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Back-to-School Sales Expected to be Flat
Jul 27, 2011
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U.S. parents will be more economical this year, as will college students preparing to return to college, according to the NRF’s 2011 Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys.

The Back-to-School survey showing families with kids in grades K-12 will spend an average of $603.63 on apparel, school supplies, and electronics – almost the same as 2010's $606.40 average. Total spending on grades K-12 is expected to reach $22.8 billion. Combined K-12 and college spending will reach $68.8 billion, which the National Retail Federation said makes it the second biggest consumer spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays.

The average spending on computers, cell phones, media players, and tablet devices is expected to increase slightly to $189.51. However, just 51.9% of families with school-aged kids plan to purchase electronics this year, down from 2010's historic high of 63.7%.

NRF’s 2011 Back-to-College survey found most college shoppers - 83.7% - will adjust their budgets because of the economy in 2011. Parents and students will spend an average of $808.71 on everything from apparel and electronics to dorm furnishings and food items, down from $835.73 in 2010.

The survey found 45.8% of students and their parents will buy electronics - the lowest level since 2005 – but electronics will still take up the largest portion of shoppers’ budgets. The average person will spend $209.93, down 11% from 2010's $236.94. Freshman will spend the most on electronics: $281.94 on average.

Total Back-to-School and Back-to-College Electronics Spending

• Back-to-school spending on Electronics and Computer-Related Equipment is expected to be $7.15 billion.
• Back-to-college spending on Electronics and Computer-Related Equipment is expected to be $11.95 billion.

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