Back-to-school shopping is projected to increase 16 percent year-over-year, reaching $32.5 billion in 2021. The increase in spend will come despite continued uncertainty surrounding the school season in states across the country.
Forty percent of parents expect to spend more this year, especially on electronics, as many students will be taking classes remotely, according to recent research by Deloitte. This year, 31 percent plan to spend money on buying computers and related hardware, up from 22 percent last year. Meanwhile, 37 percent are planning to purchase electronic gadgets, compared to nearly a quarter last year.
Overall, parents will spend $612, on average, per child. That is significantly higher than the $529 parents spent last year.
The increase in spending this year comes at a time when consumers are feeling more positive about the economy. According to Deloitte, 45 percent of consumers expect the economy to improve over the next six months, while 55 percent are confident about the prospects of the economy. The research also found that 78 percent are now in a similar or better financial position, up from 71 percent last year.
“We’ve entered a new era of schooling where traditional back-to-school supplies are fading in favor of tech, while consumers expect certain conveniences and competitive prices,” said Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte and U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution leader. “Retailers that demonstrate their resiliency during this time will appeal to shoppers and be better positioned to capitalize on growing consumer sentiment.”