Big Spenders On Their Way Back To College
According to the NRF, from a study conducted by BIGresearch, students and their parents will spend a combined average of $956.93 on back-to-college merchandise, up from last year's $880.52, for a total of $47.3 billion gearing up for college.
Freshmen, many with gift cards and cash from graduation gifts, will spend the most this year ($1,193.60). Sophomores, with an average of $748.29, are expected to spend the least.
NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin, said "...colored laptops, stylish cell phones and distinctive dorm furniture will appeal to today's students and should be big sellers in retail stores across the country."
Laptops, digital cameras, along with iPhones and other cell phones, should be big sellers again this year, with students and their parents expected to spend a total of $12.8 billion on electronics. Spending on furnishings is expected to reach $5.43 billion, up from last year's $3.82 billion. Young adults aged 18-24 will spend the most in the dorm and apartment furnishings category, spending an average of $158.61.
Back to College Products Purchase Plans
% of Respondents
Expected Expenditure 2007
School supplies (notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks)
Clothing and accessories (except shoes)
Electronics and computer related
Dorm or apartment furnishings
Source: NRF, August 2007
57.2% of students and their families will be shopping at college bookstores, while others (51.5%), will head to discounters Nearly one-third of consumers plan to shop online for back-to-college necessities
Locations For Planned Purchase Of Back to College Products
(% of respondents)
Office supply store
Thrift of resale shop
Home furnishings store
Source NRF, August 2007
Vice President of Strategy for BIGresearch, Phil Rist, said "For today's students, spending on college-related merchandise is as much of a necessity as wearing a business suit for a job interview... retailers are smart to focus on a group that needs to buy because of a life stage event."
Students living on-campus will outspend others by a wide margin as dorm dwellers are expected to spend $1,529.45 on college merchandise, nearly double what students living at home will spend ($774.86) and also substantially more than students living off-campus ($1161.98)
For more about the study, please visit BIGresearch here.