As of mid-August, American families had scratched only the surface of their back-to school shopping lists, with the hope that the best deals of the season are yet to come, says a survey done by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
According to NRF’s latest back-to-school/college survey, an average family with children in grades K-12 completed just half of their shopping by that time, down slightly from 52.1% last year.
The survey revealed that, as of August 12, fewer families had stepped out to take advantage of retailers’ special school savings opportunities; specifically, 23.6% had not started shopping yet, up from 20.9 percent last year.
However, there were some or 15.7 percent who said they have completed their lists, which is about the same percentage as last year.
Hoping to trim the costs where they can, some back-to-school shoppers made it a point to look for coupons and sales while scouring for apparel, footwear, supplies, etc.
And, according to the most recent survey, 15.2 percent of back-to-school shoppers said 100 percent of their purchases were influenced by coupons, sales and promotions, the highest percent since 2011.
“As the shopping season draws to a close, budget-conscious parents are likely hoping that end-of-summer sales and promotions will be just what they need to wrap up their school lists,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
He added, “Much of the delay this summer could also stem from families holding out for a sales tax holiday in their state, as well as from influential teenagers who want to first see what their friends are buying before they ask mom and dad to commit to their fall needs.”
In July, NRF found eight in 10 or 81.1% families with children in grades K-12 say that the state of the economy would impact their school spending in some way, while seven out of 10 or 77.2% college students and their families, too said the same.
To wrap up their lists, 54% back-to-school shoppers of those surveyed will shop at discount stores, 47.7% at department stores, 35% at clothing stores and 24.8% at online stores.