Back-to-School Discounts on TVs Grow Year-to-Year in US – GfK

Manufacturers, retailers provide minimal incentives to buy tablets,
microwaves, compact refrigerators

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–During the frenetic back-to-school shopping season, US consumers had
access to substantial price cuts on television sets, according to a GfK
analysis of advertised discounts. Manufacturers and retailers offered
savings of 9% on TV sets, compared to pre-back-to-school prices; last
year, TV discounts averaged just 6% during the same time of year.

To view a graphic of GfK’s findings, click

By contrast, US consumers received minimal or no incentives to buy
several other high-demand items for college students and others heading
back to school.

  • Tablet prices were reduced by just 2%, or an average of $7.74; that
    percentage is the same as in 2014.
  • Compact refrigerators were discounted 3% during the back-to-school
    season; but, since last year, advertised prices on these items have
    fallen dramatically, from $183 to $119.
  • Microwave ovens cost 2 cents more during the back-to-school
    period this year.
  • Laptops and Desktop Computers were consistently discounted at or below
  • Wearable technology prices were cut just 1%, versus 3% last year.

The new study from GfK’s Promotion and Causal Retail team compared
advertised prices for the same SKUs before and during the back-to-school
season, and also year-to-year during this time period. The analysis
covered retail print circulars in over 80 key US markets, from July 15
through the first week of school (which was the first week of September
this year).

In total, the frequency of back-to-school advertising this year was up
5% versus the same period last year for the key categories GfK examined.
In some cases, categories were heavily promoted, but discounts were
still small. In Desktop Computers, for example, GfK recorded a surge of
24% in advertising activity year over year; yet the category had
discounts in the 2% range.

“Overall, back-to-school advertising is increasing, which shows that
retailers are banking on key sales as they head into the holiday
period,” said James, Kennedy, Managing Director of GfK’s Promotion and
Causal Retail team. “However, retailers are choosing instead to promote
SKUs that were not advertised in the weeks leading up to back-to-school.
This means that retailers are using this time period to introduce new
and different models into the market.”

GfK’s Promotion and Causal Retail researchers help clients gauge the
return on their investments in causal marketing, including printed
vouchers, online offers, and in-store promotions. GfK identifies and
analyzes all pricing, placement, and promotions at stock-keeping unit
(SKU) level, while they are live, and can also monitor the impact on

About GfK

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big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their
competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

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GfK Marketing and Communications,
Consumer Experiences North America
Vice President