Early Back-to-School Findings: Families Plan to Spend More This Year

In What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

back-to-school-supplies-pencils_79514998_1500pxWashington—The Fourth of July marks the official beginning of summer for most school children these days. For parents it can signify the start of their hunt for back-to-school or college shopping.

According to the NRF’s back-to-school survey conducted last year by Prosper Insights & Analytics nearly one-quarter of families were shopping at least two months before school started. Though the ink on this year’s report cards hasn’t even had a chance to dry, many parents are already shopping for the next school year.

The NRF recently polled more than 6,400 adults with children in K-12 and college and found 29% of households with school-age kids (6 to 17) plan to spend more than last year for back to school, compared with nearly 24% who said the same thing this time last year. As for college students and their families, nearly three in 10 plan to spend more this summer; up from 23% who said they’d be spending more when we asked the same question last year.

Spending Plans for Back to School 2015 Shopping Season

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Spending Plans for Back to College 2015 Shopping Season

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While this is survey is a mere snapshot in time, the positive uptick in planned spending means that retailers’ back-to-school season—second only to the winter holidays in terms of foot traffic and sales—could bring a welcome boost in sales after a disappointing first half of the year, the NRF reported.

“Regardless of their spending plans this summer, the economy is still top of mind for some families, especially when it comes to making sure their children have what they need for the school year.”

Among those who say the economy will impact their back-to-school and college spending plans, 32% of college shoppers plan to comparison shop online to make sure they get the best bang for their buck, up from nearly 28% last year. More than 31% of school shoppers will compare prices online, compared with nearly 30% last year.

These preliminary back-to-school findings will be followed by the NRF’s official 2015 consumer spending survey in mid-July. www.nrf.com

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