NRF: Back-to-School Spending to Edge Up

NRFWASHINGTON-Fueled by purchases for back-to-college, American families are expected to spend slightly more on back-to-school products during this year’s season, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2014 Back-to-School Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

The survey found that the average college student and his/her family will spend $916.48 on dorm furniture, school supplies, electronics and other products, up 10 percent from last year. Total back-to-college spending will come to $48.4 billion, up 5.7 percent from last year. Back-to-school spending as a whole is expected to reach $74.9 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent from last year’s season.

Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO, said that “today, college students and their parents contribute a significant amount to the economy. Retailers, hoping to get a head start on this extremely competitive shopping season, will attract these millennials with promotions through Instagram and other social channels, as well as through content that speaks to these tech-savvy, fashion-forward students.”

In an effort to seek out the best deals, parents will take their college students to a variety of retail channels for their back-to-school products. More than half (50.5 percent) will shop at discount stores, while 46.6 percent will do their shopping at department stores. Online will account for 44.6 percent of back to school shoppers, the highest percentage for this channel in the survey’s history.