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August Is Almost Upon Us, Which Means Back-To-School Shopping Is in Full Swing

The summer is slowly winding down and with that comes back-to-school shopping. The end of summer shopping season that has parents and educators stocking up on everything from small items like pencils to larger purchases like tablets and laptops, commands huge fiscal numbers. It’s estimated that some 29 million households will spend money on school supplies this year, spending upwards of $27 million. All of this spending has given the back-to-school shopping splurge the title of the second biggest shopping season after the December holidays.

While certain shopping trends remain -- kids are still starting school with new clothes and a fresh set of pens and pencils -- there are new emerging trends that we haven’t seen in seasons past.

According to Deloitte’s annual back-to-school shopping survey, parents are spending a little less on traditional school items because of the prevalence of technology in classrooms and spending more on clothing. Money spent on new clothes for children is expected to account for 55 percent of families’ back-to-school spending, up a full 10 percent from last year.

Ninety-seven percent of parents said they plan to buy new school clothes for their children. While just 41 percent of parents said they’ll spend money on a computer or electronic gadget for their children’s back-to-school needs.

The back-to-school shopping season itself started earlier this year than previous years also, thanks to the incredible popularity of Amazon Prime Day. The July sales event led competitors like Macy’s and Walmart to launch their own sales leading economists to dub the surge in summer spending “Black Friday in July.” In an effort to compete with the easy shopping of Amazon, Walmart expanded its service of allowing customers to retrieve online grocery orders at its stores, to include popular back-to-school items like crayons and backpacks.

It’s not just the parents of students forking over hundreds of dollars on school supplies, but the teachers of those students as well. The Education Market Association reports that on average, teachers spent $500 out of their own pockets last year to help cover school supply needs for children who came to the classroom not fully equipped. “As a science teacher, I have an official budget, but that is usually gone by the beginning of the year,” Bruce Hogue, a science teacher in suburban Denver, told ABC News. “When I want to do a science lab, I usually pay for it all on my own.”

Overall, it’s estimated that parents will spend an average of $501 per child on goods to prepare them for the new school year.


Article by Joel Stice, Education World Contributor


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