There have been mixed forecasts for this year’s
back-to-school shopping, with some predictions of higher
spending, while others are saying that parents are backing
off after heavy post-recession spending last year. The latest
report from a special ICSC-Goldman Sachs consumer
tracking survey is in the “more spending” column.
The survey conducted by Opinion Research
Corporation for the shopping center trade association,
ICSC, and Wall Street investment bank
Goldman Sachs, from July 12-15 found that
29% of households had already begun back-
to-school shopping. That’s below the mark of
33% at the same time in 2012. But two-thirds of
households say they will do most of their back-
to-school shopping in August.
The average household expenditure on all
types of back-to-school items is expected to be
about $285 this year, which is an increase over
last year for 39% of those surveyed. 45% plan
to spend the same amount as last year, while
only 17% indicated they would spend less. Of
the 42% of consumers that plan to increase
spending, nearly three-fifths indicated that the bulk of their
shopping will be to replace wardrobes and school supplies.
One notable change is that 90% of the people surveyed
plan to do at least some of their back-to-school shopping
at discount stores, up from 83% last year. That was
followed by 44% heading to office supply stores and 41%
traditional department stores.