RSS feed Get our RSS feed

News by Topic

BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 25, 2011

NRF: Economy forces parents to restrain BTS spending

The NRF's 2011 Back-to-School survey is out and it reveals that parents will be scouring bedroom closets and desks to take stock of what their children already have before making any purchase decisions.

by Helen Leggatt

NRF logo.jpgCautious parents won't be spending too much more this year than last on back-to-school supplies. Families with children in grades K - 12 will spend slightly less than last year - $603.63 on clothes, school supplies and electronics compared with $606.40 last year.

While the amount consumers spend won't vary dramatically from last years' figures there is a sea-change in the way consumers are shopping. According to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay consumers will be "shopping later, looking for value, and searching out lower priced options".

Nearly half of respondents said the economy is forcing them to shop smarter (43.7%) with 39.9% spending more on store-brand or generic items, 50% shopping for sales and 29.8% shopping more online.

More people will shop online this year - 31.7% vs. 30.8% - but department stores are experiencing their highest popularity in the survey's eight year history. Fifty-seven percent of back-to-school shoppers intend to visit a department store up from 53.9% last year.

Other key findings from the NRF Back-to-School survey, more information about which can be found at their Back to School HQ, include:

- Back-to-school and back-to-college sales combined will reach $68 billion.

- 51.9% of families with school-aged children plan to buy electronics this year, down from 63.7% last year. However, the amount they spend on electronics is expected to increase slightly to $189.51.

- Though the majority of back-to-school shoppers plan to make at least one purchase from a discount store (68.4%), clothing stores (48.7%), office supply stores (38.0%) and electronics stores (21.7%) will also be popular. Additionally, more people this year will shop online (31.7% vs. 30.8% last year) and in drug stores (21.1% vs. 19.5% last year).

- Most families will begin shopping three weeks to one month before school starts (42.4%), but nearly one-third (31.2%) will begin shopping one to two weeks before school starts - up from one-quarter (24.8%) last year.

Last month, online shopping website PriceGrabber released their latest back-to-school findings that revealed almost half (49%) of parents were leaving their shopping until the last minute. Why? So they could take advantage of last-minute offers.

Tags: back-to-school, consumer insight, ecommerce, National Retail Federation

Subscribe to BizReport



Copyright © 1999- BizReport. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of BizReport content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
BizReport shall not be liable for any errors in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.