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Back-To-School CE Spending To Rise 33%: Survey


Back-to-school spending on CE and
IT products is expected to increase 33.3 percent over last
year to about $9.6 billion, a new survey indicates.

According to a July poll of 8,509 consumers by the
National Retail Federation (NRF) and BIGinsight, parents
will spend a net average of $217.88 on computers, handheld
devices and other CE products this season, up from
$189.51 in 2011.

Most respondents said they will purchase their backto-
school items, including apparel and school supplies,
in discount stores three weeks to one month before the
start of the fall semester.

More than one quarter (26.3 percent) said they would
do their shopping at an electronics store, up from 21.7
percent last year, while 39.6 percent plan to shop online,
up from 31.7 percent last year.

CE spending may be even higher for college-bound
kids and their families, who are expected to purchase
$12.8 billion worth of computers, mobile phones, cameras
and personal music players – up 6.7 percent from
last year.

NRF president/CEO Matthew Shay said the trade
group fully expects retailers to be “aggressive with their
promotions both in-store and online, keeping an eye on
inventory levels as families look to spread out their shopping
throughout the entire summer.”

Results of the NRF poll jibe with a separate survey by
comparison shopping site PriceGrabber, which indicated
that 46 percent of consumers are planning to spend more
this back-to-school shopping season than in 2011, and that
40 percent plan to purchase a tech item.

Among the latter, 50 percent said they would buy a new
laptop, 49 percent plan to purchase a tablet computer, 28
percent intend to buy a smartphone, and 10 percent will
purchase a desktop computer.

Among all respondents, flash drives were the most
popular tech product, cited for planned purchases by 30
percent, followed by laptops (19 percent), tablets (16 percent),
computer accessories (15 percent), mobile phones
(12 percent), and desktop computers (5 percent).

“PriceGrabber survey data shows an increased consumer
appetite for tech products with more back-to-school
shoppers planning to purchase electronic tablets this year
compared to 2011,” said general manager Graham Jones.
“Tablet computers are lighter in weight and more portable
allowing students to carry them from class to class and
providing back-to-school shoppers with an alternative to
more expensive laptops.”

The online poll also found 37 percent of shoppers plan
to use their mobile phones within brick-and-mortar stores to
compare prices of back-to-school products, although only
14 percent said they would make purchases via their mobile
devices. More than half (56 percent) said they plan to do
their back-to-school shopping at discount, bargain and outlet
stores, and 62 percent said they would use comparison
shopping websites to save money. Free shipping was the
most popular shopping inducement, cited by 74 percent.