57% of back-to-school shoppers still need to purchase new shoes

57% of back-to-school shoppers still need to purchase new shoes

Although back-to-school shopping started earlier this year, the average US family with children in grades K-12 had completed just half (48%) of its shopping as of early August, with 70% still on the lookout for new clothing and 57% in need of new shoes.

According to the National Retail Federation's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, only 13% of families with children in grades K-12 have completed their shopping lists while 22% of families have yet to start, up from 20% in 2015.

"It is evident that many families are still considering price and value when shopping for their back-to-school and college needs," says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. "Shopping early and often is a trend we have seen from many budget-conscious consumers over the last few years. In the weeks ahead, parents will take advantage of the aggressive deals that retailers will offer as they get ready to welcome the fall season merchandise."

When searching for the perfect deals, 48% of parents are influenced by coupons, up from 43% last year and the highest in the survey's history. Families will also take advantage of in-store promotions (39%) and advertising inserts (33%) to complete their shopping lists. For those who started shopping early, half (50%) of their purchases were influenced by coupons, sales and/or promotions.

When it comes to where consumers will finish their shopping, 53% will head to discount stores, 51% to department stores, 39% to clothing stores and 37% to office supply stores. Meanwhile, more will shop online this year, 31% compared with 27% last year, the highest in the survey's history.

Similar to back-to-school shoppers, college students and families with children in college have completed almost 48% of their shopping, slightly down from 49% percent last year. According to the survey, only 15% of consumers have completed their shopping lists, compared with 19% at this point last year.

"When it comes to big spending events such as back-to-school and back-to-college, families are being very savvy in how they tackle their lists," adds principal analyst Pam Goodfellow. "Families are slowly completing their shopping this season while taking advantage of expected promotions that will continue through Labour Day, and spreading their budget as necessary."

According to the survey, 50% of college students and families with children in college still need to purchase clothing.