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    Back-to-class shopping to reach record levels in 2021: NRF

    20
    Jul '21
    Pic: Shutterstock
    Pic: Shutterstock
    Consumers plan to spend record amounts for both school and college supplies as families and students plan to return to in-person classrooms this fall, according to annual survey released by the US-based retail trade association National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The survey of 7,704 consumers was conducted from July 1-8, 2021.
     
    “The pandemic forced parents and their school-aged children to quickly adapt to virtual learning, and they did it with an incredible amount of resolve and flexibility,” Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO, said in a press release. “We enter the new school year with plans to return to the classroom and retailers are prepared to help Americans find and purchase whatever they need to make this transition as seamless as possible.” 
     
    “Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $848.90 on school items, which is $59 more than last year,” the trade association said. “Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, up from $33.9 billion last year and an all-time high in the survey's history. College students and their families plan to spend an average of $1,200.32 on college or university items, an increase of $141 over last year. Over half ($80) of this increase is due to increased spending on electronics and dorm furnishings. Total back-to-college spending is expected to reach a record $71 billion, up from $67.7 billion in 2020.”
     
    According to the survey, as of early July more than half (51 per cent) of K-12 and college shoppers have begun shopping for the items they will need when classes resume later this year. And 39 per cent say they took advantage of recent sale events such as Prime Day, Target Deal Days and Walmart's Deals for Days to shop specifically for school items. 
     
    On average, consumers reported that they had completed only 18 per cent of their back-to-class purchases so far by early July. Among those with at least half of their shopping left to complete, 51 per cent said it was because they did not yet know what they will need, and 48 per cent said they were still waiting for the best deals. Additionally, 43 per cent of all back-to-class shoppers say they plan to use money they received from government stimulus to purchase items for the upcoming school year. 
     
    “Consumers are spending more on items like electronics and clothing as they make plans for students to resume activities in person this fall,” Phil Rist, Prosper Insights' executive vice president of strategy said. “For those in particular with children in elementary to high school, shoppers are putting the largest portion of their budgets toward electronics, new clothes and accessories.” 
     
    “While online shopping remains a top destination for back-to-school shopping, families are much more comfortable shopping in store this year than last year during the peak of the pandemic,” NRF further added. “The most popular destinations for K-12 shoppers are online (48 per cent), department stores (48 per cent), discount stores (44 per cent), clothing stores (41 per cent), office supplies stores (27 per cent) and electronics stores (27 per cent).”

    Fibre2Fashion News Desk (JL)


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