Retail merchants were alerted today that almost one in three consumers told surveyors they will not be doing end of summer school-related shopping this year.

An ongoing shopper behavior study by Integer and M/A/R/C Research found 31 percent of survey respondents said they won't be shopping for any back-to-school products at all, up from 27.7 percent last year. The study did not explain whether changing shoppers’ demographics might explain the diminished expectations.

“The shoppers who are heading out this year plan to visit fewer channels, meaning retailers will have a harder time maintaining the same level of foot traffic as last year,” said Craig Elston, senior VP, Insight & Strategy at The Integer Group. “Retailers will have to strive harder to get shoppers through the door by investing more in order to entice people with promotions, deals, proper communication, and incentives outside of the store.”

The study also shows that 62 percent said they would wait until at least 2-3 weeks before school starts to begin back-to-school shopping, despite planning many weeks in advance.

Data for today’s report comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C, where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook.