Washington, D.C. -- A survey released by the National Retail Federation and conducted by BIGInsight found that the average parent will spend $688.62 on back-to-school items this year, compared with $603.63 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $30.3 billion.
NRF cited an increased number of children entering elementary and middle school this fall, as well as necessary back-to-school replenishments after last year’s cutbacks, for the predicted improvements.
“When it comes to their children, there’s nothing more important to a parent than making sure their children have everything they need, even in a tough economy—and especially when it comes to back-to-school shopping,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “We fully expect 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.”
Not surprising, parents will spend the most on clothing, accessories and electronics this summer. Realistic about the cost of select items and the necessities needed for the school year, parents estimate they will spend an average of $246.10 on clothes and $217.88 on electronics. Nearly six in 10 (59.6%) will invest in some sort of electronic device, a sharp increase from the 51.9% who planned to do so last year.
Additionally, the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $129.20 on shoes and $95.44 on school supplies such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks.
Yet, the economy is still top of mind for many parents. According to the report, more people plan to shop for sales more often (51.1% versus 50.0% last year) and cut back on their children’s extracurricular activities (11.0% versus 10.2% last year.) Savvy shoppers looking to save some money will shop online more often (17.9% versus 15.3% last year) and comparison shop online (32.1% versus 29.8% last year.)
This year more families say they will shop at department stores and online for school