BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING HAS A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON LOCAL ECONOMY
The end of summer is quickly approaching, and according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey of 6,500 consumers across the nation, the average family with children in grades K-12 plans to spend $630 per child on back to school supplies this season. College students, on average, will spend just under $900. The NRF projects total spending for the 2015 back to school shopping season to reach $68 billion.
Despite a forecasted marginal decline in spending as compared to 2014, back to school still ranks as the second largest shopping season of the year. Total spending on back to school supplies has increased 42% in the past ten years according to the NRF.
“As the second largest spending season of the year, back to school shopping is vitally important for our local businesses,” said Devin Gorman, vice president of operations at the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
Steve Scott, owner of Gorilla Country in Pittsburg, says the season is exciting and he appreciates the business it brings to his store.
“We get new merchandise for the late summer and early fall. It’s also great to see our customers who are coming back to college and their parents as they get ready for fall classes and the coming football season,” Scott said.
Only 31.1% of respondents from the Midwest in the NRF survey said they plan to do a portion of their shopping online. The top locations for back to school shopping are discount stores (61.1%), followed by department stores (56.9%) and clothing stores (46.3%). The majority of spending will be focused on clothing and electronics.
“There is a common perception that online shopping dominates the landscape, but that fact that 70% of shoppers plan to visit local stores for their back to school shopping is telling,” said Gorman. “Visiting local retailers offers many great benefits, such as the ability to have children try on clothes before purchasing. Our local stores offer great discounts and sales during the season as well, which can help save money.
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