Back-to-school consumption to decrease


Expenses in going back to school are set to decrease a little this year.

According to the NRF’s recent research, this year’s expected back to school/college expenditure is $82.8 billion, a decrease compared to last year’s $83.6 billion. This is in contrast to last year’s result, the expenditure of which had seen a sharp increase after 2016’s $75.8 billion. As for age groups, parents with elementary to high school-aged children are expected to spend $684.79 per person, a similar statistic to last year’s $687.72. The total expenses of this demographic are $27.5 billion, the third highest figure in the last 10 years after 2012’s $30.3 billion and last year’s $29.5 billion.

Parents with children going to university or graduate school are set to spend around $942.17, a minor decrease from last year’s $969.88.

The total expenditure is measured to be about $55.3 billion, an unprecedented high exceeding $55.3 billion from last year. The category with the highest amount of expenses per person for children under university level was clothing, with $236.9. Following this was $187.1 for computers and other electronics, shoes with $136.66, and stationery with $122.13.

For children in college and older, clothing and accessories were highest with $153.32, with other categories being household necessities for dorms or flats ($109.29), food ($102.82), shoes ($83.41), personal hygiene products ($78.70), stationery ($69.46), and gift cards ($62.61). As for the proportion of purchase sources for all respondents, department stores were still the highest with 57%, followed by online shopping (55%), discount stores (52%), clothing stores (51%), and office supply stores (35%). For those in college and up, online shopping occupied the highest proportion with 49%, then department stores (40%), discount stores (35%), office supply stores (31%), and college bookstores (30%).