What retailers need to know about back-to-school shoppers

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

What retailers need to know about back-to-school shoppers

By Louisa Hallett - 07/25/2018
Citi Retail Services released the results of its annual nationwide back-to-school shopping survey to shed light on one of the most anticipated retail events of the year.

A new survey shows that parents spend an estimated $322 per child on back-to-school shopping, but that number increases when shopping together.

Citi Retail Services released the results of its annual nationwide back-to-school shopping survey to study one of the most anticipated retail events of the year.

The study revealed a back-to-school conundrum -- while the vast majority of parents (81 percent) indicate they value savings over time, 70 percent of parents believe they are more efficient shoppers with their children, yet they are actually spending more money than when shopping alone.  In fact, the average spend per child for back-to-school supplies, including clothing, books, classroom supplies, electronics and more is $322. When parents shop with their children, they end up spending $97 more on average.

“Parents face a dilemma when back-to-school shopping for their kids,” says Leslie McNamara, Chief Business Development Officer at Citi Retail Services. “On the one hand, they bring their children along and shop more effectively while spending quality time together, yet on the other, they may end up spending more. This is a new finding and one we’ll continue to explore as we seek to better understand how consumers balance time spent shopping and value-based decisions."

The survey also uncovered interesting data concerning savings-minded parents who shop throughout the summer (40 percent) versus one-stop-shop parents (60 percent). The parents who hunt for bargains throughout the summer—visiting a maximum of 4 stores on average to find the best price on one item —actually spend an estimated $58 more than those who get their shopping done all at once.

To read the survey analysis, click here.