About four in 10 (43%) US back-to-school shoppers with at least one child in grades K-12 this fall will spend $250 or more on back to school items, according to a July 2011 Deloitte survey. Results from the 2011 Deloitte Back to School Survey indicate this figure includes 28% who will spend $250-$499, as well as 8% who will spend $500-$749.
Only a combined 7% will spend $750 or more on back to school items this year. In contrast, the highest single percentage of shoppers (39%) will spend $100-$249.
Budget Cuts Prompt Spending
Fifty-five percent of respondents expect to spend the same amount on back to school shopping as they did last year, while 31% expect to spend more. Of the 31% planning to spend more, a leading 60% say they seem to spend more every year. However, the highest percentage giving a specific reason (32%) say that school budget cuts are behind higher spending, while 28% (more than one answer permitted) cite children needing more expensive items, such as computers.
School Supplies, Clothes Popular Items
About nine in 10 back to school shoppers say they need to buy back-to-school items such as pencils and paper (94%), as well as clothes (88%). While about eight in 10 plan to buy shoes (79%), this figure is down 7% from 85% in 2010 and down 8% from 86% in 2009.
In addition, the 63% saying they need to buy a backpack/bookbag/lunchbox is down a significant 9% from 69% in 2010 and 12.5% from 72% in 2009.
9 in 10 Will Shop at Discounters
A leading nine in 10 (92%) back to school shoppers will shop at discount/value/department stores. Office supply stores come in a distant second with 44% of back to school shoppers planning to buy items there, up 22% from 36% in 2009.
While dollar stores rank third with 32% of back to school shoppers planning to use this vertical, the percentage has fallen slightly from 33% in 2010 and a much larger 20% from 40% in 2009.
- Two-thirds (65%) of respondents say low prices are the most important attribute of a retailer for back-to-school shopping.
- Half of respondents indicate their children will spend $51 or more of their own money on back to school shopping.
- 64% of respondents plan to buy more items on sale this year than last year.
- 35% of respondents plan to use social media to aid back to school shopping, up 21% from 29% last year.
Amex: Average Family Will Spend $800 on Back to School
The average US family of four plans to spend $800 on back to school purchases this year but two-thirds of U.S. parents (67%) say they will need to make trade-offs to afford these expenses, according to the July 2011 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. Clothing ($290), shoes ($110), and school supplies ($100) top back to school shopping lists.
About the Data: The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between July 5 and 11, 2011. The survey polled a sample of 1,000 parents of school-aged children.