NRF Survey Finds Back to School Spending is Expected To Be Flat

Posted on August 1, 2011

NRF Back to School Spending Chart


NRF’s 2011 Back-to-School survey, conducted by BIGresearch, has found that back to school spending is expected to be flat. Consumers will spend about the same as last year according to the study. Spending by students returning to college will dip slightly.

NRF says average spending on clothing ($220.60) and school supplies ($88.99) will slightly decrease this year. Families are expected to spend an average of $104.53 on shoes, which is a slight increase over 2010. Spending on electronics is also expected to increase slightly, however not as many people plan to shop for electronics. Just over half (51.9%) of families with school-aged children plan to purchase electronics this year, down from last year's 63.7 percent.

Many retailers have already started rolling out back to school products in stores. However, shoppers are not rushing in to stores. The survey found that more parents are waiting closer to the start of school this year before purchasing supplies. The survey found most families (42.4%) will begin shopping three weeks to one month before school starts. One-third (31.2%) will begin shopping for school supplies one to two weeks before school starts - up from 24.8% last year.

Image: NRF