27 days ‘til school

Published 8:10 am Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Most spend $634 per child on clothes, school supplies

The sales circulars are out and the flyers posted at the local big box, so that can mean only one thing – it’s nearly back to school time.

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Back-to-School Survey, families with school-age children will spend an average $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics. That figure is down from $688.62 last year.

Parents of students at Andalusia Elementary School will spend an average of $30 per student for needed back-to-school supplies. That price doesn’t include taxes, nor does it include the cost of a backpack. According to the list of required supplies priced at a local retail chain, parents will spend for a:

• kindergartener: $29.20;

• first grader: $19.62;

• second grader: $28.44;

• third grader: $37.88;

• fourth grader: $30.30; and,

• fifth grader: $42.01.

These prices also do not include the donation items such as paper towels, Kleenex tissues and Clorox Wipes requested by teachers. These items and the quantity vary by class.

At the middle school, parents are asked to provide those items, and according to a supply list on the school website, parents can expect to pay for a:

• sixth grader: $66.12;

• seventh grader: $30.68; and,

• eighth grader: $57.22.

“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.”

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 $114.39 on shoes and $90.49 on school supplies. 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 versus $217.88 in 2012).