Back-to-school shoppers are all set to spend $82.8 billion

The second biggest shopping season of the year has arrived. According to Forbes, back-to-school shoppers will spend $75.8 billion this year. But as per the new survey of the National Retail Foundation, shoppers are expected to spend $82.8 billion in 2018. This figure is almost as high as the previous year’s $83.6 billion. Families are likely to spend $684.79 each through high school plans whereas college students are likely to spend $942.17 each. This is the third-highest figure in the history of the survey.

The NRF President recently said on back-to-school shopping:“With the economy thriving thanks to tax reform and growing consumer confidence, we expect to see a very strong season,”
Matthew Shay, CEO of the NRF commented recently:“College spending is expected to be at its highest level ever, and back-to-school will be one of the three highest years on record.”

Forbes has a different prediction though. They predict that an average family will spend $603 this year. The figure is 6.8% higher than the previous year.

Online sales are also likely to increase by 15.3% due to Amazon Prime Day and lucrative back-to-school shopping options from Target. Amazon Prime day sales increased by 60 percent this year. On the other hand, Target is giving a 15 percent discount to teachers and free shipping to Target Redcard users.

Almost 50.3 percent of the working adults have a full-time job, up from 48 percent in 2014. The economic climate is also slightly better now and consumers' confidence has increased too. These factors are increasing the back-to-school sale figures to a great extent.

Back-to-school shopping statistics

# The most popular back-to-school items for the college shoppers

  • Clothes and accessories - $153.32
  • Food - $102.82
  • Gift cards - $62.61
  • Shoes - $83.41
  • Home furnishings - $109.29
  • Personal care - $78.70
  • School supplies - $69.46
  • Personal care items - $78.70
  • Collegiate branded gear - $53.34

College shoppers are stretching their budget for clothes, shoes, and home furnishings. However, they are expected to spend less on the personal care items and gift cards.

# The most popular back-to-school items for the school going kids

  • Apparels - $236.90
  • Electronics - $187.10
  • Notebooks and pencils - $122.13

The demand for electrical goods like smartphones, tablets, and laptops are slightly less this year. This is a big but an expected change for the retailers. Laptops and smartphones are an integral part of household life. Usually, parents/students don’t wait until the back-to-school shopping season for buying these items nowadays. They buy these items as per their requirements throughout the year.

# The most popular back-to-school shopping destinations

  • Department stores
  • Discount stores
  • Online retailers
  • Office supply stores
  • Clothing stores
  • College bookstores

# When does back-to-school shopping start?

As per the annual survey of the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics, consumers are starting early this year. Seventy-seven percent of back-to-school shoppers are starting three weeks before the school begins. This is 3 percent higher than the last year and 13 percent higher than a decade ago.

Moreover, 67 percent of college shoppers will start early this year. This figure is the same as last year but it is 51 percent higher than in 2008. However, 89 percent of the back-to-school and college shoppers still won’t be able to complete 50 percent of their shopping. They will wait for the best deals for the items on their shopping lists.


Children have a very strong influence on their parents. This trend continues in all the back-to-school seasons. Why shouldn’t it be? Gen Zers are very picky about the items they want. Thanks to the social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. They use smartphones. They can easily surf Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, etc. They know the back-to-school trends quite well. As such it’s tough to keep kids happy with low-grade items nowadays. Parents have to spend a lot in the back-to-school season for the sake of their children.

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