Back-to-School Shoppers Spending More This Year

Back-to-School Shoppers Spending More This Year

August 2, 2016         Written By Bill Hardekopf

As back-to-school shopping begins, parents (59%) and college students (40%) report feeling extremely confident or very confident in their own financial situation, which will likely translate into higher retail sales. According to a report by Synchrony Financial, sales are expected to increase 3.2% to 3.7% during the third quarter of the year.

Synchrony’s report, based on a survey of 1,850 parents and college students, analyzed where consumers would spend their money. A third of families expect to spend more on clothing/shoes and electronics this year, and many report longer supply lists and more technology needs. In fact, 39% of K-12 parents said their supply lists have increased, and more than half of the respondents would rather pay a fee if the school would provide the supplies.

Other key findings include:

  • More than half of parents with K-12 students said they are likely to set a budget, and 39% of those parents said they are likely to set a per-child budget.
  • Most parents (51%) and college students (67%) plan to wait until August 1 to shop.
  • 65% of parents and 61% of college students will make most of their purchases in the store. 40% of college students will buy their items locally, and then transport them to school.
  • While people are shopping in store, they are finding deals online. 62% of parents (up from 56% last year) and 70% of college students (up from 68%) search online before shopping.
  • 40% of parents and half of college students will comparison shop with their phone.
  • Parents will make 35% of their purchases online, and 8% will use their phone, while 39% of college students will buy online, and 10% will use their phone.

“Price and value continue to influence where shoppers buy for back-to-school,” said Bart Schaller, EVP and chief marketing officer, Synchrony Financial. “We consistently find shoppers are deal-driven and value the additional savings, rewards and benefits credit cards can offer.”

The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 2, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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