Back to College Spending Up a Third; Second Only to The Holiday Season

Back to College Spending Up a Third; Second Only to The Holiday Season

The third annual NRF 2005 Back-to-College Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that college students and their parents will spend a whopping $34.4 billion returning to campus this year, up 33.8 percent from 2004 and more than double what parents of K-12 students will spend on back-to-school. When combined, the $47.8 billion that will be spent on back-to-school and back-to-college merchandise this year will rank second only to the holiday season in seasonal sales.

NRF President and CEO, Tracy Mullin, said "... there is no sign that this market is slowing down."

Spending on back-to-college merchandise will rise in all tracked categories. In all, parents and students will spend:

  • $11.9 billion on textbooks
  • $8.2 billion on electronics
  • $3.6 billion on dorm and apartment furnishings
  • $3.0 billion on school supplies
  • $5.7 billion on clothing
  • $2.0 billion on shoes

The average freshman, who will likely be moving away from home for the first time, plans to spend $1151.68, largely on electronics ($540.35). Sophomores are expected to spend $1028.57, primarily on textbooks, home furnishings, and clothes.

The most sought-after shopping destination for college students and their parents will be very close to campus, with 59.8 percent planning to purchase back-to-college items at a college bookstore. More than half (55.8%) will also shop at discount stores for back-to-college purchases. Additionally, consumers will shop at office supply stores (41.0%), department stores (36.1%), and online (32.0%).

Go here for sample charts and a copy of the full report.

Next story loading loading..