National Retail Federation: Families use different strategies to cover the cost of back-to-school shopping

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 5:56 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -The countdown is on to the first day of school. Have you bought everything your students need to head back to class? The National Retail Federation says families will be paying big bucks this back-to-school season, and are forced to take a different approach to cover the cost.

“Aside from the winter holidays, the Back to School and College shopping season is one of the biggest for both consumers and retailers,” said Katherine Cullen, National Retail Federation’s Senior Director of Industry and Consumer Insights.

The National Retail Federation says shoppers will spend more per person this season than they do on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day combined.

“Families with children in elementary through high school are expecting to spend around $864 on the season this year, about $15 more than last year, " Cullen said.

Cullen is noticing many families make some major adjustments to make sure their students have what they need for the fall.

“This year 38% say that they’re cutting back and other areas to cover the cost of items that they will need for the school year.”

And shoppers are taking a different strategy to get all of their supplies.

“Consumers are approaching major spending events and holidays like the winter holidays are back to school, and wanting to start earlier than ever. They do this because they want to spread out their budgets and give themselves time to shop for sales and deals,” Cullen explained they’re even waiting until closer to the last minute to buy everything they need.

“On average consumers, for the most part still have at least half of their shopping left to do 85% or less than halfway done,” said Cullen, because the price of nearly everything is higher than ever.

“We’re hearing that 68% of those shopping for back to school and college say that they have noticed higher prices, particularly on items like clothing, accessories, and school supplies.”

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