Survey Finds Parents Do Their Homework for Back-to-School Shopping

From Backpacks to Iron Knee, Lands' End Offers Smart Solutions for Back-to-School Shoppers

DODGEVILLE, WI--(Marketwire - Jul 12, 2012) - It's the height of summer vacation, but there's still plenty of studying going on -- this time by parents who are doing their homework in preparation for back-to-school shopping. In the 2012 Back-to-School Survey from Lands' End and Momtrends, 87 percent of parents said they educate themselves before shopping for back-to-school. This fall, Lands' End is every parents' go-to resource for innovative back-to-school solutions. From the all-new, redesigned backpack collection to boys' pants that will hold up to a school-year's worth of adventures, savvy shoppers make the grade at Lands' End.

"It makes sense that parents are doing their research to make their dollars go further. If kids' backpacks fall apart or they tear through the knees of their pants, it's not only money that's wasted, but the time it takes to replace them," said Todd Christiansen, divisional merchandising manager, Lands' End Kids. "We're not only helping parents save money by creating innovative products that last, but also making it easier for parents and kids to shop."

School is in Session for Back-to-School Shoppers
According to survey results, the top items parents will research before shopping include: price (87 percent), quality (75 percent), durability (64 percent), performance (61 percent) and features (50 percent). When asked where they do their research, parents indicated product reviews (78 percent), retailer's websites (74 percent), other parents (58 percent), previous experience with the brand (54 percent), and magazines and newspapers (46 percent).

"Our survey found that parents are turning to brands to learn more before shopping," said Christiansen. "We're helping parents find all the information they need through our online backpack guide at There, parents can shop by size or collection, see 360-degree views of each pack and watch online videos to learn what each pack fits."

While it's easy to think all that studying may take the fun out of back-to-school shopping, parents don't agree. When asked their favorite part of back-to-school, three out of five (60 percent) chose shopping, because they love seeing the new styles and products. In addition, 83 percent of parents said purchasing a new backpack adds to the excitement of a new school year and is something their kids look forward to.

From Smallest to Tallest: Best-in-Class Backpacks
In addition to fun and excitement, parents are also looking for substance. In fact, they ranked durability (86 percent), price (77 percent) and comfort (66 percent) as the top three elements that were important in a backpack. An overwhelming 91 percent also reported they consider their kids' size and homework load before picking out a pack.

"Our new backpacks are bigger to offer more carrying capacity and feature our largest selection ever of prints and patterns. It's a very fun collection," added Christiansen. "Most importantly, the packs are loaded with construction details for superior durability. Parents will be hard pressed to find another that offers better value for the price."

The 2012 Backpack Collection features four distinct lines -- My First, ClassMate®, FeatherLight™, and Dash -- designed to fit every kid. To add to the excitement, Lands' End has partnered with UGLYDOLL® to offer UGLYDOLLs in exclusive colors in each My First backpack. Parents and kids can discover each UGLYDOLL's exclusive story online at

Double Defense: Iron Knee
When it comes to pants, durability is something parents seek. In fact, nearly three-quarters of parents (73 percent) said their kids wear through the knees on their pants. And the knees are wearing out quickly. Seven in ten respondents (71 percent) said kids will wear through their knees before the school year lets out. More than a third (34 percent) said three months or less.

To provide parents with a solution to worn-out knees, Lands' End is introducing Iron Knee™ -- an innovative interior knee patch that adds double the durability to this notoriously vulnerable area. The invisible polyester patch is soft, pliable and undetectable from the outside, so there's no sacrificing style for comfort. Iron Knee is available in styles for girls and boys, including boys' Cadet Pants, jeans and the redesigned Ripstop Climbers™, as well as girls' jeans and school uniform chinos.

"Iron Knee is the perfect example of solution-based innovations we offer parents. Our designers knew knees were a tough area, especially for boys, and worked hard to create a better product with reinforced knees that lasts significantly longer than anything else on the market," Christiansen explained. "These pants will stand up after more than 50 washes and the toughest abuse kids can dish out."

Honor Roll: Fun Facts from the 2012 Back-to-School Survey

  • When asked to grade themselves on the amount of research they do for back-to-school shopping, 58 percent gave themselves a B. Ten percent gave themselves a D or F.

  • 38 percent of parents said they start gearing up for back-to-school shopping in August, 23 percent said after Fourth of July, and 10 percent said they start right away in June, after school lets out.

  • 75 percent of parents plan to purchase a first-day-of-school outfit for their kids this year.

  • 77 percent of parents said they purchase new backpacks for their kids every year.

  • Only 46 percent of parents knew that their children's backpacks should weigh no more than 10 percent of their total body weight. One in six (16 percent) reported that they have never thought about how much their children's backpack should weigh.

  • 66 percent of parents reported that they have never weighed their child's backpack to determine if it's too heavy.

  • A whopping 96 percent of parents said they will share first-day-of-school pictures on Facebook.

About Lands' End
Lands' End® is a classic American lifestyle brand with a passion for quality, legendary service, real value and a simple two-word promise to stand behind everything it sells: Guaranteed. Period.® Lands' End delivers timeless style for Men, Women, Kids and the Home at, 1-800-800-5800, the Lands' End Shops at Sears and around the world. Lands' End is a proud member of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD).

The 2012 Back-to-School Survey was conducted by Lands' End and Momtrends via SurveyMonkey from June 22-27, 2012. The online survey was fielded by 450 participants.

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Contact Information:

Molly Hawkins
Lands' End