Infographic by the National Retail Federation: Average Spending on Back to School has Grown 42 Percent in the Past 10 Years

Anecdotally, have you taken a mental note of how much you spent this year? More or less? This is not a scientific method by any means but, did the stores seems busier than in the past? According to the National Retail Federation, spending patterns may level off for a number of reasons:

“As seen over the last 13 years, spending on ‘back to school’ has consistently fluctuated based on children’s needs each year, and it’s unlikely most families would need to restock and replenish apparel, electronics and supplies every year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Parents this summer will inventory their children’s school supplies and decide what is needed and what can be reused, which just makes good budgeting sense for families with growing children.”

…For those who have to restock what their children need for school, 92.7 percent will purchase new apparel, spending an average of $217.82, though most (94.1 percent) will head out for new school supplies, spending an average of $97.74; families will also spend $117.56 on new shoes.

In 2014, 58.3 percent of parents said they would buy electronics for their school-age children, and planned to spend an average of $212.35 — one of the highest amounts seen in the survey’s history. Having less of a need for electronics this year, however, families said they would decrease their spending on gadgets for their children and will spend an average of $197.24.

Omnichannels – More Pressure on Brick and Mortar

It seems no corner of retail is completely immuned to the Amazon effect and the race to the bottom:

“Savvy and budget-conscious parents today have plenty of experience when it comes to looking around for great deals and value-add promotions, and it seems mom and dad will use that to their advantage this summer to take advantage of retailers’ omnichannel services,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “To ease hectic schedules and long shopping lists, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see consumers try out and regularly use services like free shipping, reserve online and even same-day delivery — options busy parents have been waiting for.”

See a full analysis from the NRF here and an infographic below illustrating the top ten trends for back-to-school shopping:

Top 10 trends for back-to-school and college 2015

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