WASHINGTON-Average spending on back-to-college merchandise is expected to increase this year, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation by BIGinsight.
The survey estimated that the average back-to-college shopper will spend $907.22 this year, up from $808.71 last year. Total spending on back-to-school, including back-to-college, will reach $83.8 billion, making back-to-school the second biggest retail event, exceeded only by the winter holidays. Home furnishings stores are expected to enjoy a jump in traffic in this back-to-college season, with 16.4 percent of all consumers intending to shop at a home furnishings store, up from 11.2 percent last year.
Back-to-college shoppers are expected to spend an average of $100.27 on dorm furnishings, and will spend an average of $81.76 on personal-care items. The survey also found that the sluggish economy will affect back-to-college shoppers’ spending patterns, with people intending to use the Internet more this year for both shopping and comparison shopping.
The economy is also expected to have an impact on retailers offering back-to-college merchandise. Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF, said retailers “will offer shoppers plenty of ways to save money both on their stores and on their websites, including bundles, free gifts and gift cards with their purchase and even free online shipping on school items, aiming to attract value-focused back-to-college shoppers.”