Highlights from the annual National Retail Federation survey of college, K-12, back-to-school spending.
- Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $848.90 on school items, which is $59 more than last year.
- Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, up from $33.9 billion last year and an all-time high in the survey’s history.
- College students and their families plan to spend an average of $1,200.32 on college or university items, an increase of $141 over last year.
- Over half ($80) of this increase is due to increased spending on electronics and dorm furnishings.
- Total back-to-college spending is expected to reach a record $71 billion, up from $67.7 billion in 2020.
- The vast majority (76 percent) of K-12 shoppers were still waiting on lists for school supplies as of earlier this month.
- On average, consumers reported that they had completed only 18 percent of their back-to-class purchases so far by early July.
“Consumers are spending more on items like electronics and clothing as they make plans for students to resume activities in person this fall,” Prosper Insights executive vice president of strategy Phil Rist said.
Top destinations for K-12 shoppers
Online (48 percent)
Department stores (48 percent)
Discount stores (44 percent)
Clothing stores (41 percent)
Office supplies stores (27 percent)
Electronics stores (27 percent)
The top destinations for college shoppers
Online (43 percent)
Department stores (33 percent)
Discount stores (30 percent)
Office supplies stores (29 percent)
College bookstores (28 percent)