K-12 Back-to-School Spending to Remain High

July 28, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce | Youth & Gen X

Though college students plan to spend less during the 2008 back-to-school season, families with school-aged children report that they will spend, on average,?$594.24 this year,?compared?with the $563.49 reported last year, the NRF announced.

Total spending for kids in grades K-12 will reach $20.1 billion, according to NRF estimates.


  • Parents plan to spend more on household electronics like computer and cell phones: $151.61, up from $129.24 last year, but the following categories will have more moderate increases:
    • Clothing – $234.51 vs. $231.80 last year
    • Shoes – $109.75 vs. $108.42
    • School supplies – $98.47 vs. $94.02 last year


  • Online shopping is gaining in popularity: 24.8% of back-to-school shoppers will buy online, compared with 21.4% last year.
  • Parents are not the only ones spending money: Teenagers will put an average of $26.29 of their own money toward back-to-school items this year; preteens will contribute $11.44.
  • Parents are influenced by their children: 54.5% say their kids’ opinions are important for at least half of all back-to-school purchases.
  • One-fifth of parents nationwide will use part of their stimulus check for back-to-school items.
  • More parents will begin shopping earlier in the season – 46.4% say they will start at least three weeks before school starts, as opposed to 45.2% who said so in 2007.
  • Discount stores are a favorite destination this year, with 73.0% of respondents saying it is where they will go for back-to-school shopping. Other destinations:
    • Department stores – 56.6%
    • Clothing stores – 47.8%
    • Electronic stores – 21.4%
    • Office supply stores – 41.8%
    • Drug stores – 18.2%
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