Back-to-School and College Sales Expected to Rise

Bakc to School 2011According to the National Retail Federation's back-to-school and college surveys by BIGinsight, most families plan to make sure the children have everything they need when purchasing children's back-to-school and college items this year. Families also intend to shop for store or generic brands to save money. Back-to-school shopping is the second highest spending event in the U.S. behind the winter holidays.

The BIGinsight Monthly Survey forecasts the average Midwest family with school-aged children will spend $658.68 on back-to-school purchases this year, up 11 percent from 2011 amount of $593.11. The average back-to-college Midwest family plans to spend $909.28 on its college bound students.

Nationally, the combined average forecasted for back-to-school spending was $688.62 per family this year, higher than the 2011 average of $603.63 for 12th grade and lower.

Nationwide, total back-to-school spending for Kindergarten through 12th grade is estimated to reach $30.3 billion and back-to-college spending is expected to reach $53.5 billion dollars, totalling $83.8 billion for both. This makes back-to-school the second highest spending event behind the winter holidays.

The Midwest total combined spending forecast for 2012 back-to-school purchases was lower this year at $658.68 per family than the national combined average at $688.62. The types of back-to-school items Midwest parents expect to spend the most on are clothing and accessories (36%), electronics (31%), followed by shoes (19%), and school supplies (14%).

Back to School Pie Chart 2011
According to the survey, most MidwesBack to colleget parents are likely to start back-to-school and college shopping early to spread out spending across a greater time period. Many Missouri parents may start shopping the weekend of August 3 through August 5, 2012 to take advantage of the state’s annual sales tax holiday on many types of back-to-school clothing, computers and supplies.

Average college spending nationwide is forecasted to increase to $907.22 per family. College students plan to save by searching for sales and shopping at discount stores for electronics.

Midwest families expect to spend $909.28 on college back-to-school items, outlaying the most money on electronics and computers (28%), followed by clothing (14%), apartment furnishings (12%), school supplies (9%), food (11%), gift cards (7%), shoes (7%), personal care (7%) and collegiate branded gear or supplies (5%).

Back to College 2011 Pie Chart

Sources: National Retail Federation, BIGinsight

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