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Posted: July 23rd, 2013
Report: We’ll spend less this summer on back-to-school supplies, clothes

Families with school-age children will spend an average $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics during the upcoming back-to-school season, according to the National Retail Federation.

That total is down from $688.62 last year. The NRF attributed the drop to parents having a shorter shopping list this year after splurging on electronics and other items a year ago that are still useful for the upcoming school year.

“The good news is that consumers are spending, but they are doing so with cost and practicality in mind. Having splurged on their growing children’s needs last year, parents will ask their kids to reuse what they can for the upcoming school season,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “As they continue to grapple with the impact of increased payroll taxes, Americans will look to cut corners where they can, but will buy what their kids need. It’s important to note, however, that spending levels are still well above where they were a few years ago.”

Total spending on back-to-school is expected to reach $26.7 billion.

Total back-to-school and back-to-college spending combined will reach $72.5 billion, the NRF reported.

The biggest portion of back-to-school shoppers’ budgets will go toward new apparel and accessories: 95.3 percent of those with school-age children will spend an average of $230.85 on fall sweaters, denim and other chic pieces of attire. Additionally, families will spend on shoes ($114.39) and school supplies ($90.49).

Fewer families with children in grades K-12 will purchase electronics (55.7 percent), and those that are going to invest in a new tablet or smartphone are going to spend slightly less than last year ($199.05 vs. $217.88 in 2012).

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