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Walmart’s back-to-school campaign spotlights low prices

Walmart’s back-to-school campaign
Walmart’s back-to-school campaign includes an online classroom hub for teachers.

Walmart is matching Target Corp. with early and expanded back-to-school sales promotions that emphasize value.

One day after Target unveiled its savings-driven back-to-school campaign, Walmart announced its own initiative. Touting “incredible prices,” the retail giant said it is offering more than 100 of the top school supplies under $1, with items starting at just a quarter. 

“Families are focused on budget-conscious ways to stock up earlier than ever, Julie Barber, senior VP, hardlines, Walmart U.S., wrote in a blog post. “In fact, parents’ top priorities when shopping this year are making sure their kids are happy with what they purchase and being as efficient as they can with their budget.”

Similar to rival Target, Walmart’s back-to-school offerings include special outreach to college students — with a focus on dorm room furnishings — and teachers. New this year, Walmart has a digital college checklist tool for students’ needs as well as a digital tool to help students furnish their college spaces.

“With Walmart’s new AR home experience, ‘View in your Space,’ students can better understand how furniture pieces will look or fit in their dorm or apartment before purchasing,” said Barber.

With teachers in some areas using their own money to buy certain supplies, Walmart has created an online classroom hub that allows teachers to register and share a “Wish List” of supplies they will need in the fall. Teachers can also have items delivered straight to the classroom with free two-day shipping.

Walmart’s back-to-school campaign is also emphasizing shipping speed and convenience. The retailer said it has more back-to-school items available for pickup and delivery than ever before — available as soon as the same day. Customers can also utilize same-day delivery and free two-day shipping via Walmart+

The back-to-school season is one of retailers’ most important selling seasons, second only to the holidays. In June, Mastercard SpendingPulse predicted that U.S. retail sales will grow 7.5% (excluding automotive) year-over-year during the mid-July through Labor Day back-to-school period.

More recently, in July, Customer Growth Partners forecast a 5.5% increase in back-to-school sales this year.

[Read More: CGP: Back-to-school sales to slow but still hit new record, buoyed by inflation]

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