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NPD Group declares Back-to-school season

Aug '05
US based consumer and retail information service provider NPD Group announced Back-to-school season has become the second largest retail season of the year and a very important indicator of what retailers need to do for the upcoming holiday season. According to a consumer-spending poll from leading sales and marketing information company, The NPD Group, back-to-school spending is expected to remain at about the same level as last year, with 80 percent of consumers telling NPD they will spend $500 or less per child. On average, consumers said they will spend $372 this year per child, which is slightly higher than last year's $367.

"Overall, this back-to-school season won't be the 'doom and gloom' some people are predicting," said Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst, The NPD Group.

This year, back-to-school season came earlier than last year, as retailers put their best back-to-school programs into action by mid-July. Those incentives sent 10 percent more consumers than last year into the stores before August 1.

School supplies, apparel and apparel accessories, and footwear will be big sellers this back-to-school season. "Denim will continue to be the staple item found in everyone's shopping bags. With prices for electronics declining, consumers will get to spend a little more on apparel this year, while unit demand for computers, digital cameras and cell phones will continue to be strong," said Cohen.

Mass merchants, such as Target andWal-Mart, continue to rule the school as consumers' top choice for back-to-school shopping, followed by apparel specialty stores that cater to young adults and teens.

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