Change in Retailers’ Flyer Activity during Back to School (BTS) weeks in 2021

Research Retailer

The last 2 years has seen a mix of on and off line school due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The BTS summer 2021 was primarily during online school and a vast majority of children shifted from pens and paper to computer screens. ‘Back to School’ is a key consumer moment in Supermarket shopping in Saudi Arabia. The season starts during the last few weeks of the end of summer holidays (at the start of August) and continues till the schools reopen (end of August or early September).

Back-to-School season is one of the largest promo events for retail in MENA. During the BTS season, online search and purchase behavior is not just limited to school supplies, as shopper needs in Saudi Arabia are diverse. We will look at the data from 2021 to give us a sense of what to expect in BTS 2022.

The top 8 retailers from Saudi Arabia were taken for the below BTS analysis

  • Close to 25% of Retailers started promoting BTS-specific offers 4 weeks before BTS to increase sales and footfall in 2021
  • Around 50% of Retailers started promoting BTS-specific offers 2 weeks before BTS to increase sales and footfall in 2021
  • Approximately, 90 % of the retailers promoted BTS specific offers after school’s re opened
  • It is worth noting that in 2019, a regular year, BTS started 9 weeks earlier. Although in 2021, the offers only started 5 weeks earlier than the allotted date for ‘Back-to-School’

Changes in the promotion of categories

There are categories which are highly promoted by retailers during regular weeks. This year we see a minor shift in the promotion of some categories during BTS weeks.

Most Promoted categories:

Categories on which promotions reduced during BTS week

  1. Home Décor
  2. Hand Tools
  3. Water Dispenser
  4. Foot Care
  5. Kitchen Racks & Holders

Categories which showed an increase in promotion during BTS weeks

  1. Pens & Pencils
  2. Notebooks & Diaries
  3. School Supplies
  4. Back Packs
  5. Hard Drives & Pen Drives

There is an exceptional growth in the promotions of some categories during BTS Weeks:

Understanding the dynamics of offer and promotion mechanism for Stationary

  • Stationery is one of the key categories on which retailers promote, with promotion increasing from 0.04% in regular weeks to close to 1.25% in BTS period
  • Price Cut & Multi Buy were still the top promo mechanics in both BTS & Regular weeks

Pandemic Impact

Due to the Pandemic, we observed a significant rise in promotions for the following categories :

  • Laptops/Tablets
  • Keyboards, Mouses And Others
  • Desktops
  • Study Room Furniture
  • Hard Drives & Pen Drives

Also Promotion Count showed a remarkable jump in Computers and Accessories from 2019 to 2021 by 67% whereas Stationary offers have decreased by 50%.

Understanding the BTS trends from the past can provide insights into probable promotions this year.
Since 2022 is a post-pandemic year, looking at trends from 2019 can also prove to be valuable. Here is a link to our Analysis of BTS Trends in 2019:


One would need to deep dive into the business intelligence and with these insights using business analytics services will have a significant impact on performance this year with multiple companies. Timely actionable insights are key to ensuring an effective promotional strategy and maximize the outcome of the retailers’ promotions.

Clicflyer is a Business Intelligence Analytics and Solutions Company, that provides brands and retailers with business intelligence and actionable insights. We help retailers find growth opportunities, optimize promotions and increase customer insights to maximize your ROI. Our services are available in the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and South Africa.


  1.  BTS Week 0(25th Aug’21 to 31st Aug 21): The week before the school re opens in KSA

• Positive Weeks (Week 1,2)(1st Sep’21 to 14th Sep’21)
Weeks after school re opens
• Negative Weeks (Week -9 to -1)(28th June’21 – 24th Aug’21)
Weeks before school re opens

  1. All major supermarkets & hypermarkets
  2. Stationery consists of:
    • School Supplies
    • Back & Packs
    • Pens & Pencils
    • Office Supplies
    • Books & Magazines
    • Notebooks & Diaries
  3. School Supplies consist of:
    • Pencil/Pen Box
    • Geometry/Instrument/Math Box
    • Lunch Box/Bag
    • Water Bottle etc

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