According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending is expected to reach $26.5 billion in 2014 for grades K-12, with the strongest trends in growth coming in the electronics and school supplies categories.
The consumer survey results, received on July 1 by the National Retail Foundation from Prosper Insights & Analytics, show that planned spending is up in every category, even with the increase in consumers shopping online and the increase in the number of families who will wait until the last two weeks before school starts in order to take advantage of back-to-school deals.
Families are expected to spend $670 on average this back-to-school season, up five percent from last year. $212 of that $670 is projected to be spent on electronics, such as mobile devices and laptops, which is up from $199 in 2013. $101 is projected to be spent on school supplies—such as notebooks, pens and pencils—which is up from $91 in 2013.
But according to a study completed by Ebates.com, a coupon and cash-back website, parents and their under-18 students don’t always see eye-to-eye on what constitutes the most important purchase.
For teens, the must-have purchases in the technology category include headphones (mentioned by 52 percent), a smartphone (43 percent), a laptop (36 percent), apps (26 percent), and a tablet (24 percent).
For parents, the must-have purchases in the same category for their children were the same five items but in a different order: Laptop (33 percent), headphones (29 percent), tablet (29 percent), smartphone (20 percent), and apps (17 percent).
Ebates.com notes, “When it comes to their most important priorities for back-to-school shopping, 87 percent of parents and 68 percent of teens agree that traditional classroom items such as notebooks, folders, pens and pencils and school clothes are at the top of the list. While other back-to-school staples like book bags or backpacks are also considered critical items by both parents and teens, the Ebates.com survey discovered that 1 in 10 parents (14 percent) include surprising must-haves like immunizations and new haircuts on their checklist.”
The National Retail Federation notes that teenagers in today’s age wield major influence over what items they’ll ultimately end up with when going back to school. Teenagers plan to spend $913 million of their own money on back-to-school purchases this year and more than 1-in-10 parents with high school students say that all of their back-to-school purchases are influenced by their children.
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