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 stats

  • Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend $848.90, $59 more than last year, on average on back-to-school items. Total back-to-school spending is expect to reach $37.1B up from $33.9B last year and an all-time high in the survey's history.
  • College students and their families are also setting records in spending. Total spending on back-to-college is expected to reach $71B up from $67.7B in 2020.
2021 Brings Back-to-Class Shopping to Record Levels

Consumers plan to spend record amounts for both school and college supplies as students return to in-person classrooms.

back to school
 
Back to school 2020
 
A summer snapshot of back-to-school trends
NRF research looks at how consumers are preparing to hit the books.
 
Back-to-school spending stats
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back to school
 
3 things to know about the back-to-school season

NRF’s Katherine Cullen joins the Retail Gets Real podcast to share what stands out most as kids and their parents shop for back to class.

 
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.

 

More consumer trends

Holiday Shopping Could Beat Forecast
 
Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz says holiday spending appears to be on track to exceed NRF’s forecast.
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An Octoberfest for retail sales
 
October is becoming a blockbuster month for retail sales as shoppers pull their holiday purchases forward.
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180 Million Shop Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend
 
Nearly 180 million Americans shopped during the Thanksgiving weekend five-day holiday shopping period.
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Thanksgiving Weekend to See More Holiday Shoppers
 
Nearly 2 million more people than last year are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year.
Read more
Answers to this holiday season’s most-asked questions
 
Retail Gets Real episode 246: An FAQ about how the retail industry is faring this holiday.
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Early Holiday Shopping Start Boosted October Sales
 
Retail sales rose in October as many consumers began holiday shopping early to avoid any shortages, NRF said.
Read more