A hopeful sign that the economic recovery is gaining traction, PriceGrabber recently released the results of its first Back-to-School Shopping Forecast survey, revealing that nearly half (46%) of consumers are planning to spend more this back-to-school shopping season than in 2011. In comparison, only 13% of shoppers planned to spend more last year, and this data was reflected in an overall disappointing back-to-school season for retailers in 2011.
While almost half of the surveyed shoppers said they plan to spend more this back-to-school season, 35% of respondents plan to spend the same amount of money, and 19% of shoppers plan to spend less this year. In 2011, 52% of PriceGrabber survey respondents said they would spend the same amount of money on back-to-school shopping, and 35% said they would spend less.
CONSUMERS TO START BTS SHOPPING EARLIER IN 2012
It's the start of summer and consumers are already beginning to think about back-to-school shopping. According to PriceGrabber survey data, 17% of consumers plan to start their back-to-school shopping in June, 35% plan to start shopping in July, 44% noted August, and only 3% cited September. In 2011, respondents planned to shop a little later in the summer with only 13% planning to start their shopping in June, 31% in July, 49% in August, and 7% in September.
"From last year's holiday shopping season through the middle of 2012, we have seen consumers starting to shop earlier surrounding major shopping seasons and holidays, and we expect this trend to continue this back-to-school shopping season," stated Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. "While PriceGrabber survey data reveals that many consumers are planning to spend more money this back-to-school shopping season, a few are still hesitant about spending, leading shoppers to search for deals even earlier to take advantage of retailer incentives and discounts such as free shipping, coupons and sales."
MOST SHOPPERS STILL PLAN TO SPREAD OUT PURCHASES
Similar to 2011, shoppers still plan to spread out their back-to-school purchases in order to distribute the cost over a longer time period. According to PriceGrabber survey data, 55% of consumers plan to spread out their back-to-school purchases this year.
"Back-to-school shopping can quickly become expensive," added Jones. "In today's challenging economic climate, it's important for families and students to save on back-to-school items. Many consumers are harnessing the power of the Internet to find deals, compare prices, set price alerts, print coupons, and take advantage of online promotional codes and free shipping to save extra cash."[Source: "Back-to-School Shopping Forecast." PriceGrabber. 18 June 2012. Web. 24 June 2012.]