Back to School Shopping

The center for media research never dissapoints. They send over yummy morsels of data daily and the delectable tidbit yesterday was about back to college school shopping. Apparently “students and their parents will spend a combined average of $956.93 on back-to-college merchandise, up from last year’s $880.52, for a total of $47.3 billion gearing up for college“. 

Woah! $956.93??? Who spends almost a thousand dollars on back to college or school? (unless you are buying a computer, of which you needed before school so it isn’t really a back to school item) This is in addition to tuition, room, books and board? Apparently I can never afford to have kids.

Back to College Products Purchase Plans
% of Respondents Expected Expenditure 2007


$15 billion

School supplies (notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks)


                      $3.14 billion

Clothing and accessories (except shoes)


$7.41 billion



$2.96 billion

Electronics and computer related


$12.8 billion

Dorm or apartment furnishings


$5.43 billion

Source: NRF, August 2007

They list ipods, digital cameras and cell phones as tops on the list, but most of those things you should already have and aren’t really a back to school item. Boy am I glad I went to college in an era when no one had their own computer and you had to go to the lab to type your papers. Life was cheaper then. The most I got when I went off to college was some extra long college dorm bedding, a shower caddy, a few towels and a desk chair. If you wanted to use the phone each dorm had a land line you had to share with your roomate. I didn’t even have a TV, luckilly my roomates always did. I was impressed by cable. Today kids aren’t impressed unless you have 500 friends in your network. Boy how times have changed since 1995. Is it any wonder that I work in an industry and in a job that didn’t exist then?


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