Clothing, School Supplies and Shoes Tend to Account for Most of Their Back to School Budgets
With the start of the new school year around the corner, many parents have already begun doing their back to school shopping, according to a new poll of over 1,000 parents conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of RetailMeNot.com.
Some parents start well in advance, including One in ten (9%) parents say that they tend to start their shopping before school lets out for the summer, and an additional 5% saying they start in May or June.
Nearly a quarter (22%) starts in July, though a plurality (32%) waits until August. Few (6%) say that they typically wait until school begins to decide what their child will need (September or after). One in seven (14%) report that their pattern varies from year to year, depending on opportunistic sales throughout the year. A similar proportion (13%) says that this is not applicable, perhaps because their children are not yet old enough to be in school.
- Those with a household income over $50,000 are more likely to say they actually tend to start their back to school shopping before the current school year ends (11% vs. 6%).
- Women are more likely to men to say that their pattern varies, depending on sales throughout the year (16% vs. 10%).
Majority of Parents Plan to Spend up to $500 per Child on Back-to-School Items This Year
Among parents who are back to school shoppers, about eight in ten (79%) intend to spend up to $500 per male child on back to school items this year (clothing, accessories, electronics, notebooks, backpacks, sporting goods, lunch containers, etc.), including nearly half (49%) who plan to spend $100 to $500. Fewer than one in ten (9%) plan to spend $500 to$1,000 on each son, and only 6% plan to spend over $1,000. Four percent say that this is not applicable to them.
Similarly, eight in ten parents say they intend to spend up to $500 per female child this year, including just over half (54%) who plan to spend between $100 and $500. Only 7% intend to spend over $1,000 on each daughter, and 4% percent say that this does not apply to them.
- Dads are more likely than are moms to spend between $500 and $1,000 on their sons (15% vs. 2%) and their daughters (12% vs. 7%).
School Supplies, Clothing, and Shoes Part of Most Parents’ Back-to-School Budgets
Clothing tend to account for the bulk of parents’ back to school budgets, with 35% saying that they plan to spend the majority of their budgets on clothes. Another common expense is school supplies (e.g. pens and paper, art supplies, folders, backpacks, lunch boxes), with a third of parents (34%) saying that school supplies will account for at least 30% of the spending. One in seven (15%) report that at least 30% of their budget will be put toward shoes.
- Moms are more likely than dads to say that the majority of their back to school spending will be on clothing (40% vs. 29%).
Parents tend to put smaller portions of their budgets toward other items, such as sporting goods (just 2% expect this to account for at least 30% of their spending); consumer electronics such as computers, mobile phones, etc. (4%); books (6%); dorm room essentials such as, bedding, cleaning supplies, artwork, furniture, kitchenware (1%); or other back to school purcahases (1%).
In fact, majorities of parents that they do not plan to spend any of their back-to-school budgets on dorm room essentials (83%), consumer electronics (66%), sports equipment (65%), or books (55%) this year, though some of these items are better suited for older students.
Many See Back to School Shopping as Routine, but Others Find it Fun
Among parents who are involved in back to school shopping, a plurality (27%) says that they find it to be routine, including 31% of dads. However, one in five (21%) say that they find it fun, or see it as a great opportunity to connect with their kids. At the same time, about one in eight parents find back to school shopping to be stressful (18%) or annoying (11%).
- Moms are more than twice as likely as dads to say that back to school shopping is fun (27% vs. 13%), while dads are more likely than moms to find it annoying (15% vs. 8%).
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted July 12-17, 2012. For the survey, a national sample of 1,041 adults aged 18 and older with a child under the age of 18 from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,041 and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire adult population of parents in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
Please visit www.ipsos-na.com for more information
New York, NY – 8 August 2012