Total spending for back to school shopping and back to college spending should reach $82.8 billion, nearly as high as last year’s $83.6 billion, according to the annual survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights and Analytics.


“With the economy thriving thanks to tax reform and growing consumer confidence, we expect to see a very strong season,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “College spending is expected to be at its highest level ever, and back-to-school will be one of the three highest years on record, according to the survey.”

K-12 Back to School Shopping

$684.79 | Average per K-12 student shopping
$27.5 Billion | Total spending for all K-12 student shopping

Average shopping per student in various categories

$236.90 | Clothing
$187.10 | Electronics (computers, calculators, phones, etc.)
$138.66 | Shoes
$122.13 | Supplies (notebooks, pencils, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc.)

Shopping destinations for K-12 consumers

57% | Department stores
55% | Online retailers
52% | Discount stores
51% | Clothing stores
35% | Office supply stores

moving into college dorm room

College Shopping

$942.17 | Average per college student shopping
$55.3 billion | Total spending for all college shopping

Average shopping per student in various categories

$229.20 | Electronics
$153.32 | Clothing and accessories
$109.29 | Dorm or apartment furnishings
$102.82 | Food
$83.41 | Shoes
$78.70 | Personal care items
$69.46 | School supplies
$62.61 | Gift cards
$53.34 | Collegiate branded gear

Shopping destinations for college consumers

49% | Online retailers
40% | Department stores
35% | Discount stores
31% | Office supply stores
30% | College bookstores


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