Back-To-School Spending Plans Slip: Survey

By Alan Wolf On Jul 24 2013 - 9:29am

Back-to-school sale
About 55.7 percent of grade school families plan to purchase CE products for the new school year, down from 59.6 percent in 2012, according to the NRF.


Washington — Parents and college kids plan to spend about 13 percent less on CE and other back-to-school items this year than last, a new survey shows.

According to a poll by the National Retail Federation (NRF), families with school-age kids plan to spend an average of $635 this season on apparel, school supplies and CE, compared with $689 last year, while college-bound kids and their families plan to spend an average of $837 vs. $907 last year.

Total projected back-to-school spending fell 13.4 percent to $72.5 billion.

About 55.7 percent of grade school families plan to purchase CE products for the new school year, down from 59.6 percent in 2012, and their projected average expenditures are down to $199 from $218 last year.

For the college crowd, 51.8 percent plan to buy CE for school, down from 54 percent in 2012, and expected CE purchases will slip to $203 from $216 last year.

The NRF attributed the planned spending decline to record expenditures last year and the impact of higher payroll taxes. “Parents will ask their kids to reuse what they can for the upcoming school season,” said NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay. “It’s important to note, however, that spending levels are still well above where they were a few years ago.” 

For families of school kids, discount stores are the preferred shopping venue, favored by 67.1 percent, followed by department stores (61.7 percent). Some 26 percent will visit CE specialty stores while 37.3 percent will make their back-to-school purchases online.

For college kids and their families, discount stores are the preferred shopping venue, favored by 57.2 percent, followed by department stores (42.7 percent). Twenty percent will visit CE specialty stores while 37 percent will make their back-to-college purchases online.

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