Families Delay BTS Shopping

The average family with children in grades K-12 has completed just half (50.4 percent) of their back-to-school shopping, according to the National Retail Federation.

April 6, 2018

Families Delay BTS Shopping

Most families have completed only half of their back-to-school purchases.

The average family with children in grades K-12 has completed just half (50.4 percent) of their back-to-school shopping as families wait for promotions and even their state’s sales tax holiday, according to the National Retail Federation.

This number is in line with 2014 results, which showed that only 49.9 percent of families had completed their BTS shopping at this time last year.

Coupons and promotions continue to resonate with today’s shopper, and those who have already started shopping indicate that about half of their purchases (51.3 percent) were influenced by coupons, sales and promotions, down from 58 percent last year.

As for where consumers will finish their shopping, discount stores will see the most traffic (53.4 percent), while 46.8 percent will shop at department stores, 36.6 percent at clothing stores and 12.8 percent will wrap up at electronics stores. Additionally, 27.2 percent will check out retailers’ online deals, up from 24.8 percent this time last year.

College shoppers

are also delaying BTS shopping, with the NRF reporting that college students and their families have completed about half (49.1 percent) of their shopping lists compared to 53.7 percent this time last year.

College shoppers are also turning to coupons, sales or promotions to get the best bang for their buck. The survey found nearly half (48.1 percent) of what parents have purchased has been influenced by early summer deals and promotions, which is the same as last year but higher than the 44.4 percent in 2013.

Much like back-to-school shoppers, most of those shopping for college will cross off bedding, apparel and other items from their lists at discount stores (46.3 percent), department stores (38.8 percent), clothing (28.8 percent) and electronics stores (20.3 percent).

“As expected, families are carefully measuring where, when and how they should spend on fall apparel items, school supplies, electronics and other necessities,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Late summer promotions and sales tax holidays around the country are likely contributing to the delay in back-to-school shopping this year, which means the next few weeks could be exceptionally busy for retailers large and small. Retailers, hoping to strike a chord with both budget-conscious and value-focused parents, will roll out hard to pass up promotions designed to capture the attention of those last-minute shoppers.” 

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