No Special Treats for Back-To-School Kids This Year

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, August 26, 2015

No Special Treats for Back-To-School Kids This Year

*The following is excerpted from an online article from MediaPost.

According to the 2015 Back-to-School spending report card from Brand Keys, households with school-age children (pre-school through 12th grade) do not plan to spend more this year on back-to-school supplies than they did last year. The anticipated average spend is $650.00 (versus 2014's $652).

The average anticipated spending in all major back-to-school categories reflect similar spending levels as last year:

  • Clothing    ($270.00)
  • Shoes (athletic & dress)    ($120.00)
  • Supplies    ($80.00)
  • Computers/Electronics/Tablets/Smartphones    ($160.00)
  • Books/Study Aids    ($22.00)

The breakdown of this year's 'preferred' retail categories versus last year's indicates an anticipated use of all retail platforms. The biggest increases in the choice of where and how to buy appeared in Specialty Apparel Retailers and Department Stores.

Change in Preferred Retail Categories vs. 2014
Retailer Category                       Vs. 2014
Discount Stores                             ---
Online                                              +2%
Specialty Retailers                      +21%
Department Stores                     +20%
Office Supply                                 +5%
Catalogs                                         -10%
Source: Brand Keys, July 2015

According to Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president, "While consumer confidence indices have been moving in a positive direction this year, it appears that parents are taking a hard look at what their children really need for back-to-school. There's always a need to re-stock in some areas because there's no way to get around children's growth spurts… which accounts for the 21% increase for Specialty Apparel Retailers and Department Stores sales…”

Nearly 50% of consumers indicated they had already bought and stockpiled necessities and supplies for the first day of school before August, up 15% over last year. Another 30% indicated they would wait for the 'Summer Sales.' The remaining 20% are waiting until the last minute. "Retailers have spent more than a decade teaching consumers they can get things cheaper or for better value if they wait a little longer or look a little harder, and consumers have been fast learners.

In addition to the low-lower-lowest pricing marketplace, bigger ticket items, like tablets smartphones and computers, which in years past had traditionally been purchased at the start of the school year, are now purchased throughout the year. "Parents aren't upgrading a mobile device just because classes are starting," said Passikoff.

Source: MediaPost