That school supply list your kiddo’s teacher emails isn’t getting any shorter, especially as your kids get older and need more each year. So how much do parents spend on back-to-school-shopping? The National Retail Federation (NRF) says that figure reaches into the billions—way into the billions!

The stats are in and the NRF’s annual survey says that the total for back-to-school spending for grades kindergarten and up is projected to hit $82.8 billion—yes, with a B—in 2018. Whoa! Even though this year’s figure isn’t as high as last year’s $83.6 billion, that’s a lot of colored pencils and folders.

So how much do parents actually plan on spending? The NRF surveyed 7,320 consumers from last month and early into July to find out who is spending what and where they are spending. Moms and dads with elementary, middle and high schoolers report that they plan on spending just over $684 for back-to-school supplies. And where are these parents spending all this money?

It looks like, from the NRF’s data, that the biggest expenditures are for back-to-school clothes—which is probably no surprise to you. Following cute outfits, parents plan on spending an average of $187.10 on electronics (such as computers, phone, calculators), $138.66 on shoes and $122.13 on other supplies, such as notebooks, pencils, pens and other functional items.

If you think online retailers have the market cornered when it comes to back-to-school shopping, they come in second. The NRF’s data shows that department stores are the number one place where parents plan on shopping. Following online retailers comes discount stores, clothing stores and office supply stores.

With the total spending number in the billions, suddenly the $10 you spent on bulk notebooks doesn’t seem so bad.

—Erica Loop

Featured Photo: Pixabay via Pexels 


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