NRF: Back-to-College expected to set new record

Total spending on BTC expected to hit $54.1 billion

Washington– Consumers shopping for Back-to-College are starting earlier this year and spending more.

The National Retail Federation’s annual consumer survey found college students and their families have budgeted an average of $969.88, up from last year’s $888.71.

Key takeaways:

  • Total BTC spending is expected to be $54.1 billion, up from $48.5 billion last year and surpassing 2012’s record of $53.5 billion.
  • Regarding dorm/apartment furnishings, households plan to spend an average of $105.58, with the sector expected to reach $5.9 billion in retail sales this season.
  • As for shopping destinations, 44% will go online, 40% to discount stores, 39% to department stores, 34% to college bookstores and 29% to office supply stores.Growing college enrollment is one factor spurring the boost. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, college enrollment has steadily increased over the last five years and is projected to reach nearly 21 million this fall.

This year, 32% will start two months before school compared with 26% last year. And only 21% will leave shopping until the last week or two before school starts, down from 25% last year. Of those shopping early, 64% are trying to spread out their budgets, 41% don’t want to miss sales and 37% want to avoid crowds.

Total spending for Back-to-School (elementary through high school) and Back-to-College combined is projected to reach $83.6 billion, up more than 10% from last year’s $75.8 billion, according to Prosper Insights & Analytics, which conducted the consumer survey.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

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HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!