The NPD Group reports that consumers plan to start their back-to-school shopping later this year but intend to spend more, especially online.
The annual study of back-to-school purchasing intentions predicts a 3 percent increase in online back-to-school sales from last year, with price and convenience being the main motivators.
“The increase in spend online comes at the expense of national chains and mass merchants,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Value, price, and products that are on sale are less important to the consumers than last year, but this is positive news for department stores and apparel specialty retailers too, as more consumers plan to shop there compared to last year.”
Among the categories where shoppers will be spending their money this year are apparel and footwear, followed by calculators, apparel accessories, school bags and sports equipment, while spending on school supplies is expected to be down.
“These categories are important to note for several reasons, one is for category growth but another is for reading between the lines and seeing that consumers are spending more on desirables rather than only necessities,” says Cohen. “Parents are loosening up on the tight budgets and letting their kids once again make the decisions.”