MERIC NEWS LETTER

Back-to-School and College Sales Expected to Remain Steady

Bakc to School 2011According to the National Retail Federation's back-to-school and college surveys by BIGresearch, most families plan to focus on value when replenishing 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 Intentions and Actions Survey forecasts the average Midwest family with school-aged children will spend $593.11 on back-to-school purchases this year. The average back-to-college Midwest family plans to spend $737.39 on its college bound students.

Nationally, the combined average forecasted for back-to-school spending was $603.63 per family this year, slightly lower than the 2010 average of $606.40 for 12th grade and lower.

Nationwide, total back-to-school spending for Kindergarten through 12th grade is estimated to reach $22.8 billion and back-to-college spending is expected to reach $46.0 billion dollars, totalling $68.8 billion for both. This makes back-to-school the second highest spending event behind the winter holidays.

The Midwest total combined spending forecast for 2011 back-to-school purchases was lower this year at $593.11 per family than the national combined average at $603.63. The types of back-to-school items Midwest parents expect to spend the most on are electronics (36%), followed by clothing and accessories (35%), shoes (16%), and school supplies (13%).

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 5 through August 7, 2011 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 decrease to $808.71 per family. College students plan to save by searching for sales and shopping at discount stores for electronics.

Midwest families expect to spend $737.39 on college back-to-school items, outlaying the most money on electronics and computers (25%), followed by clothing (16%), apartment furnishings (12%), food (11%), personal care (8%), school supplies (8%), shoes (8%), gift cards (8%) and collegiate branded gear or supplies (4%).

Back to College 2011 Pie Chart

Sources: National Retail Federation, BIGresearch
                                                             
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