NRF Survey Sees Decrease in Back-to-School Spending This Year

Jul 30, 2013 12:22 PM  By

It’s that time of year again, back-to-school, and according to the National Retail Federation families with school-age children will spend less this year.

According to a press release by the NRF, families are expected to spend an average of $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics.  This is down from last year which saw a total of $688.68.  Total spending on back-to-school is expected to reach a total of $26.7 billion.

The NRF is predicting total back-to-school and back-to-college spending will reach $72.5 billion, according to the press release.

College spending will see a drop this year.  College-age students and their families are expected to spend an average of $836.83 on apparel, electronics and dorm furnishings.  This is down from the $907.22 last year, according to the press release.  Total spending for back-to-college is expected to reach $45.8 billion.

According to the press release, many back-to-school shoppers are expected to spend a good portion of their budget toward new apparel and accessories.

Survey results showed that 95.3% of those with school-age children will spend an average of $230.85 on fall sweaters, denim and other pieces of clothing. Families will also spend an average of $114.39 on shoes and $90.49 on school supplies this year.

According to the press release, 55.7% of families with children in grades K-12 will purchase electronics.  In fact, families looking to invest in a new tablet or smartphone, is less this year totaling at $199.05 compared to last year’s $217.88.

So when does shopping begin for back-to-school?  Well, 23.9% of families with children in grades K-12 begin shopping two months before school, this number is up from the 22.3% last year.  About half of the respondents of the survey will spend begin shopping for school three weeks to one month before school.

Survey results found 76.5% of college shoppers say the economy plays a part in their spending, this number is down from 83.5% last year, according to the press release.