SURVEY SHOWS MOMS PLAN TO SPEND LESS THIS BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON
Marketing to Moms Coalition Report Gives Early Read on Back-to-School Buying Trends: Increase in Online Shopping and Home Computer Requirements, Less Clothing, More Cleaning Supplies
CHICAGO, August 3, 2011 – Family budgets are getting tighter heading into the back-to-school spending season this fall. In fact, most moms plan to cut spending by 7 percent versus last year, according to the Marketing to Moms Coalition Back to School Report released today.
Moms of 7-12 year olds say they will spend roughly $409 for back to school supplies, which include academic supplies, clothing, electronics, sports equipment and school fees. Down from previous years, the clothing category will take the biggest hit in 2011.
“Moms continue to be frugal with the family budget,” said Amy Colton, founding member of the Marketing to Moms Coalition and executive vice president of Current Lifestyle Marketing. “While many brands are hoping for a banner recovery year, moms are telling us that for ancillary school categories like fashion and electronics, families still are trying to spend less than last year.”
Back to School Survey Highlights
Moms of teenagers will spend slightly more ($458) but still less than last year’s average ($479). Overall the only category to remain stable is actual academic school supplies ($65 this year compared to $63 in 2010). Other spending estimates include:
- Clothing (except athletic shoes), down 6 percent from 2010 to $126
- Sports gear, down 5 percent from 2010 to $69
- Electronics (calculators, computers), down 10 percent from 2010 to $45
On a brighter note, moms say they will spend less on standard school activity fees in 2011, which they say will be down 12 percent from 2010 to $57 on average this year.
“Schools are definitely feeling the pinch,” added Colton. “But while standard school fees may be appearing to come down, the supplies parents are being asked to provide is skyrocketing – and we’re not talking pencils and erasers. Moms are buying storage bags, disinfectant wipes and toilet products for their child’s class.”
In fact, almost 80 percent of moms expect to buy non-academic supplies for their child’s classroom as part of required supply lists.
More Online Purchases Planned
Most moms prefer to make their purchase in a store (54%) but more say they will do some of their 2011 shopping online (46%), showing a significant increase from 2010. Last year moms anticipated spending $82 on average online, while they predict $98 for 2011.
Home Computers Now Required for School Success
Home computers, with Internet access and printing systems, are becoming standard requirements across elementary and secondary school systems nationwide.
- Almost half (47%) of moms with children ages 7-12, and more than two in three (67%) moms of teenagers are expected to monitor their child’s grades and attendance through online posting
- Nearly one in three children from elementary through high school are assigned online homework by teachers
- Nearly half (45%) of moms of children ages 7-12, and 61 percent with teenagers, say their child would not be able to complete homework assignments without home access to a computer
- Uploading assignments also is on the rise – nearly a quarter (23%) of kids age 7-12 and one-third of teenagers are expected to post assignments online at least once during the year
The nationally representative sample was conducted June 2011. The survey of 1,270 moms with children under 18 living at home looked at spending plans for the 2011 school year. More details about the report are available at www.marketingtomomscoalition.org.