Back-to-school this year will be slow this year, but not as slow as in 2008, said a report by the NPD Group.
Overall, consumers tell NPD that they aren’t in a hurry to shop. This year there was a 5% drop in the number of consumers saying they either "haven’t started" or "don’t plan to shop" for back-to-school as of July 2009.
According to NPD, back to School spending intentions in 2009 include:
Plan to Spend Less? 44%
Plan to Spend the Same? 32%
Plan to Spend More? 23%
Additionally, this year consumers say they are making a dramatic shift in their spending priorities.
School Supplies -- 77%, versus 78% in 2008
Apparel -- 52%, versus 60% in 2008
Footwear -- 39%, versus 48% in 2008
Electronics* -- 30%, versus 34% in 2008
School Bags -- 29% versus 33% in 2008
Apparel Accessories -- 16%, versus 20% in 2008
Small Appliances -- 6%, versus 7% in 2008
*Electronics includes: personal computers, laptops, PDA’s, printers, cell phones, MP3 players, and digital cameras.
As consumers shift their purchasing behavior, they will also be shifting where they will shop. Indications are that department stores will take the hardest hit with 20 percent of consumers saying they will shop there, a 4% decline from last year. Office supply stores are consumers’ top shopping destination, with 82% of consumers saying they will shop there, followed by mass merchants/discounters at 42%. Chain stores come in third, with 29%.
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