Survey: 88% Of Back To School Shoppers Will Spend The Same Or More As Last Year

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – While early outlooks anticipate back-to-school spending to lag behind 2012, a surprising 88% of shoppers surveyed by WSL Strategic Retail say they plan to spend at least the same or more as last year during the 2013 back-to-school season. The finding was revealed today as part of the Company’s How America Shops® Back-to-School 2013 trend study, which tracks the stores and categories parents are shopping.

“Back-to-school has always been an important indicator of consumer sentiment and spending,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail. “This year, 60% of shoppers tell us that they plan to spend the same as they did in 2012, and 28% say they will spend more. This is encouraging news for retailers who saw strong back-to-school numbers last year.”

Although shoppers remain cautious, those who say they will spend more represent a cross section of all income groups – a key indicator of how important this category is to lower- and middle-income shoppers. In fact, one-third of those busy parents who plan to spend more will even pass on the big sales in stores, saying that they are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of getting all of their back-to-school shopping done online.

“The category to watch this year is healthcare,” continued Candace Corlett, president of the firm. “Over half of back-to-school shoppers will buy items such as hand sanitizers, vitamins and first-aid products to keep their children safe from classroom germs, making healthcare the number three category that parents are shopping this back-to-school season.”

What They’re Shopping For:

? 86% — School Supplies
? 69% — Clothing & Fashion Accessories
? 56% — Healthcare items (hand sanitizers, first-aid, vitamins, etc.)
? 48% — Food & Beverage (lunch supplies, after-school snacks)
? 44% — Beauty & Personal Care
? 21% — Electronics (computers, tablets, e-readers, etc.)

Where They’re Shopping:

? 76% — Mass Merchandisers such as Target, Walmart and Kmart
? 40% — Department stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s, JC Penney, Nordstrom, Saks, etc.
? 36% — Online sites such as Amazon
? 34% — Dollar stores including Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc.
? 32% — Drug stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc.
? 29% — Warehouse clubs including Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.
? 25% — Malls, including Outlet malls and Strip malls
? 22% — Specialty clothing stores

The How America Shops® Back-to-School 2013 trend study was conducted as a nationwide online survey of 320 back-to-school shoppers ages 18 and over in July 2013.

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