Many find it hard to believe that back-to-school season is just around the corner, and many consumers are prepared for their pocketbooks to take a major hit in the upcoming weeks.
This year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that total spending on back-to-school and back-to-college to reach $83.6 billion.
NRF Spokeswoman Katherine Cullen revealed that the enormous amount is approximately 10 percent more than Americans spent last year – and the estimated total actually surpasses the most recent high, which was set back in 2012.
"There are a couple of things that we see driving this," Cullen explained in an NRF press release. "One is we're seeing a big increase from back-to-college shoppers, who are spending about $970 per household, which is about $81 more than they did last year – for a total of $54.1 billion."
In addition to computers and school supplies, a great deal of this spending is going toward non-discretionary items, such as food, personal care and college-branded gear.
"What we're seeing is that consumers are likely feeling good about the economy, and they're feeling more comfortable spending on some of these fun extras," the NRF representative clarified.
Whatever the case may be for exactly where the dollars are spent, back-to-school- and back-to-college shopping is a big deal for retailers.
"It is the second largest spending occasion – after the winter holidays," Cullen pointed out. "It's a big, big time of year for both retailers and consumers who are getting ready for back-to-school."
According to NRF's survey, back-to-school shoppers plan to spend $10.2 billion on clothing (purchased by 95 percent of respondents); $8.8 billion on electronics such as computers or calculators (60 percent); $5.6 billion on shoes (93 percent) and; $4.9 billion on school supplies such as notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks and lunchboxes (97 percent).
Parents have indicated that they will spend an average of $238.89 on clothing, $204.33 on electronics, $130.38 on shoes and $114.12 on school supplies.
While consumers plan to spend more across all categories, shoes and school supplies are seeing the highest expected increase.