With institutions reopening soon, children are busy shopping for bags, shoes, etc

Sneha is in a fix choosing a new school bag. Her uncle has selected a bag inscribed ‘Chennai Super King' with a picture of Dhoni, while her mother is convincing her to take a black bag for its durability and convenient features. The 5th standard student, however, is not happy with the range available, even in the second shop. “Sky blue colour, with five, six or seven pockets and a bag that does not hang lose…,” she mumbles her requirements in slow measured words.

Sneha has little to worry as shops are drawing in children with all things new to take to school for the next academic year that is set to begin in a few weeks. Hannah Montana of American television series fame and animation character Ben 10 are popular merchandise for girls and boys respectively this time. Others merchandise inspired from television channels and fairy tales include Dora, Camp Rock, Hot Wheels, Superman and Barbie.

Landmark, for instance, has combo sets with these characters such that a child has the same character in the water bottle, bag, tiffin and pencil box. School bags that one can push around like a trolley bag have resurfaced this season. Triple container lunch box is also in demand.

Angels, with outlets in Anna Nagar and Velachery, is inviting children to exchange their old school bag for a new and avail some discount. Witco is also offering discounts on school bags.

However, satisfying children is not easy and innovation in the merchandise is what matters. “Our ‘Back to School' stationery sales have been growing by 12 to 15 per cent every year,” says Ligin Thomas, head of marketing, Landmark, adding that because of the popularity of the television characters the products are hit among kids.

Sisters Varsha Naveen and Anusha Naveen, shopping for book covers at an outlet in Adyar, are excited about getting a new pair of black shoes to school.

“When we go to school, everyone wants to see what new each of us have got. We generally share our new belonging only after a few weeks,” says Varsha, class VIII student of Bharath Senior Secondary School.

With children spoilt for choices, parents have a tough job fulfilling their needs. “Everything needs to be new for the academic year. I buy depending on our budget but ensure that the products last for one full year,” says Kalpana Sundar, a parent.

Keywords: school bag

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