According to the NRF 2019 back-to-class annual survey, the average BTS spend will be $696.70 – up from $684.79 last year – and tops the previous record of $687.72 set in 2017. However, as fewer families surveyed said they have children in grades K-12, spending is expected to total $26.2 billion, down from last year’s $27.5 billion despite the increase in per-household spending.
Households with college students are expected to spend an average of $976.78, which is up from last year’s $942.17, and betters the previous 2017 record of $969.88. Again, as fewer respondents said they are attending college, spending is expected to total $54.5 billion, a fall from the 2018 record of $55.3 billion.
According to the survey, clothing and accessories will top K-12 families’ expenses at an average $239.82, followed by electronics such as computers, calculators and phones ($203.44), with spend on supplies such as notebooks, pencils, backpacks and lunch boxes put at $117.49. Most of the shopping will be done at department stores (53%), while 31% will use office supplies stores.
Conversely, BTC shoppers plan to do most of their buying online (45%), followed by department stores (39%), with 29% intending to use office supplies stores. The most money will be spent on electronics ($234.69).
NRF CEO Matthew Shay said: “Consumers are in a strong position given the nation’s growing economy, and we see this reflected in what they say they will spend on back-to-class items this year.”