Back to School

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

Back to school 2020
Parents to spend even more on computers and desks as expectations of online classes increase
Most families still don’t know what students need for school this year, but more expect at least some online classes.
Coronavirus could push back-to-school spending to record level

Uncertain families gear up for at-home learning

More laptops and computer accessories drive spending.

  • Parents with children in elementary school through high school say they plan to spend an average $789.49 per family, topping the previous record of $696.70 they said they would spend last year.
  • Spending is expected to total $33.9 billion, up from $26.2 billion last year and breaking the record of $30.3 billion set in 2012.
A boy works on schoolwork at laptop
Gen Z shopping on social media
How brands can use social to connect with Gen Z

Younger consumers’ social media usage has gone up as a result of the pandemic. Retailers are finding the newest ways to reach Gen Z on social media to market their brands.

Back-to-school spending stats
close up shot of school supplies
Back-to-Class Data Center

Want to know more about one of retail’s biggest events of the year? Check out NRF’s back-to-class data center for trends and spending patterns over time.


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