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Back-To-School Spending Outlook Improves: NPD

Port Washington, N.Y. – Retailers should take heart:
Back-to-school spending is looking better, at least in the views of The NPD

Although the number of consumers planning to spend more money
stayed relatively flat from last year (23 percent in 2009 vs. 22 percent this
year), the number of consumers planning to spend less dropped. This year, 38
percent of consumers said they would spend less, compared with 44 percent of
consumers who said the same thing in 2009.

Consumers who planned to spend the same amount rose 8 percent
year over year, to 40 percent from 32 percent.

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for NPD, said that these
responses, along with the increase in consumers who said they plan to shop in
more stores this year, indicate better results for the shopping season.

Thirty percent of consumers said they plan to buy electronics,
which matches last year’s tally. National chain stores were expected to see the
largest influx of consumers, with 33 percent planning to shop there, compared
with the prior-year’s 29 percent.

Not surprisingly, only 3 percent of consumers had began their
shopping, which is down from 6 percent in 2009. Cohen attributed this trend to
the “lingering impact of the recession.”