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Is back to school shopping looking to challenge Christmas?

We had a record breaking year last year for back to school sales; with over 800 billion[1] spent in the US, the back-to-school shopping season accounted for 17% of retail sales for the year. That was both plugged and un-plugged[2]. The experts say we are going to spend even more this year. It breaks down like this; we will spend what we did last year plus about 4% more. That is a whole lot of preparation for education.

E-marketer says younger consumers are shopping online and are an expanding their segment more and more. What are they buying?

    • Apparel & accessories
    • Books
    • Music
    • Video
    • Computers
    • Consumer electronics
    • Office equipment and supplies
    • Toys and hobbies

If we look at our wants verses our needs we could drop: accessories, music, video, toys and hobbies. Then it would just be:

  • Clothes
  • Books
  • Computers/Calculators
  • Paper/Pencils

Hum! That would probably reduce spend while covering all the necessities to learn. Has back to school shopping challenged Christmas? Christmas 2016 saw more than an increase of 4%, also over the previous year’s Holiday retail sales during November and December. According to Fortune retail sales weighed $658 Billion in 2016. Challenging Christmas YES, beating Christmas spend, nah.



Electronics 21.5 billion

Clothing 18.2 billion

Shoe 10.1 Billion

7 out of 10 plan to purchase a brand new book bag


[1] Total of apparel, accessories, books, electronics, office supplies and other back to school related purchases.

[2] (online/offline).

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