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Back-to-College Shopping and Buying Trends 2013-2006 - College Student Spending

Online, Electronics, Discount, & Department Store Spending for College Supplies

By

Updated August 15, 2013
Second only to Christmas, the back-to-school shopping season is a significant part of the U.S. retail industry calendar and produces a significant portion of annual sales for many major retail chains. Because of the importance of the back-to-school shopping season, BIGResearch conducts an annual Back-to-School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey for the National Retail Federation (NRF). Not only does this survey reveal back to school shopping trends, it also provides valuable insights into a retail-driven economy struggling to recover from recession.

A comparison of the results of the Back-to-School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey for 2006 - 2013 tracks the shifts in spending at online, clothes, electronics, discount, and department store retail outlets. The seven-year survey results also reveal shifts in spending on college students versus primary and secondary school-age children.

What follows are some of the key results of the Back-to-School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey for 2006 - 2012 and the shopping trends those results revealed. Results for back-to-college and back-to-school spending were first reported separately in 2007 - 2010. For 2006, the differentiation between spending on college-age kids and younger children at home was not made in the survey results, and those singular figures are included with the "back-to-school" figures below.

Seven-year Comparison of the NRF BIGResearch Back-to-College Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, 2006 - 2013:

Average Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Back-to-College Clothing and Accessories

$122.70 - 2013

$132.97 - 2012

$127.37 - 2011

$120.88 - 2010

$118.56 - 2009

$134.40 - 2008

$149.85 - 2007

Average Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Back-to-College Shoes

$65.60 - 2013

$75.81 - 2012

$60.58 - 2011

$62.20 - 2010

$57.85 - 2009

$58.46 - 2008

$59.90 - 2007

Average Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Back-to-College Collegiate Branded Merchandise

$42.94 - 2013

$52.87 - 2012

$33.00 - 2011

$36.26 - 2010

$34.52 - 2009

$35.26 - 2008

N/A - 2007

Average Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Back-to-College School Supplies

$62.92 - 2013

$75.73 - 2012

$61.48 - 2011

$62.91 - 2010

$61.05 - 2009

$68.47 - 2008

$63.52 - 2007

Average Amount Consumers Planned to Spend for Back-to-College Electronics

$203.28 - 2013

$216.40 - 2012

$209.93 - 2011

$236.94 - 2010

$266.08 - 2009

$211.89 - 2008

$258.43 - 2007

Percentage of Consumers Who Planned to Make Their Back-to-College Purchases at Discount Stores

48.3% - 2013

51.9% - 2012

53.9% - 2011

53.8% - 2010

53.4% - 2009

52.0% - 2008

51.5% - 2007

Percentage of Consumers Who Planned to Make Their Back-to-College Purchases Online

37.1% - 2013

37.3% - 2012

33.4% - 2011

28.6% - 2010

28.6% - 2009

29.9% - 2008

30.5% - 2007

Percentage of Consumers Who Planned to Make Their Back-to-College Purchases at Electronics Stores

20.4% - 2013

21.1% - 2012

19.6% - 2011

18.0% - 2010

20.9% - 2009

19.6% - 2008

20.9% - 2007

Percentage of Consumers Planning to Start Back-to-College Shopping Two Months Before School Starts

29.8% - 2013

29.0% - 2012

24.4% - 2011

20.2% - 2010

22.3% - 2009

21.5% - 2008

20.9% - 2007

Percentage of Consumers Planning to Start Back-to-College Shopping The Week School Starts

4.9% - 2013

6.5% - 2012

9.4% - 2011

12.6% - 2010

9.0% - 2009

12.1% - 2008

9.4% - 2007

Percentage of Consumers Planning to Start Back-to-College Shopping After School Starts

10.8% - 2013

9.2% - 2012

9.4% - 2011

10.9% – 2010

9.4% - 2009

8.7% - 2008

10.1% – 2007

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