BACK-TO -SCHOOL CHEAT SHEET.

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1 BACK-TO -SCHOOL 2014 CHEAT SHEET

2 Table of Contents 2014 Top Trends What s New in 2014 Where Does Back to School Rank? A Look Back: Top Historical Trends Economic Impact Millennial Power: College Spending Trends NRF s 2014 Back-to-School and Back-to-College spending surveys were designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to back-to-school spending and back-to-college spending. The surveys were conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 6,178 consumers was conducted July 1-8. The consumer polls have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points. 2

3 Top Back-to-School Trends We dug deep into the data this year to figure out the top trends from this year s back-to-school survey. Here s a few we thought were worthy: Spending jumps 5% Knowing full well their growing children need new items for school, and after having cut back last year, mom and dad will spend an average of $670 on their K-12th grade students. It s likely families are already taking advantage of retailers bundles available online and in stores, as well as those coupons that have been arriving in the mail the last few days. Millennial power High school students born in the late 90s are proving they have more than just power over influence, they have spending power. Teenagers will spend $913 million on their own school items. These teenagers could be part of the reason the data shows expected traffic at specialty stores over discount and department stores. Early birds sleeping in this year Fewer parents may be biting at the early summer deals, but 1 in 5 still say it s completely worth their time to shop at least two months before school starts. Millennials are a lot more likely to want to gauge fashion trends after school starts, dragging mom and dad back to the stores or online once they ve got some ideas. Mobile shopping on the rise 37% of shoppers will research school items with their smartphones, the highest seen since NRF started asking in These families will also commit to purchasing via their phones 22% will purchase items, up from 18% last year. Dads have pocket power Dads will spend an average of $ on school items for their tweens and teens, up 12% from last year. Dads are also a lot more likely than mom to spend more on school supplies, apparel and, of course, electronics. Additionally, men much prefer the convenience of online shopping: 46% of men will shop online, compared to just 31% of women. 37 % of shoppers will research school items with their smartphones Source: 2014 Back to School/College consumer survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics 3

4 What s New In 2014 Back rs umbe N e h t y B l o to Scho $ in nts who Number of parehases are say 100% of purcchildren influenced by er Average teenag s em it ol spend on scho oney m using their own an to buy more Shoppers who pl for school generic productseconomy because of the 34% $230 with Amount parents ol plan ho sc children in high tronics to spend on elec 4in10 17% 58% ng on Shoppers planni ems for it buying electronichool sc to back who will School shoppersast once le shop online at to Families planningsinesses support local bu for school items Average spending by grade Elementary Middle school/ junior high High school Clothing and accessories (excluding shoes) $ $ $ Shoes $ $ $ School supplies, such as notebooks, folders, $95.63 pencils, backpacks and lunchboxes $ $96.85 Electronics or computer-related equipment $ such as a home computer, laptop, cell phone, tablet or MP3 player $ $ Combined Average $ $ $ Source: 2014 Back to School/College survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics Looking for more? Visit nrf.com/research to customize data found in this report and much more. 4

5 Back-to-School and College s Piece of the Consumer Spending Pie While it s not considered a traditional consumer holiday like Mother s Day or Valentine s Day, back to school/college time is the second biggest spending season of the year. Beginning in July and ending around Labor Day, back to school puts billions into our nation s economy each year. In 2014, Mother s Day, Valentine s Day and Easter ranked as the 3rd, 4th and 5th biggest spending events behind back to school/college and the winter holidays. Experts and analysts agree this summer will be another extremely promotional one as companies look to attract customer dollars in unique and creative ways. Realizing that today s families are still extremely budget-focused thanks to a slow-growing economy, retailers will do their best to help mom and dad find smart ways to shop for their growing children or college students. Shopping destinations for families this summer will likely depend on a few key ingredients: price, value and convenience. While busy families may take to the web to seek free shipping offers or select discounts to buy the array of items they need, many families with school-age children still value the annual trip to the store as a rite of passage. $75 billion total expected spend for school and college shoppers Total Spending (in billions) Back to School/College $74.9 Winter holidays* $602.1 Mother's Day $19.9 Valentine's Day $17.3 Easter $15.9 Father's Day $12.7 Super Bowl $8.7 Halloween*$6.9 St. Patrick's Day $4.8 Source: NRF consumer surveys conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Holidays with * denote 2013 survey results. 5

6 A Look Back: Historical Back-To-School Trends 2013: Talking about the expectations for consumer spending during the 2013 school season, last year NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said, the good news is that consumers are spending, but they are doing so with cost and practicality in mind. After spending record high amounts on new school supplies, apparel and electronics in 2012, mom and dad asked their children to reuse everything they could in 2013 to help save a few bucks. 2012: Driven less by want than need, back-to-school spending is usually more tied to growing children and necessity purchases than discretionary purchases. Spending in 2012 topped $690 on average, the highest seen in the survey s 10 years thanks to two years of cutting back on budgets and a higher amount of children entering grade school. 2011: Parents kept budgets in check in 2011, making sure their children looked under their beds and dug through their desks and drawers for pens, pencils and jeans before they set out for their shopping trips. Average spend was flat from the previous year, but the percent of people buying electronics dropped sharply from 64% in 2011 to 52% in 2011, likely contributing to the overall decrease in average spend. Economic pressures have lessened, but there s still evidence that today s family wants both great prices and value when it comes to their school purchases. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay Average spend per household Total spend on back to school $ $30.3b $ $ $26.7b $26.5b $ $22.8b Source: NRF surveys conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics 6

7 Economic Impact On Consumers Spending Plans In an economy full of fits and starts, Americans have demonstrated their resilience in many ways when it comes to handling economic uncertainties. When it comes to shopping habits, specifically at times that yield bigger receipts, consumers have adapted to a new set of norms that may drive much of their shopping behavior for years to come. In 2013, 37% of shoppers with children in grades K-12 said they would do more comparative shopping online because of the state of the economy, up 10 percentage points in just five years. This year, 1 in 5 say they will shop online more often because of the economy, slightly up from last year. As can be expected, much of the initial impact seen on consumers spending intentions has lessened over time; this year, more families say the economy will drive them to buy more generic or store brand items, and will ask their kids to make do with some of last year s items. 31 % Families that plan to spend less overall on school items to compensate for the economy s impact on the family budget Source: 2014 survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics 34 % because of the economy Source: 2014 survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics Buying more generic/store brand products this year 7

8 Millennials And College Spending While much of the hype each summer surrounds Americans spending plans for their elementary, middle and high school students, there s another group whose spending plans sometimes double the average K-12th grade spender: Millennial college families. College shoppers will spend a combined $48.4 billion on everything from dorm furnishings to collegiate wear to food items for the pantry and late night cram sessions, up from $45.8 billion last year. The average college student and their parents will spend an average $916.48, up 10% over Different from their younger compatriots, these power spenders take design, fashion and gadgets very seriously. Below are few key differences or similarities between the JV (K-12) team and the Varsity team (college): vs. Average spend $669 $916 Total spend $26.5 billion $48.4 billion School supplies $75 $101 Electronics $8.4 billion $12.9 billion Shop at department stores Shop online 47% 38% 45% 59% Start shopping 1 2 weeks before school starts 26% 26% High school vs. college freshman $683 $909 High school vs. college senior $568 $683 Moms will spend: Dads will spend: 2% less than last year 20% more than last year 12% more than last year 1% more than last year Source: 2014 survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics 8

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