WJR Business Beat

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Back-to-School Spending is Booming This Summer (Episode 261)

On today’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses back-to-school spending, with estimates of $37.1 billion on elementary through high school and $26 billion for college-aged students, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics’ recent survey.

Tune in to the Business Beat, below, to learn more about what to expect out of back-to-school spending this year:

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

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Good morning, Paul!

Well, it’s only July, and I know my kids don’t want to hear anything about today’s feature here on the Beat, but like it or not, consumers and merchants alike are thinking about back-to-school shopping earlier than ever, with this year’s sales expected to be bigger than ever. And the retail sector needs a bump like this, so the back-to-school buying season and the accelerated spending expected by consumers this year, it comes as welcome news for the retail.

Experts are predicting spending like never before during this year’s back to school buying season, with July expected to be the biggest month, followed by August. With many students learning virtually last year, families failed to stock up on typical must-haves like backpacks, pencils and just general apparel.

And they’re making up for it this year. The National Retail Federation is expecting back-to-school spending, including elementary level through high school, to reach $37.1 billion, and that’s a 10% rise over last year. Likewise, spending for college-aged children is expected to hit $26 billion, also a significant increase over last year. Nearly half of K-12 families say they will spend more during the 2021 back-to-school season than what they did spend in 2020.

What’s the fastest growing channel to make back-to-school purchases? Well, it’s online, of course, both to make direct purchases as well as to buy online and pick up in store. What are we spending on this year? Tech is the big winner. Tech is driving spending this year, with parents investing not only in laptops and tablets but online tools as well, which many found useful during at-home schooling in 2020. Who is expected to get the lion’s share of this?

About half — 48%, to be exact — of shoppers say they’ll spend most of their back-to school budget at mass merchants. So, there you have it. Good news for the retail sector, Paul, a much-needed boost coming during July and August in back to school spending.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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