Back-To-School: Lifestyle Trends

Today’s children and teens not only have to face the challenges of growing up, but they must do so simultaneously navigating two worlds: the real and the digital. This hybrid reality presents amazing opportunities to extend their experiences and connections, along with an entirely new set of risks, stresses and obstacles. Traditional hallmarks of youth like pushing boundaries and seeking independence remain, but we also see a renewed importance being placed on aspects like balance and trust based on the influence and impacts of technology.

This Back-To-School Deck explores key lifestyle trends and highlights ways for brands and retailers to step in to meet these emerging needs and desires and serve as a trusted guide on the path to adulthood.

 There is also a companion report on Back To School Retail Trends here.

Published May 2019

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This report is part of a series that PSFK has published on innovation in in retail and along the customer experience journey. Our reports provide business ideas to corporate members of our research intelligence service. In addition, we provide talks and ideation workshops based on the contents of our surveys and guides. Contact our sales team at or +1 646 520 4672 for more information.


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Insights From Back-To-School: Lifestyle Trends

Analysis Jenzy Lets Parents Snap A Photo To Style And Size Kids' Shoes

From PSFK's Back-To-School Deck: Retail Trends report, here's how two leading brands are streamlining busy parents' lives with mobile experiences that locate in-store items and use photos to size kids' wares

Analysis Why Brands Like The Wing Are Investing In Childcare To Better Support Millennial Lifestyles

From PSFK's Back-To-School Deck: Retail Trends report, here's how two of today's leading brands are now focusing on offers like child-friendly coworking and integrated babysitting functions to support the entire family

Analysis How Brick-And-Mortar Retailers Like Macy's Are Marshaling Popups

From PSFK's Back-To-School Deck: Retail Trends report, here's how two retailers are encouraging foot traffic with kid-friendly in-store popups

Analysis Why Brands Like Rent the Runway Are Adopting the Access Economy

From PSFK's Back-To-School Deck, here's how two companies are adapting to the needs of their customers by renting out their merchandise

Analysis Why Youth Retailers Like American Eagle Are Enabling Secondhand Apparel

From PSFK's Back-To-School Deck, here's how two brands are using thrifting to restructure how customers return unwanted items, catering to increased consumer interest in circular apparel

Analysis Brands Like Verizon Are Guiding Teens Into Adulthood By Providing Tethered Freedom

From PSFK's Back-To-School deck, here's how two leading brands are supporting graceful transitions for teens into adulthood, helping them safely use digital tools like credit cards and mobile plans

Analysis Brands Like Blume Are Providing Trusted Guidance For Teenage Transitions

From PSFK's Back-To-School Deck, here's how two brands have positioned themselves as lifestyle partners for young adults going through the trials and tribulations of puberty

Analysis Brands Billie, H&M And More Are Supporting Authenticity And Self-Expression In Kids

The following four examples showcase how brands are enabling and assisting young consumers in leading authentic lives, free from societal constraints and media pressure

Related CX Insights

Brand Activation & Immersion SeaWorld's Sesame Street Land lets visitors interact with their favorite characters IRL

Theme park SeaWorld invites guests to explore newly debuted Sesame Street Land, an innovation that blends together the children’s show with educational interactive experiences for visitors to explore. Guests can interact with their favorite characters in exciting challenges and activities from Elmo’s Window to Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck Challenge.

Automotive PSFK's 10th Annual Future Of Retail Report Will Guide Brands And Retailers Into The Age Of Personal Utility

PSFK's Future Of Retail 2020: Retail As Personal Utility report provides a strategic roadmap for brands and retailers to deliver hyper-personalized service that meets the unique needs of every customer in a post-experiential era

Children Google's Be Internet Awesome campaign educates children on the danger of internet scams

Google’s Be Internet Awesome campaign teaches children how to spot internet scams and other disinformation with classroom support and online lessons. In a series of media literacy modules, which were designed with internet safety experts, students learn that the information they see online isn’t always true, plus how to spot bots and phishing.

Food & Beverage Sweetgreen X FoodCorps collab teaches students to make healthy meals

Fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen and nonprofit FoodCorps are piloting three elements of a program called Reimagining School Cafeterias in schools across the U.S., teaching students to create cheap, healthy meals. In three separate schools, students prepare produce, season their food and brainstorm ideas to improve their cafeteria.

Shopper Education & Assistance The Clinton Foundation X Libraries Without Borders advocate for children's literacy in laundromats

Nonprofits The Clinton Foundation and Libraries Without Borders partnered to bring educational materials to laundromats, where the average family spends two hours per week, to increase literacy among children. The project is meant to increase educational time outside of schools, engaging kids where they might otherwise be idle.

Delivery & Logistics LEGO's Replay program provides free return shipping labels for customers to donate their unused toy bricks to children in need

Toy company LEGO’s Replay program provides free return shipping labels for customers to donate their unused toy bricks to children in need. After being returned, the pieces are sorted and cleaned, then sent to classrooms in need. Replay boosts LEGO’s sustainability while contributing to charity, all without asking too much of the customer.

Retail Toy Kingdom concept store immerses children in a storyline with products brought to life

Located in Daegu Shinsegae, this toy store concept from one of Korea’s largest retailers immerses children in a storyline with characters who correspond to the store’s core product categories, imagination toys, ride-on toys, building toys, and smart toys. Each zone of the store has interactive elements, such as tunnels and interactive flooring, combining analog and digital elements to immerse children in a world of play.

Case Study Five Below Is Transforming Some Of Its Stores Into Esports Hubs

Discount retailer Five Below, which invested in eports infrastructure brand Nerd Street Gamers, will add gaming venues to its stores