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American families slash back-to-school spending for 2015
16
Jul '15
Courtesy: National Retail Federation
Courtesy: National Retail Federation
After spending more on school supplies and electronics in 2014, American parents this year will head into the back-to-school season evaluating what their children really need before spending on new items, says the National Retail Federation (NRF).

According to NRF’s Back-to-School Spending Survey, the average family with school children plans to spend $630.36 on electronics, apparel and other school needs, down from $669.28 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $24.9 billion. Additionally, indicating the continued growth in the back-to-school arena, families on average have spent 42 per cent more on back to school over the past 10 years.

Regardless of the slight decrease, survey results point to a more confident consumer when it comes to spending and the impact of the economy. The survey found 76.4 per cent of families with school-age children say they will change their spending because of the economy, the lowest in the seven years NRF has been tracking it, and down from 81.1 per cent last year.

“As seen over the last 13 years, spending on ‘back to school’ has consistently fluctuated based on children’s needs each year, and it’s unlikely most families would need to restock and replenish apparel, electronics and supplies every year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Parents this summer will inventory their children’s school supplies and decide what is needed and what can be reused, which just makes good budgeting sense for families with growing children.

“Heading into the second half of the year, we are optimistic that economic growth and consumer spending will improve after a shaky first half of the year,” Shay added.

Solid growth in job creation and consumer confidence have greatly contributed to the economic recovery, which could be positively impacting how families shop for school items this year. The survey found 40.6 per cent of those who say the economy is impacting their spending plans will look for sales more often, down from the 46.2 per cent last year and the lowest since NRF began tracking this in 2009. Additionally, 29.8 per cent will buy more generic or store brand products, down from 34 per cent last year and another survey low.

For those who have to restock what their children need for school, 92.7 per cent will purchase new apparel, spending an average of $217.82, though most (94.1 per cent) will head out for new school supplies, spending an average of $97.74; families will also spend $117.56 on new shoes.

Families said they would decrease their spending on gadgets for their children and will spend an average of $197.24 compared to $212.35 last year.

Among those planning to shop online, nearly half (48.4 per cent) say they will take advantage of retailers’ buy online, pick up in store or ship to store options, and 17.3 per cent will look for express shipping offers. Nine in 10 will take advantage of retailers’ free shipping offers.

According to the survey, 86.4 per cent of school shoppers say their children will influence one-quarter or more of their back-to-school purchases. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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