Skip to main content

Survey: More than half of back-to-school shopping not completed


New York City The average American family has finished only 41.6% of their back-to-school shopping as of Aug. 11, according to the National Retail Federation’s latest Back-to-School/College Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, conducted by BIGresearch.

In addition, the survey also found that nearly one-third of families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade have not yet started shopping.

When consumers are shopping, sales or coupons have influenced nearly half of their purchases so far this season. According to the survey, 43.4% of back-to-school shoppers said coupons influenced them to shop at a particular store. Advertising inserts (42.1%), newspapers (32.2%), in-store promotions (32.1%), word-of-mouth (29.9%) and direct mail (16.2%) were also strong influencers in their decision on where to shop.

"The days of mom or dad letting children put whatever they want in the shopping cart are over," said BIGresearch's Pam Goodfellow in a statement. "Parents ... are making careful spending decisions based on price instead of giving kids free rein to pick out whatever they want."

The survey also found six-out-of-10 (62.2%) American families who have shopping left to do will head to a discount store. Additionally, 44.8% will check out a department store and 31.8% will head to a clothing store.

When it comes to what retailers had the best back-to-school Web site, Wal-Mart, Target, J.C. Penney, Staples, Kohl’s and Old Navy ranked among the top. One-out-of-five (18.5%) consumers said that the Web site motivated them to shop at that retailer, while an additional 33% said the Web sites had no impact because they were already planning to shop there.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds