Back to School

Box of crayons at school for kids

Back-to-School 2019

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.

Record spending expected for 2019

Families with children in elementary school through high school plan to spend an average $696.70. That’s up from $684.79 last year. 

Families with college students are expected to spend an average $976.78, which is up from last year’s $942.17. 

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girl standing outside with a backpack and school books in her hands
 
Record spending expected for school and college supplies

As students gear up to go back to school and college, families plan to spend more than ever on supplies ranging from pencils and backpacks to computers and dorm refrigerators.

  • Total spending for K-12 schools and college combined is projected to reach $80.7 billion 
  • Clothing and accessories will top K-12 families’ expenses at an average $239.82, followed by electronics at $203.44
  • College shoppers plan to spend the most on electronics ($234.69), followed by clothing and accessories ($148.54)

 

 
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.

 
Sales and Back to School

What role do big sales events like Prime Day play in Back to School shopping? More than half of consumers plan their shopping around them.

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