VR headsets among best-selling back-to-school items for the first time

3 months ago by Connor Ibbetson in Trends

Back-to-school season is upon us, which means students and their parents are shopping for the first day of classes.

Many flock to Walmart ($NYSE:WMT), the nation's largest retail chain with over 4,200 Walmart and Walmart Superstores nationwide. To see what they're buying, we dug into our Walmart product-ranking database that tracks hundreds of thousands of products to gain an understanding of what back-to-school items are hot this year.

What we found was initially unsurprising: notebooks, pens, paper, and glue dominated the ranks as we approach the fall semester. But one item stuck out: a VR helmet.

Item Rank
Case-It Open Tab 2-Inch Binder, Assorted Colors 1
HP Multipurpose Paper, 8.5 x 11 In 500 sheets 2
Case it The Mighty Zip Tab 3-Ring Zipper Binder  3
Georgia-Pacific Standard Multipurpose Paper 5,000 Sheets 4
Mead Primary Journal, Half Page Ruled, Grades K-2, 100 Sheets 5
Elmer's Washable School Glue Stick 6
Elmer's Washable School Glue, Gallon 7
Mead Filler Paper, 15lb, College Rule 200 Sheets 8
Five Star Reinforced Filler Paper, College Ruled, 100 Sheets 9
Mead 1-Subject College Ruled Spiral Notebook 10
Dust-Off DPSXL3 Disposable Dusters 11
Hammermill Copy Paper Poly Wrap 12
Aurora 6-Sheet Strip-Cut Paper/Credit Card Shredder without Wastebasket 13
Five Star 5-Subject College Ruled Spiral Notebook  14
Koramzi VR Headset - Black 15
BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ball Pen, Medium, 60 pack 16
Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches, Letter Size 17
Un-Du Adhesive Remover  18
Westcott Kids Scissors, 5" Pointed, Assorted Colors 19
Elmers Washable School Glue Sticks, All Purpose, 30 20
Hammermill Copy Paper, 5000 sheets 21
Avery Economy View Binder with 1-1/2"  22
Avery Economy Round Ring View Binder 23
Cobra 16-Mile 2-Way Radios Walkie Talkies, 2-Pack 24
Georgia Pacific Basic Copy Paper, 1500 Sheets 25

As of today, the most-popular school supply item are classic 2-inch ring binders. Paper-based products, especially journals and notebooks, filled out the majority of the list.

The classic Bic ballpoint pen made the list within the top-20 best sold items, but appears below the $16.95 Koramzi VR Headset — not your typical back-to-school purchase. Whether this VR headset is being used for education or not, such a notion isn't too farfetched: American classrooms are beginning to experement with virtual reality as a way to engage students technology, including curricula for students with special needs.

Arlington Science Focus students using VR to learn (Alchemy Learning)

Filtering the results to remove the more obvious back-to-school items like stationery and reams of paper, good old ring binders and Elmer's School Glue jump to the top of our best-selling list. 

Item

Rank

Case-It Open Tab 2-Inch Binder, Assorted Colors 1
Case it The Mighty Zip Tab 3-Ring Zipper Binder D-156-B 3
Elmer's Washable School Glue Stick - Purple 6
Elmer's Washable School Glue, Gallon 7
Dust-Off DPSXL3 Disposable Dusters (3 pk) 11
Koramzi VR Headset - Black 15
BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ball Pen, Medium Point (1.0mm), Black, 60 Count 16
Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches, Letter Size, 17
Un-Du Adhesive Remover 4oz 18
Westcott Kids Scissors, 5" Pointed, Assorted Colors 19
Elmer's Washable School Glue Sticks, All Purpose, 30/Pack 20
Avery Economy View Binder with 1-1/2" Round Ring 22
Avery Economy Round Ring View Binder White 23
Cobra  16-Mile 2-Way Radios Walkie Talkies 24

According to Deloitte, "Back to School season" is the second-largest shopping season of the year. Parents and students are expected to spend $27.6 billion this year as they gear up for classes. Its survey also found that many people actually begin their back to school shopping before August, but retailers target promotions for the late August rush when up to $18 billion will be spent. 

Connor Ibbetson

An avid data fan, Connor is a London based journalist finishing his masters in Interactive Journalism. If he's not making graphs or cleaning data, you'll probably...

Learn more about Thinknum data today Request demo

Request a demo

We would love to show you how Thinknum will benefit your investment process. To get started, fill out the form and we'll contact you shortly to schedule your demo.

The best of media, delivered to you

Get a newsletter of our most popular stories of the week.