Back-to-School Shopping Expected to Increase

NEW YORK — A new study by ICSC-Goldman Sachs anticipates that consumers will spend about $300 on school supplies this year. Despite lingering concerns about the economy, 42% of those polled anticipate spending more this year than last and 44% said they would spend about the same.

“Even more encouraging for retailers is that nearly 20% of respondents plan to increase spending by more than 10% compared to the 2011 season,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist, in a statement. “Looking ahead, the industry should continue to see increases in sales as the intensity in back-to-school season shopping heats up next month.”

The consumer tracking study also asked consumers where they'll be spending those extra dollars. Discount stores came out on top with 83%  planning to purchase there, followed by 46% at office supply stores and 44% at department stores. With more dollars on the line, retailers are coming out earlier in the season to get the attention of consumers.

Target Corp. [2] will kick off the BTS season with a two-day “Bonus Black Friday” sale beginning Friday, followed by a week-long Summer Cyber Week sale. Additional discounts will be emailed to customers who sign up online, and Target REDcard holders will get discounts starting Thursday. The sale is timed to Target’s BTS ad campaign, which includes a mobile app checklist and shopping hours for college freshman at select locations.