Department stores, clothing stores and websites are expected to be the winners in the final back-to-school shopping push, the latest research has found.

According to the National Retail Federation's 2011 Back-to-School survey, families with children in grades K-12 have completed 43% of their shopping, while college students and their parents have completed 44.3% of their purchases.

"As school begins in many areas around the country, parents and students are furiously visiting stores and websites to cross the final items off of their back-to-school lists," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

"Retailers know the final stretch of the back-to-school season is crucial and are continuing to offer exceptional values on everything from clothing to computers."

While discount retailers will remain the top shopping destination for last-minute back-to-school shoppers (56.9%), the number of people who will shop at department stores and specialty clothing stores as school approaches is expected to jump substantially this year.

According to the survey, 47.1% of last-minute shoppers plan to visit department stores - a 10% jump from last year's 42.7%. In addition, 40.8% plan to visit specialty clothing stores, a rise of 19% over last year, and 21.7% plan to shop online.

For the college crowd, discount stores will also be the top destination (48.2%). The number of people shopping in department stores (39.6%) and clothing stores (27.7%) is also up.

Last month the NRF estimated that combined K-12 and college spending will reach $68.8bn, making this the second biggest consumer spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays. The average family of K-12 students will spend around $600 on back to school, while college students and their parents will spend an average of $800.