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5 Sept 2022

Brits head back to school with sticky notes and highlighters despite price rises.

Klarna data reveals several back to school items have seen significant price increases, where some have more than doubled in price.

London, 5 of September – Klarna, the global leader in the generational shift away from credit cards, today announced new shopping and price data looking at Brits’ back to school shopping. 

The biggest price risers in the past year were sticky notes (+86%), binders (33%) and highlighters (+21%). Bigger ticket items such as children’s swimsuits (+20%), backpacks (+14%) and laptops (+12%) have all been affected by increasing prices. There is some evidence that Brits are avoiding the biggest price risers in their back to school shop: backpack sales are down -15% compared with last August.

It’s not all bad news, though, as everyday essentials such as books (-11%) and notepads (-29%) have seen significant price drops, with demand up by 22% and 52%, respectively, as kids prepare to go back into classrooms. Pencil cases are 24% cheaper this year and the price of crayons has fallen by a fifth (20%). 

Overall, the biggest sellers were laptop holders (+322%), sticky notes (+204%), highlighters (+183%), lunch containers (+179%) and water bottles (122%). 

“It's clear from our data that parents are looking to economise where they can as they prepare for the return to school. Many have decided to beat price rises by making last year’s backpack last another year whilst others are cashing in on cheaper books and notepads,” said Alex Marsh, Head of Klarna UK. 

To analyse Brits’ shopping behaviour, Klarna compared shopping volumes in August 2022 with August 2021 for a specific range of back-to-school items. The price data is provided by PriceRunner, the UK’s largest comparison service with 2.6 million products from 6,100 retailers in 21 different countries, who all deliver to the UK. Pricerunner was acquired by Klarna earlier this year.

Many school products have become a lot more expensive recently, adding financial strain to parents' wallets. But don’t worry, as there are plenty of products to buy that are cheaper today than a year ago. Remember to compare prices between retailers before buying, also checking the price history of a product to see if it has gone up in price or not.” said Christine Gouldthorp, Consumer Expert at PriceRunner. 

Product category Average product price August 2022 (PriceRunner) Price change in the past 12 months (PriceRunner) Sales volume compared with August 2021 (Klarna)
Sticky Notes £14 86% 204%
Binder £12 33% 35%
Highlighter Set £11 21% 183%
Backpack £55 14% -15%
Reusable Water Bottle £15 13% 122%
Laptop £907 12% 81%
Alarm Clock £32 11% 30%
Laptop Holder £44 11% 322%
Keyboard £64 7% -14%
Lunch Box £12 3% 179%
Lunch Bag £12 3% 5%
Laptop Case £33 -2% 2%
Book £6 -11% 22%
Notebook £14 -29% 52%


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