July 24, 2012
Expert: Back-to-school buying starting now
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Retailers can expect back-to-school shoppers to be gearing up right now, says Richard Feinberg, a Purdue University professor of consumer sciences and retailing.
Feinberg says consumers typically begin back-to-school shopping three to four weeks before the school year begins. In some parts of the county, school opens in mid-August.
But driving even earlier sales is the move to Internet shopping.
"It's likely half of consumers will do some back-to-school shopping online," Feinberg says. "And those shoppers will start early to allow for shipping time. That probably moves up the start of their shopping by at least a week."
Back-to-school is second only to the Christmas holiday season in importance to retailers. Feinberg estimates it will be an $84 billion season this year.
Helping fuel sales are relatively lower gasoline prices, he says. "Every penny saved on a gallon of gas translates to $1 billion dollars available for retail spending."
Feinberg says two of the biggest products for back-to-school are backpacks and laptops. "Spending on electronics will be almost as high as apparel," he says.
Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Richard Feinberg, 765-491-5583, email@example.com