Following more than a year of virtual school for many students, this year’s back-to-school season carried more significance than in prior years. Consumers are stocking up on supplies, apparel and accessories in order to prepare their kids for a return to school. Backpack sales are up 67% over last year, according to 1010data, a consumer research firm. One brand reaping the benefits is State Bags, the New York-based brand founded in 2013 that donates to charity for every product sold.
How marketing helped sales double at backpack seller State Bags
“We were more than double in July and we were more than double in August in e-commerce sales,” says Jacq Tatelman, co-founder, CEO and creative director at State, speaking on the latest episode of the “Marketer’s Brief” podcast. “Demand for backpacks is through the roof.”
Such a surge comes on top of an already strong 2020, when sales were up 45% over 2019, Tatelman says. She credits the rise to marketing efforts. Last year, even though many kids were not going back to school, State still ran a campaign celebrating the traditions of the season, including back-to-school pictures.
“You’re still going to take that picture, so they should still have a backpack—that was 2020,” says Tatelman. “For 2021, it’s ‘Let the party begin.’”
State recently entered the mass market retail world with a collaboration with Target—the collection, which is priced slightly lower than the typically higher-end State bags, is making the brand more accessible to other shoppers, Tatelman says.
“We understand that our backpacks are expensive, but what we put into our bags—both the novelty, the style, the quality—it costs a lot to make the bags and we always wanted them to be attainable to a lot of different types of people,” she says. “Bringing them to Target gives us that opportunity.”
On the podcast, Tatelman also speaks about recent supply chain issues and how State is expanding into new product categories this holiday season.