Business Intel: Back-to-school shopping season ramps up

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Back-to-school lists present a shopping challenge (copy)

The National Retail Federation expects households with K-12 students to spend an average of $849 on back-to-school shopping this year.




As students prepare to head back to the classroom after spending much of last year learning virtually, families are expected to spend record amounts on back-to-school shopping.

The National Retail Federation expects households with K-12 students to spend an average of $849 on back-to-school shopping and those with college students to spend an average of $1,200, according to a survey conducted in July.

Total back-to-school spending is expected to amount to $37.1 billion, while total back-to-college spending is anticipated to reach $71 billion.

The figures for both per-household and total spending are record highs, Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights for the NRF, said during a recent presentation.

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Families with both K-12 and college students plan to spend more on electronics this year than last. Cullen said that might come as a surprise given the number of students engaging in virtual learning last year, but she said there are a few possible reasons for this.

Coming out of the last recession, there was a renewed interest in spending on electronics, she said, perhaps because people had previously held off on replacing or buying new products. That could also be a factor now. Plus, children might have shared devices while at home but need their own as they return to the classroom.

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