SOURCE: Lands' End

Lands' End

July 11, 2011 15:06 ET

Parents Think Kids Should Be Kids This Back-to-School Season

Age-Appropriate Clothing and Quality Make the Grade in Back-to-School Surveys by Parents® and Lands' End

DODGEVILLE, WI--(Marketwire - Jul 11, 2011) - Parents have spoken. Kids are kids and they should look like kids this back-to-school season. In a survey by Parents magazine and Lands' End, an overwhelming 99 percent(1) of parents reported that it's important for their kids to dress in age-appropriate clothing. Half of parents (49 percent) said they were concerned about their kids' style being influenced by images they see in the media.

"Creating styles kids want to wear and parents feel good about is a big priority for us," said Liz Pierce, senior design director, Lands' End. "As families prepare for back-to-school, we are the go-to resource for high-quality, age-appropriate kids' styles that everyone can agree on."

Making sure kids dress appropriately for their age isn't parents' only goal. Ninety-two percent said it was important for kids to enjoy their childhood. Nearly three-quarters of parents (71 percent) said they feel that many kids are trying to grow up too fast. More than half (55 percent) reported that they talk to their kids about the importance of being a kid. A staggering 92 percent felt it was important that kids act appropriately for their age, a stark contrast to the 3 percent who thought kids should act older than they are.

"The beginning of a new school year is the time for a fresh start for the entire family and parents really want everyone to start off on the right foot," said Taryn Mohrman, lifestyle editor, Parents magazine. "For the third year in a row, we've partnered with Lands' End to survey moms about the issues that are important to them as they get back into the swing of things, so that we can provide helpful tips and advice to ease their minds during this busy time."

Best in Class: Quality Matters for Back-to-School Shopping
Parents are looking to maximize back-to-school budgets this year by shopping for quality items that last -- and they're willing to spend more to get them. In fact, more than half (54 percent) reported that they care more about purchasing quality items this year than in years past. When asked why, 72 percent reported that higher quality items offer better value by making their dollars go further. Half of respondents (51 percent) said their budget is strained from other aspects, like higher gas prices. This season, the key items parent will spend more on to get better quality include outerwear (92 percent), shoes (90 percent), backpacks (85 percent) and jeans (75 percent).

Purchasing quality items is about more than just stretching the budget. Two-thirds of parents (66 percent) said they feel good about investing in quality pieces and have recommended items they felt offered great quality to family and friends. More than three-quarters (79 percent) feel they have a special talent for finding high-quality items. Nearly half (45 percent)(2) identified themselves as a Smart Cents Shopper, looking for the perfect combination of quality and value.

"Many of our Lands' End Kids designers are parents themselves, so they understand that high-quality items offer families more value by lasting through the school year," explained Pierce. "Details like double-strength bottoms on backpacks, fabrics that are hand-selected for superior look and feel, and felled seams on pants inseams ensure our kids' items pass the test -- from the first day of school to the last."

Conquering Hectic School Mornings
It's no secret that getting kids off to school in the morning can be a daunting task, but this year three in five parents (60 percent)(1) reported that it can be the most stressful part of their day. To help school mornings go more smoothly, parents are employing some of the same strategies that can make a great student -- planning and preparation.

A majority of parents said they tackle tasks such as bathing kids (75 percent), packing backpacks (64 percent) and laying out clothes (54 percent) the night before. Parents also indicated that mix-and-match clothing offers welcome solutions. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) said having items that mix and match makes it easier to get kids dressed in the morning. Seventy-three percent reported that mix-and-match clothes make it easier for kids to pick out their own outfits.

"This season, we offer several solutions for parents looking for clothes that coordinate easily," continued Pierce. "For girls, the Knit Kit features tees, tunics, dresses and leggings in an array of complementary colors and patterns. Dressing boys is a snap with our 'No-Sweat' outfitting that includes vintage-inspired graphics on tees and hoodies, and a variety of cool, yet comfy, bottoms."

About Parents
Parents, published monthly by Meredith Corporation, has been America's #1 family magazine for 85 years. Since its inception in 1926, it has been a trusted source by every generation of parents. Currently, the magazine is a powerful community of more than 15 million readers devoted to supporting the efforts of parents, educators and other citizens who strive to make the world a better place for our children. Parents can be found online at www.parents.com.

About Lands' End
Lands' End® is a classic American lifestyle brand with a passion for quality, legendary service, real value and a simple two-word promise to stand behind everything it sells: Guaranteed. Period.® Lands' End delivers timeless style for Men, Women, Kids and the Home at landsend.com, 1-800-800-5800, the Lands' End Shops at Sears and around the world. Lands' End is a proud member of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD).

(1) The 2011 Back-to-School Survey was conducted by Lands' End and Parents magazine via SurveyMonkey from Monday, April 18, 2011 through Monday, May 2, 2011. The online survey was fielded by 550 participants.

(2) The 2011 Back-to-School: Quality Matters Survey was conducted by Lands' End and Parents magazine via SurveyMonkey from Friday, June 17, 2011 through Wednesday, June 22, 2011. The online survey was fielded by 520 participants.

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