School Market Up and Running

Q3 up +22%, YTD up +26%

Oct 25, 2021

By Bob Stimolo

The numbers are in and they are encouraging.  Overall, the Q3 actual school market sales were +22%, three points better than the forecast of +19%.  Actual school market sales for YTD 2021 were +26%, The Q4 forecast is +16% and the FY2021 forecast is +29%.

Reopening of Schools Credited

According to respondents, the three main reasons given for the 3rd quarter sales were the reopening of schools (68%), the overall economy (39%), and the change in school funding levels (37%).  The majority of respondents felt that the $122 billion American Rescue Plan would cause a modest improvement in sales.

Promo and Ad Budgets Increased

Thirty percent of respondents said they were increasing their promotion and advertising budgets by an average of 13%.  Thirty-two percent of respondents anticipate a modest improvement in economic conditions by the end of 2021, forty-one percent expect no change, and twenty-two percent anticipate a modest decline.

Email Declines

While 39% of respondents consider sales reps the most effective marketing media, 33% said direct mail was the most effective, and only 11% favored email.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they had taken steps to align or develop their product line to accommodate remote and hybrid learning.

Modest Sales Improvement by Year End

More than half (54%) anticipate a modest improvement in sales by the end of the calendar year.  Two-thirds (66%) of respondents feel that the Biden administration will cause educational sales to modestly improve.

This information was published by School Market Research Institute, Inc., the leading full-service direct marketing agency dedicated to the school market. For information about services, please call 800-838-3444 toll free or email

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