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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 05, 2012

Back-to-school shopping forecast reveals better season ahead for retailers

The latest PriceGrabber Back-to-School Shopping Forecast reveals a brighter few months ahead than last year for retailers as consumers plan to spend more and spread out purchases in the run-up to the start of term.

by Helen Leggatt

pricegrabber logo.jpgIn last year's PriceGrabber Back-to-School Shopping Forecast it was clear that financial concerns continued to dog consumers. Very few (13%) planned to spend more, 35% planned to spend less, and retailers had a disappointing back-to-school season.

This year's back-to-school spending forecast looks decidedly better. PriceGrabber's most recent figures show that almost half (49%) plan to spend more on back-to-school items than last year. Just 19% said they will spend less.

In another turnaround from 2011, more consumers are spreading out purchasing between now and the beginning of school whereas last year saw many hanging on until the last minute in a bid to bag a bargain.

- 17% planned to start their back-to-school shopping last month (June) vs. 13% last year;

- 35% plan to start their shopping this month (July) vs. 31% last year;

- 44% plan to start in August vs. 49% last year;

- 3% plan to start in September vs. 7% last year.

"From last year's holiday shopping season through the middle of 2012, we have seen consumers starting to shop earlier surrounding major shopping seasons and holidays, and we expect this trend to continue this back-to-school shopping season," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber.

"While PriceGrabber survey data reveals that many consumers are planning to spend more money this back-to-school shopping season, a few are still hesitant about spending, leading shoppers to search for deals even earlier to take advantage of retailer incentives and discounts such as free shipping, coupons and sales," he added.

Tags: Back-to-school, consumer spending, ecommerce, online shopping, research, retail

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