Commentary

Back To School Spending Brisk And Timing Now

Back To School Spending Brisk And Timing Now

According to the findings of a new National Retail Federation (NRF) 2004 Back-to-School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, families with school-aged children will spend an average of $483.28 on back-to-school items, up 7.2 percent from $450.76 last year. In all, adults will spend $14.79 billion sending elementary through high school students back to school this year.

93% of families with school-aged children intend to purchase clothes, shoes, and school supplies this year, with 41.7% planning to buy electronics or computer-related equipment as well. This year, the average consumer plans to spend:

  • $219.46 on clothing
  • $89.72 on shoes
  • $73.06 on school supplies
  • 15 percent more ($101.03 vs. $86.03) on electronics and computer-related equipment than last year.

Tracy Mullin, NRF President and CEO, said "Though parents still spend the majority of their back-to-school budget on clothes and shoes, spending on electronics has soared in the past several years."

45.5% of parents surveyed said their teenagers would be spending their own money on back-to-school items. Teenagers who will spend their own money plan to spend an average of $84.58. And 23.3 percent of parents said that their 6-12-year-olds will spend their own money, spending $40.48 on average. Collectively, teens and preteens will spend $884 million of their own money on back-to-school this year.

  • 75.9% of consumers plan to shop at discount stores
  • 41.9% at department stores
  • 35.1% at office supply stores
  • 18.2 percent plan to purchase goods at specialty stores
  • 14.9 percent will shop at drug stores
  • 14.3 percent will shop for back-to-school merchandise online.

15.1% of consumers started back-to-school shopping at least two months before school starts, 40.9% start shopping three weeks to one month before school begins, and 34.6% one to two weeks before.

You can find out more here.

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