The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Community News Network

August 1, 2013

Back-to-school shopping likely to be less this year

Tiffany Slaney-Leigh, 14, of El Cerrito, Calif., says she'd love to get a laptop, an iPhone, three-inch wedge sneakers, mini dresses and a butterfly tattoo on her hip before starting ninth grade this fall.

That's not going to happen.

"The economy is uncertain," said her mother, Kim Slaney. The office-operations manager will spend $500 on Tiffany's clothes after dropping $800 in 2012. "You take a few steps forward and a few steps back."

Plenty of other consumers are feeling the same way. U.S. households are planning to shell out an average of 7.8 percent less for this year's back-to-school shopping season because of the bumpy economic recovery, the National Retail Federation says.

The potentially lackluster spending is one more signal that consumers are conflicted about the strength of the recovery and the stability of their buying power. That means retailers will have to keep prices low and offer exclusive products to fare well during the important back-to-school season, second only in importance to the year-end holiday season.

Total back-to-school spending may total $26.7 billion this year, the Washington-based NRF said July 18. That translates to an average of about $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics for parents with school-age children, down from $688.62 last year, the group said.

"There is no question that the economy still has a tight grip on Americans' spending decisions," NRF Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay said on a conference call. "People are finding ways to get by."

About 90 percent of consumers plan to shop in discount stores, up from 83 percent in 2012, according to a survey from the New York-based International Council of Shopping Centers. They'll also cut back on gadgets, with only 56 percent of families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade planning to purchase electronics this year, down from 60 percent last year, according to the ICSC.

Text Only
Community News Network
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee