Back to School

Box of crayons at school for kids

Back-to-School 2018

NRF has been conducting its annual Back-to-School and Back-to-College surveys since 2003 to see how American families will shop for clothing, supplies and other items for the next school year.

Back-to-school and college spending to reach $82.8B

July consumer survey: Many parents and college students said they were waiting for the best deals to complete their shopping lists. Total spending for K-12 schools and college combined is projected to reach $82.8 billion, nearly as high as last year’s $83.6 billion.

 
close up shot of school supplies
 
Back-to-class by the numbers
  • Shoppers spend more on back-to-school and back-to-college than consumers spend on Mother's Day, Father's Day and Valentine's Day combined.
     
  • Back to college drives the majority of spending - an expected $55.3 billion.
     
  • Men spend $115 more on average than women on back-to-college.
How Gen Z shapes back-to-class shopping

Back-to-college spending is expected to reach $55 billion this year, and many of those shopping for themselves are members of Generation Z. Learn how this first generation to grow up with the internet and smartphones is shaping the retail landscape on NRF's podcast Retail Gets Real.

 
Two gen z women hanging out at an arcade on their phones
 

More on back-to-school

Back-to-Class shopping continues as school begins
 
A stack of books and an apple
Consumers had completed just over half their shopping as students head back to class this month.
Read more
Back-to-school spotlight: Hispanic shoppers
 
girl standing outside with a backpack and school books in her hands
One in four kids belong to Hispanic families in the U.S.
Read more
3 ways events like Prime Day are changing the back-to-school calendar
 
Group of people point and look over a laptop
The way customers approach shopping for the season has changed in recent years.
Read more

More consumer trends

Gift trends for the holidays
 
Episode 90 of Retail Gets Real: Discover the most popular gifts purchased over Thanksgiving weekend.
Read more
Holiday Special: Thanksgiving weekend and beyond
 
Episode 89 of Retail Gets Real: Retail saw a strong start to the holiday season.
Read more
Thanksgiving weekend multichannel shopping up almost 40 percent over last year
 
Multichanell shopping during Thanksgiving weekend was up 40 percent over last year.
Read more
Young adults most likely to spend more this holiday season
 
Most consumers plan to spend the same as last year according to a survey from NRF.
Read more
NRF survey says more than 164 million consumers plan to shop over five-day Thanksgiving weekend
 
Black Friday remains the busiest day of the weekend, with 71 percent planning to shop that day.
Read more
5 things to know about discounts this holiday season
 
5 retail sales and promotions trends leading up to Thanksgiving weekend.
Read more