.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We commenced our research by looking into Indigo.ca website. We also searched through industry reports and articles. We were able to provide Indigo's profile and types of products offered for back-to-school. Unfortunately, we could not provide their back-to-school market share and sales. Since market share is dependant on revenue/sales, we deployed the same set of strategies to find the information. Below is the deep dive into the various strategies that we deployed in order to locate the information.

To locate Indigo's back-to-school sales data and market share, we commenced the research by combing through the company's website and annual reports. We were unable to locate the company's back-to-school sales data and market share as information from their website and annual reports provided general information about the products offered.
Our second strategy was to scour through third party companies' databases like Bloomberg, Craft, CrunchBase, and ZoomInfo for information regarding sales data for Canada. While we were able to locate the estimated quarterly revenues for Canada, there was no publicly available information specific to back-to-school sales. The information mostly referred to the general company profile, founding year of the company, its CEO, and the number of employees.
Our next strategy was to leverage the information available on press releases and market analysis platforms for information regarding sales data and market share. We utilized Techcrunch reports, Cision, Deloitte, and Reuters. This strategy was unsuccessful as information mostly pertained to books and Indigo stores.
We then attempted to triangulate the required information by trying to locate Indigo's back to school sales(X) and the total back to school market size in Canada in terms of sales in the public domain(Y) and compute market share by (X/Y*100). This strategy was unsuccessful as there was no publicly available information regarding Indigo's back to school sales in Canada. We went further by combing through paid reports, industry white papers, and academic reports hoping to find relevant information regarding the revenue generated from back-to-school shopping in Canada and any publicly available information regarding the company's market share. While we were able to locate the market share of Indigo in the book retail market in Canada, Indigo's 2018 and 2019 revenue, we were unable to locate data points that could be used to triangulate the back-to-school sales data. We, therefore, concluded that this information was not publicly available.



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Part
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Canadian Back-To-School Market: Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn Kids is selling backpacks, lunchboxes and containers as part of their back-to-school promotion. In 2018, the company recorded sales as roughly 54% from online sales and 46% from in-store sales. The market share for Pottery Barn may be available in a report from Statista but it is behind a paywall.

Back-to-School Promotions

Market Share

  • Although the William-Sonoma annual report does not give figures, they do outline the competitive challenges they are facing in retaining and building their market share.
  • Net revenues for PBK are reported as $873.19 million for 2016, $860.46 million in 2017 and $895.76 million in 2018.
  • Brand revenue growth for PBK from 2016 to 2018 is -2.8%, -1.7% and 2.8% respectively.
  • Statista has a detailed report on Back-to-School market in Canada available behind a paywall. Subscriptions to Statista are $49 per month.

Sales Channel

Research Strategy

We were unable to find any information concerning market share for back to school (B2S) sales in the public domain. We began by searching for William-Sonoma corporate information, as PBK is a subsidiary of W-S.
We performed a deep search in three annual reports and found no figures on market share, just strategies for increasing it.

From there, we looked at market reports in the industry. We found several reports on the B2S market in Canada, but they are behind a paywall. The link and price have been provided. We then checked StatsCan, the statistical database for the Canadian government. While the sales figures for B2S in 2018 are available, there is no reliable way to triangulate market share from those figures, as the categories are not aligned. Finally, we reviewed all the currently completed assignments in the project to determine if any other analysts had found figures that would allow us to calculate market share. Unfortunately, it appears that information does not exist.
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Part
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Canadian Back-To-School Market: Well.ca

Well.ca has a diverse range of back-to-school product offerings for kids, teens, and dorm -decor for college-going students. Their back-to-school market segment for kids and teens sections are the lunch section, backpacks, school supplies, top snacks, travel mugs, etc. Below is a deep dive into our key findings, as well as our research strategy to explain why some information could not be obtained.

TYPE OF PRODUCTS OFFERED

For the Backpack

    • Backpacks: This company offers backpacks that should be big enough to carry everything they need and small enough for it not to be a burden and also fun for them.

For Lunch bag:

  • Well.ca sells critter lunch bags from Skip Hop or SoYoung and lunch kits from other notable brands that are themed with movie characters.
  • Lunch containers
  • Insulated food jars from brands like Skip Hop.
  • Reusable snack bags
  • Water bottle: A no-mess reusable bottle with a straw from brands such as Skip Hop, Sugarbooger, and Crocodile Creek.
  • For Health

  • Face and hand wipes such as Aleva Naturals Bamboo Baby Hand ‘n’ Face Wipes.
  • Tissues, first aid kits, and sunscreen.
  • For Backup at Home

    WELL.CA ONLINE/OFFLINE PRESENCE

    • Well.ca has more than 40,000 products available through its website, and the company's physical stores provide an opportunity for the company to showcase a curated selection of 1000 items that customers might prefer to buy in person rather than online.
    • Well.ca (at CF Shops at Don Mills & CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto): The online health-focused retailer has gone physical with its first two brick-and-mortar locations.
    • Well.ca is having a clearance sale in the back-to-school section with savings up to 50% in September 2019, boosting online sales.

    OTHER USEFUL FINDINGS

    • Well.ca, which launched online in 2008, carries about 40,000 health, beauty, and personal care product SKUs.
    • The company has grown to be the seventh-largest web-only e-retailer in Canada and position 22 overall, according to the 2017 E-Commerce in Canada Report from Internet Retailer.
    • Well.ca is the latest e-commerce company to expand from its online space to the bricks-and-mortar world, with its first physical store.
    • Till the acquisition by McKesson Canada in Dec 2017, Well.ca was predominantly an e-commerce company, and with most of the Canadian parents relying on online back-to-school shopping, we can conclude that Well.ca back-to-school segment has been a popular online retail segment.
    • According to a study done by Ebates.ca, the majority (almost 67%) of Canadian parents planned to do at least some of their back-to-school shopping online in 2018.
    • Online spending by Canadian back-to-school shoppers has more than doubled over the last four years.
    • The study further says that the most frequently purchased items for back-to-school in Canada included classroom supplies like pencils and erasers (83%), clothing (83%), footwear (80%), backpacks/lunch bags (79%), and electronic devices (18%).
    • The survey further indicated that 67% of Canadian parents searched retailer websites for back-to-school deals while 31% and 28% leveraged mobile apps and social media, respectively to find deals.
    • Additionally, 51% searched for online coupons/promo codes, while 37% used cashback websites to garner discounts on their back-to-school purchases.

    RESEARCH STRATEGY:

    We were able to garner information around the back-to-school product offerings of Well.ca in Canada through its online website and blog. However, we were unable to answer some parts due to lack of data. In particular, no information could be found around their back-to-school market share in Canada and a breakdown of their back-to-school sales by channel in Canada. All the information found catered around their product offerings in the back-to-school segment, the various promotions and offers run by the company, and the new product launches. Below is the deep dive into the various strategies that we deployed to locate the information.
    Our first strategy was to scour through the company's website and its various sections especially the 'press releases' section as companies do disclose any key market and financial related information such as revenue or changes in market share through the press releases for its various categories of investors such as PE players, VC investors, etc. We made sure to visit all the press release archives available for the company. However, no relevant information pertinent to the market share or back-to-school revenue breakdown could be located. All the information found catered around the various product offerings of the company and new product launches along with various discount offers running on the website and in stores. We also tried to check for any financial filings available for the company, such as annual reports, earnings call transcripts, 10-K statements, etc. These are again some of the most potential sources for any financial information, and hence we decided to leverage the same. However, given the private nature of the company, no financial filings could be located in public.
    Our second strategy was to leverage the various credible company databases such as Crunchbase, Craft, Zoom Info, Hoovers, Bloomberg, etc. in order to search for the market share and revenue breakdown information. These are again potential sources of financial information, and they also provide an aggregation of external media and press articles around a company, and hence the idea was to scour through them to check for the market share or revenue break down information for the company. However, all the information found centered around the business description, financing raised, and estimated revenues for Well.ca and no pertinent information for the market share or back-to-school revenue break down could be located via this strategy.
    Our third strategy was to try to triangulate the information. For Canadian back-to-school market share, the idea was to locate the total back-to-school market size in Canada in terms of sales and also the back-to-school sales for Well.ca in Canada and then use these data points to derive the market share. While we were able to locate the information on the total back-to-school sales in Canada, no information specific to back to school revenues of the company could be found. We were able to locate the total estimated revenues of the company that included revenues across all the various product categories with no break out for the back-to-school product category. Hence, the relevant market share could not be triangulated. For back-to-school revenue breakdown, we tried to gather any alternative data points such as historical online vs. in-store back to school sales break up for the company along with revenue CAGR. In the absence of any current information, the idea was to leverage the historical sales break up and use the CAGR to triangulate the current numbers. We searched through the various sources like statistical databases such as Statista, Statistics Canada, etc. and Canadian education and back-to-school focused blogs such as 140+ Learning, Teach Thought, etc. but no relevant data point apropos to the historical sales break up could be located due to which the triangulation strategy did not prove fruitful.

    The last strategy was to review the website, filings, and press releases of the parent company McKesson Canada. Usually, parent companies do at times contain detailed financial information around their subsidiaries, but this was a recent acquisition of Dec 2017, and hence the 2018 and 2019 financial filings did not contain relevant information about Well.ca.

    The primary reason why this information is missing is the nature of the market niche in which the company operates. The sector has no public resource that has compiled any information around the same. Furthermore, the company is private;hence, it is not obligated to publish its financial details to the public. It is therefore hard to get information on revenue breakdown and market share from the company's financial reports.
    Part
    09
    of twelve
    Part
    09

    Canadian Back-To-School Market: Mastermind Toys

    Mastermind Toys has an estimated 29.6% share of the overall toys industry during 2018’s back-to-school period. Furthermore, the company has sales reaching $106.8 million during the third quarter of 2018. The company offers two main products during the back to school period, and these are the Learning Resources Back to School Bundle and LeapFrog’s LeapPad. However, information about the company’s breakdown of sales by channel is not publicly available, because Mastermind Toys is a private company, and private companies have the right to keep financial statements and annual reports from the public.

    Mastermind Toys’ Back To School Products

    • Mastermind Toys offers two main back to school products, and these products are the Learning Resources Back to School Readiness Kits and the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate Get Ready for School Bundle.
    • The Learning Resources Back to School Readiness Kits is priced at $34.99 each. Additionally, the product is recommended for children two years old and above.
    • The LeapFrog LeapPad is a school tablet that contains “top-selling school readiness apps,” which has an overall content value of $195. The product is priced at $134.99, and it is recommended for children three years old and above.
    • The company also offers back-to-class books for children which include “The Pigeon Has to Go to School” ($17.99), First Day Jitters ($8.95), and The Kissing Hand ($26.95),

    Mastermind Toys’ Back To School Market Share

    • Mastermind Toys has an estimated revenue of $106.8 million during the third quarter of 2018.
    • The third quarter is the time when back to school period begins, as the months of August and September is usually the time when students go back to school.
    • During the same quarter, the overall toys' industry in Canada reached sales of 480.56 million Canadian Dollars or 360,572,760.51 USD.
    • Upon triangulation, it was found that Mastermind Toys has an estimated market share of 29.6% during the back to school period.

    Research Strategy

    The research team started the research by looking for pre-compiled information about Mastermind Toys’ back to school market share in Canada. The team looked into various market sites such as Crunchbase, Zoom Info, Owler, and others. These sites usually provide market information about specific companies, which includes the revenue and market share of the company. Zoom Info provided insights into the company’s quarterly sales, but the source did not offer pre-compiled information about the company’s back-to-school market share in Canada. However, the team found this insight to be a useful piece of information that could be used for triangulation.
    The team decided to use the quarterly sales of Mastermind Toys’ from Zoom Info. Zoom Info provided information that the company’s revenue during the third quarter of 2018 was 106.8 million, and since no further breakdown can be found, the team decided to settle with this information. Additionally, the team decided that the third quarter was the right quarter to use for the triangulation because the back to school period in Canada usually starts within August and September, and then back to school offers start within these two months, with some starting earlier and some starting later. The team then looked into the sales of the toy industry in Canada (as Mastermind Toys is primarily a specialty toys company.) The search led to Statista, which provided the industry’s sales by quarter. The industry’s third-quarter sales in 2018 were 480.56 million Canadian Dollars or 360,572,760.51 USD. Using the data gathered, we then triangulated the market share of Mastermind Stores using a formula from Investopedia.
    106,800,000 (the third quarterly sales in 2018 of Mastermind toys in US dollars) / 360,572,760.61 (the third quarterly sales in 2018 of the retail toys industry in Canada in US Dollars) = 0.296 or 29.6%
    Through this calculation, the team found that Mastermind Toys’ back-to-school market share in 2018 is about 29.6% of the overall industry during the quarterly period.
    After triangulation of the company’s overall market share during the back-to-school period, the team then looked into the products offered by the company during the given period. The research team decided to visit the company’s website, where they offer online sales. The team found two major products that the company promotes during the back-to-school period in Canada, and these are Learning Resources Back to School Readiness Kits and LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate Get Ready for School Bundle. The team then looked into the breakdown of the company’s sales by channel (online and in-store). The company certainly offers online sales within its website, which was released in 2017.
    The team started the search for the breakdown of the company’s sales by channel by looking into the company’s newsroom. The research team hypothesized that the newsroom would contain information about the company’s online and in-store sales through its annual reports, as large companies usually publish their annual reports in their newsroom. However, upon looking into the company’s newsroom, no data or information could be found about the company’s sales. Most of the information that the team found was about new stores opening in various locations in Canada, such as Prince George and Mississauga.
    The research team then decided to look into various business database sites such as Crunchbase, Owler, Zoom Info, Statista, and others. The team found information about the company’s quarterly revenue in Zoom Info, and Owler also shows the estimated annual income of the company, but the two sources did not show a breakdown of sales by channel. The team also checked SEDAR (Canada’s official site for public security documents), a source that publishes the annual report of public companies. However, SEDAR did not have any yearly reports from Mastermind Toys. The research team also searched for the company in Annual Reports.com, a database that stores annual reports from companies worldwide. However, the source did yield any information from the company. Hoovers has a financial statement from the company. However, it is locked under company registration. The team eventually found from Zoom Info that Mastermind Toys is a private company, and private companies have the right to keep financial statements from the public.
    Lastly, the team decided to look for various media sites in hopes of finding any reported information about the company’s online sales. The research team hypothesized that by finding any data about the company’s online sales, the team could then triangulate the required information with the use of data recovered from other sources. The team visited reliable media sites such as Forbes, Retail-Insider, Newswire, Business Insider, and others. However, the only information the team found was about the company’s change in strategy and the company’s loyalty program.
    After the exhaustive search, the team concluded that data about the breakdown of sales by channel of Mastermind Toys is not publicly available. This is because private companies are not required to show their financial statements and annual reports to the public.
    Part
    10
    of twelve
    Part
    10

    Canadian Back-To-School Market: Canadian Tire

    Canada Tire provides back-to-school supplies for high school and college students. The products include stationery, desk organizers and accessories, adhesives, paper punchers and staplers, laminators, computer accessories, and more.

    BACK-TO-SCHOOL PRODUCTS

    • Canadian Tire offers school supplies such as binders, folders and dividers, notebooks and paper, pens, pencils and markers, crayons and colored markers/pencils, desk organizers and accessories, scissors, sharpeners and rulers, glue, tape and adhesives, paper punchers and staplers, and sticky notes.
    • The technology products offered under this segment are laminators and accessories, paper shredders, computer accessories, calculators and locks.
    • They also offer backpacks, furniture, and coin wrappers.
    • The products mentioned above were referred to as preparation for those going to high school.
    • Individuals who residing on a school campus are given the opportunity to purchase kitchen products (e.g., microwaves), vacuums, storage and organization containers, furniture, school supplies, backpacks, moving supplies, dollies and products for luggage.
    • The brands that supply back-to-school dorm products for Canadian Tire include CANVAS, For Living, Master Chef, and type A.
    • In 2017, the company partnered with FGL and SportChek to provide back-to-school clothing and footwear to customers.

    BACK-TO-SCHOOL MARKET SHARE

    BACK-TO-SCHOOL SALES BY CHANNEL

    • In Canada, shoppers are increasingly switching the types of products they purchase online annually, with a high penetration in e-commerce sales.
    • Brick and mortar stores are still regarded by the vast majority of shoppers across industries' sales.
    • Canadian Tire customers tend to increasingly gravitate to online shopping, especially for product categories such as apparel, sporting footwear and goods, outdoor recreation, and toys and games.
    • The company offers in-store purchases, in-store pick-up, and shipping/Delivery-To-Home services for products purchased online.
    • A survey conducted by MiQ examined trends in Canada based on 512 mothers' responses about back-to-school between July 3 and 14, 2019.
    • It found that Canada Tire stores are the 10th most likely to be visited in 2019 as indicated by 9% of the respondents, but it was not listed in the top four online companies most likely to be visited.

    Research Strategy:

    Our research began by conducting a thorough search of the company’s official website, hoping to find mentions of its sales volume percentage specific to back-to-school, perhaps as part of its marketing tactic providing a comparison between them and its competitors in the market. We believed this information would direct us to more details about the market, as well as a breakdown by channel. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate this information.

    Typically, a company’s annual report is detailed and provides statistics on segments, revenues, markets, or regions, so we decided to search for revenue data for Canadian Tire, hoping to find a breakdown by segment, including back-to-school, and by channel. However, we only found hard statistics for its revenue for 2017 and 2018, broken down by quarter, along with general information about its market share, as well as details on its purchasing channels. There was limited information about its partner companies FGL and SportChek, who provide back-to-school clothing and shoes. A breakdown of SportCheck’s revenue by quarter was also available. However, there was no data on its back-to-school market share, or its contribution to Canadian Tire’s.

    We then searched for the quarterly/financial report that covers the back-to-school period to learn more about the market. This data would allow us to identify hard statistics that could be used to calculate Canadian Tire’s market share and its breakdown by channel. We found that September is considered back-to-school month, which is in the third quarter of the company’s fiscal year. Therefore, the back-to-school market contributed to 24.72% of the company's revenue for the quarter (1.782 billion CAD). However, this strategy was also unsuccessful in finding statistics to conduct a triangulation of the market share of the back-to-school market and its breakdown by channel.

    Finally, we searched for surveys conducted by other organizations to highlight companies that are active in the back-to-school market and might also include information useful for calculating the market share or estimating it. However, a survey was unavailable, so a breakdown by channel could not be performed. However, we discovered that 9% of mothers planned to visit Canada Tire’s brick and mortar stores to shop for back-to-school products.

    We then concluded that the information for Canada Tire's back-to-school market, as well as a breakdown by channel, is not publicly available. The company probably withholds this data to maintain a competitive advantage, especially since the period is seasonal and short.
    Part
    11
    of twelve
    Part
    11

    Canadian Back-To-School Market: Disney Store

    Disney Store primarily deals in two major categories of 'Back to School' products which include Clothing and back to school 'Accessories'. The Company offers the same through its stores as well as through its online shopping website shopdisney.com. The Company also offers 'Personalized' back to school gear for kids and children such as personalized Mickey Mouse and Spider Man backpacks, T-shirts, Hoodies and Stationery sets. Below are the key findings apropos of the request:

    Back to School Products from Disney Store

    Other Useful Findings

    • The total estimated revenues for Disney Store as per Hoovers aggregates to $136.71 million.
    • According to a study done by Ebates.ca, majority (almost 67%) of Canadian parents planned to do at least some of their back-to-school shopping online in 2018, allotting roughly 31 per cent of their budget to online back-to-school spending.
    • The average planned back to school expenditure by parents in Canada was $166 per child in 2018 which was down from $183 in 2017, but still higher than the average of $155 in 2014.
    • The study further says that the most frequently purchased items for back-to-school in Canada included classroom supplies like pencils and erasers (83%), clothing (83%), footwear (80%), backpacks/lunch bags (79%), and electronic devices (18%).
    • The survey further indicated that 67% of Canadian parents searched retailer websites for back to school deals while 31% and 28% leveraged mobile apps and social media respectively to find deals. Additionally, 51% searched for online coupons/promo codes while 37% used cash back websites to garner discounts on their back to school purchases.
    • According to the 2017 Retail Commodity Survey in Canada, the Q3'17 (Back to school season) sales for girls' clothing and accessories were $365 million while that for boys' clothing and accessories were $325 million. The stationery supplies had sales of $549 million.

    Research Strategy:

    After extensive research and analysis, we were able to garner information around the Back to School product offerings of Disney Store in Canada through its online website. However, we were unable to answer some parts due to lack of data. In particular, there was NO information that could be found around A) their back-to-school market share in Canada and B) a breakdown of their back-to-school sales by channel in Canada. All the information found catered around their product offerings in the back to school segment, the various promotions and offers run by the Company and the new product launches done by it. Also, lot of macro level information catered around the consumer behaviors and preferences of parents when it comes to back to school shopping in Canada. We have included these as part of our useful findings.

    The primary reason why this information is missing is the nature of market niche in which it operates. The sector has no public resource that has compiled any information around the same. Further more, the Company is private hence it is not obligated to publish it financial details to the public. It is therefore hard to get information on revenue breakdown and market share from the Company's financial reports.

    Given the similar nature of the missing data points (revenues and market share as latter is dependent on former), we have deployed the same set of strategies to hunt for the information. Below is the deep dive into the various strategies that we deployed in order to locate the information.
    Our first strategy was to scour through the Company's website and its various sections especially the 'press releases' section as companies do disclose any key market and financial related information such as revenue or changes in market share through the press releases for its various categories of investors such as PE players, VC investors etc. We made sure to visit ALL the press release archives available for the Company. However, no relevant information apropos of the market share or back to school revenue breakdown could be located. All the information found catered around the various product offerings of the Company and new product launches along with various discount offers running on the website and in stores. We also tried to check for any financial filings available for the Company such as annual reports, earnings call transcripts, 8-k filings, 10-K statements etc. These are again one of the most potential sources for any financial information and hence we decided to leverage the same. However, given the private nature of the Company NO financial filings could be located in public for the same due to which this strategy did not materialize.
    Our second strategy was to leverage the various credible company databases such Crunchbase, Craft IO, Zoom Info, Hoovers, Bloomberg, Capital IQ etc in order to search for the market share and revenue breakdown information. These are again a potential source of financial information and also provide an aggregation of external media and press articles around a company and hence the idea was to scour through them to check for the market share or revenue break down information for the Company. However, all the information found centered around the business description, financing raised and estimated revenues for Disney Store and no pertinent information for the market share or back to school revenue break down could be located via this strategy.

    Our third strategy was to try to triangulate the information. For Canadian back to school market share the idea was to locate the total back to school market size in Canada in terms of sales (A) and also the back to school sales for Disney store in Canada (B) and consequently compute the market share as (B/A*100). While we were able to locate the information on the total back to school sales in Canada, no information specific to back to school revenues of the Company could be found. We were able to just locate the total estimated revenues of the Company that included revenues across all the various product categories with no break out for back to school product category. Hence, the relevant market share could not be triangulated. For back to school revenue breakdown we tried to gather any alternative data points such as historical online vs in-store back to school sales break up for the Company along with revenue CAGR. In absence of any current information, the idea was to leverage the historical sales break up and use the CAGR to triangulate the current numbers. We searched through the various sources mentioned above along with media articles such as Forbes, WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters, Capital IQ etc, statistical databases such as Statista, 'Statistics Canada' etc and Canadian education and back to school focused blogs such as 140+ Learning, Teach Thought etc but no relevant data point apropos of the historical sales break up could be located due to which the triangulation strategy did not prove fruitful.
    Our fourth strategy was to consult third party broker reports from GS, RBS, JPM, Moody's, Fitch etc on the Company. Such reports especially the initiating coverage reports contain detailed information around any company including its market penetration and financial information which brokers track for any material event or changes that may have an impact on the company valuations and which they use to revise their estimates or guidance around the company. Hence, we decided to leverage this research path. However, given the private nature of the Company no analyst coverage was available for the same. We were able to find the analyst coverage for the parent company WALT Disney but the same did not contain any relevant information for Disney Store and mostly had buy/sell recommendations and price targets for the parent company. We also tried to search for the broader industry level reports on the back to school industry in Canada from Market Radar, Forrester Research, Business Insider, Deloitte, Mckinsey etc and surveys from Nielsen, Pew Research etc as these are potential sources that contain key players operating in any industry along with their market share and hence idea was to check if Disney Store features in any of the reports. While we were able to locate the industry level revenues for Canadian back to school industry no mention of Disney Store and its market share or back to school revenues could be found.
    Finally, our fifth strategy was to visit the website, filings and press releases of the parent company Walt Disney. Normally parent companies do at times contain detailed financial information around their subsidiaries (especially for the prominent ones) and their various sales channels and market share and Disney Store being one of the vital subsidiaries of Walt Disney the idea was to check the parent company sources for any relevant information. However, no relevant information could be found. The parent Company's website and filings just mentioned the details of the presence of Disney stores and its management details with no information around the market share or back to school revenue break down for the Company.
    Part
    12
    of twelve
    Part
    12

    Canadian Back-To-School Market: Additional Players

    Five additional back-to-school players in Canada are Carter's, H&M, The Children's Place, Gap, and The Hudson Bay.

    CARTER'S, INC.

    • Carter's Inc is one of the major children's apparel stores in Canada.
    • Carter's, Inc. has the largest market share --four times that of the closest competitor-- in the newborn-to-four-year-old segment, comprising nursery and preschool kids. It also sells to children aged 5 to 10 years.
    • In 2018, it had 179 outlets in Canada.

    H&M

    • H&M is the sixth largest apparel retailer in Canada. It has a 2.4% market share.
    • H&M has "influenced children’s fashion trends" for a while.
    • It was Canada’s second -largest apparel individual specialty chain in 2016.
    • It is also a popular brand with teens.

    THE CHILDREN'S PLACE

    • With 133 stores, The Children's Place is the second largest children's apparel retailer in Canada.
    • It sells apparels for infants, toddlers, and pre-teens.

    GAP, INC.

    • Gap is one of the top ten apparel retailers in Canada. It has a 1.6% market share.
    • It is one of the major children's apparel retailers (among the top four).
    • It was Canada’s third-largest apparel individual specialty chain in 2016.
    • Gap is also the top online store for apparel in Canada.

    THE HUDSON BAY

    • The Bay is among the top online retailers for apparel and footwear in Canada.
    • Both apparel (83%) and footwear (80%) are among top back-to-school purchases made by Canadians online.
    • It has a dedicated page for back-to-school products.

    RESEARCH STRATEGY

    Carter's, Gap, and The Children's Place are among the four largest (table of contents tab in the hyperlinked source) Children's & Infants' Clothing Stores in Canada. Collectively, the top four have a 52.5% market share. Gap and The Hudson Bay (The Bay) are the top online retailers for apparels in Canada. The Bay is also the top retailer for footwear in Canada; it also targets the back-to-school segment. Given that 67% of parents search retail websites for deals, and that apparel and footwear are top categories of products bought online, both Gap and The Husdon Bay are among major back-to-school players in Canada.


    Sources
    Sources

    From Part 08
    Quotes
    • "Online health and beauty products retailer Well.ca is the latest e-commerce company to expand from its web roots and into the so-called bricks-and-mortar world, with its first physical store set to open in late June"
    • "Well.ca started in 2008, has grown into Canada's largest online retailer of health and beauty products, with a focus on green and natural goods. The privately held company, based in Guelph, Ont., says it has 150 employees and hundreds of thousands of active customers, with revenue growing 40 percent year over year"
    • "About 1,000 products will be offered in-store – a sort of greatest-hits collection of the 40,000 items available online. "
    From Part 12
    Quotes
    • "The Sports clothing market for children has experienced a steady growth. The brand H&M is known to have influenced children’s fashion trends while. Children’s Place is considered to be Canada’s largest children's apparel retailer with 133 stores across the country."
    Quotes
    • "Carter’s has the largest share of children’s apparel in the baby and toddler age segments (newborn to four year olds), more than three times the share of our nearest competitors."
    • "Carter’s is the best-selling brand online in young children’s apparel, with twice the share of our nearest competitor. In recent years, we made significant investments in technology to support the growth in our eCommerce business. "