**U.S. Shoppers Expected to Spend Record Amounts on Back-to-School Shopping**
Back-to-school shopping is projected to be more expensive this year, with U.S. shoppers expected to spend record amounts on school and college supplies. The National Retail Federation (NRF) conducted an annual survey, revealing that the increased demand for electronics in the classroom is driving this uptick in spending. Families with children in elementary through high school are expected to spend $41.5 billion, which is $4.6 billion or 12% more than last year. On average, families will spend approximately $890 on school supplies. Additionally, spending on electronics, such as laptops and tablets, is estimated to reach a record high of $15.2 billion, a notable 65% increase from last year.
Back-to-college spending is predicted to see an even more substantial increase of $20 billion compared to last year’s record, reaching $94 billion this year. The NRF expects each student to spend an average of $1,350. Big-ticket items like laptops, phones, calculators, and dormitory furnishings will account for a significant portion of this spending.
**Contrasting Views on Back-to-School Shopping**
However, a survey by Deloitte contradicts the NRF research, suggesting that parents will actually spend 10% less this year due to financial stress caused by inflation and rising interest rates. Deloitte estimates that overall spending will decrease to $31.2 billion, with an average spend of approximately $600 per student. Nick Handrinos, the vice chairman and U.S. leader of Deloitte’s retail and consumer products practice, highlights that consumers are likely to prioritize replenishing their savings accounts and investing in experiences, such as summer vacations, over goods. He suggests that parents may delay purchases on nonessential items, instead focusing on renewing school supplies and withholding new clothing until necessary.
According to a survey by art supply company Crayola, 60% of parents anticipate that inflation will have a significant impact on their back-to-school shopping. Additionally, the cost of school supplies has risen by nearly 24% in the past two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index. As a result, price-sensitive parents of elementary through high school children may reassess their approach to back-to-school shopping. Some plan to delay purchases on nonessential items, while others intend to use cash rather than credit cards due to rising interest rates.
Despite these financial concerns, nearly 60% of parents in the Deloitte survey expressed a willingness to splurge on better quality products or provide their child with a little extra.
As the demand for electronics in the classroom continues to rise, U.S. shoppers are expected to spend record amounts on back-to-school and back-to-college supplies. However, conflicting views exist regarding the actual amount of spending. While the NRF predicts increased spending, a survey by Deloitte projects a decrease in spending due to financial stress caused by inflation and rising interest rates. Regardless of the differing forecasts, parents are likely to reassess their back-to-school shopping strategies, considering factors such as inflation, rising costs of school supplies, and their own financial situations.