Consumers will spend just over $18 billion on back-to-school merchandise this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Interestingly, kids themselves will chip in some of their own money to get ready for school.
While families with school-age children say they will spend $563.49 preparing for the return to school, both pre-teens and teenagers will help foot the bills. Pre-teens will spend nearly $16 of their own money on back-to-school merchandise, and teenagers will spend just over $31 of their own money.
Even those who don’t contribute cash do contribute their opinions. Nearly two-thirds of parents surveyed say their children influence at least half of the merchandise purchased for back-to-school.
Phil Rist of BIGresearch, which conducted the Back-to-School Survey for the NRF, suggests that retailers will be marketing as much to kids as to parents this year. Wisely so.
The onslaught of back-to-school shopping will occur soon, with 45.2 percent of consumers saying they will begin their shopping three weeks to a month before school begins. Thirty-two percent will start two weeks prior to the start of school, and 5.4 percent will wait until the week before school begins. Only 2.7 percent will wait until school starts, and 14.6 percent have already begun.
As of today, Wal Mart features Back-to-College and “Laptops for Less” on its Internet home page. Likewise, Kmart, JCPenney and Sears all feature back-to-school on their home pages. It may be summertime, but the first day of school is close at hand.