College kids to spend $3.6 billion on furnishings

WASHINGTON -- The National Retail Federation’s 2005 Back-to-College Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey by BIGresearch found that college students and parents will spend $34.4 billion on returning to campus this year, up 33.8 percent from 2004 and more than double what parents of younger students will spend on back-to-school.

Spending on back-to-college merchandise will rise in all tracked categories, including $3.6 billion on dorm and apartment furnishings. Underclassmen will be the most lucrative targets for retailers this year. The average freshman plans to spend $1,151.68, largely on electronics ($540.35). Sophomores plan to drop $1,028.57, primarily on textbooks, home furnishings and clothes. Spending by juniors, seniors and grad students will also be high.

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