A Jackson, Missouri, mother of three grown boys reacted like this to yesterday´s Retail Strategies posting about back-to-school spending: "I rejoice at the beginning of every school year now. I do not have to buy school clothes or supplies anymore. Hip-hip hooray."
Her jubilation says quite a bit about how much parents spend getting their kids ready for school every year. It´s "broke time" for parents and "boom time" for retailers, who will rake in nearly $18 billion this year as school children prepare to return to the classroom.
Discount stores will benefit the most from the splurge on school supplies and clothes, with slightly more than 70 percent of people surveyed in the National Retail Federation´s 2006 "Back to School Intentions and Actions" survey predicting they´ll shop a discounter. Department stores will get the next biggest chunk, with more than 50 percent of people polled expecting to shop in those type stores. Office supply stores will draw about 35 percent of shoppers, and specialty retailers of clothing and electronics will attract about 30 percent.
Online retailers and drugstores each will be the back-to-school shopping place of choice for between 10 percent and 15 percent of shoppers. Catalog retailers will benefit the least from this seasonal shopping surge, with fewer than 5 percent of shoppers planning to use mail order for this occasion.
The most money will be spent on clothing, with the average consumer expecting to spend $228.14 for apparel. The next biggest chunk of money will go for electronics, with the average parent expecting to spend $114.38, followed by shoes, $98.34, and school supplies, $86.22.
Total dollars to be spent add up to $7.6 billion for clothing and accessories; $3.8 billion for electronics or computer-related equipment; $3.3 billion on shoes; and $2.9 billion on school supplies.
Demographically, parents in the South will spend the most money, followed in descending order by moms and dads in the Midwest, West and Northeast.
It´s enough to make you want to polish your saddle shoes, buy a new pair of bobby sox and be true to your school.
The National Retail Federation survey was conducted by BIGresearch.