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BizReport : Research archives : August 06, 2009


NRF: Back to school blues?

There are two seasons marketers both dread and look forward to: holiday shopping and back to school shopping. Unfortunately, the 2009 back to school spend may fall shy of marketers hopes and expectations. According to the National Retail Federation's 2009 Back to School Survey, spending will decline by nearly 10%.

by Kristina Knight

On average, families with children in primary and secondary school (grades K - 12) will spend about $548 each, a decline of nearly 8% versus 2008 spending. The total primary and secondary school spend is expected to reach just over $17.4 billion this year; the spend including college spending is expected to reach more than $47 billion. The decreased spend this year is blamed on the faltering economy.


"The economy has clearly changed the spending habits of American families, which will likely create a difficult back-to-school season for retailers," said Tracy Mullin, President and CEO of NRF. "As people focus primarily on price, strong promotions and deep discounts will ultimately win over back-to-school shoppers this year."

Here are a few highlights ">from the report:
• Secondary/Primary school shoppers will spend $204 on clothing, $93.49 on shoes and $82 on school supplies
• 75% of families will shop discount stores, will use coupons or search for the best prices to make their cash last
• College shoppers will spend $118 on clothing, $57.85 on shoes, $34 on 'college gear', $80 on dorm/apartment furniture, $266 on electronics
• 22% of shoppers are expected to shop online and nearly one-third (32%) will shop two weeks prior to school starting

Electronics is the sole back-to-school shopping category not expected to see a decline in spending. Laptop/desktop computers, printers, iPods and handheld games are expected to fly off shelves as students return to school in the fall. Last year students spend $151 on electronics items; this year they are expected to spend nearly $168.






Tags: back to school, back to school spending, ecommerce, National Retail Federation, online shopping








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