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CSRA Back To School Shopping To Top $74.7M in 2023

Jul 17, 2023 3:13:52 PM / by Larry Julius

“Back-to-class shopping is one of the most important consumer shopping occasions of the year," says Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF).  "Our research for 2023 shows American consumers are eager to jumpstart their back-to-school and college purchases early."

Based on per capita spending estimates from the NRF, Augusta, Georgia area parents are expected to spend a record $74,783,779 to prepare more than 91,600 children returning to grades K-12. These expenditures will exceed 2022 back-to-school sales by 12.5%

Expenditures to equip K-12 students in the Augusta area will be on:

  • Clothing: $27.3 million
  • Shoes: $21.6 million
  • Supplies: $14.1 million
  • Electronics: $11.7 million

In addition to expenditures for K-12,  $169.3 million is expected to be spent in the Augusta area to prepare college students for their return to campus. This is 27% more than was spent last year. Another record.

The biggest spending categories to equip Augusta area college students in 2023 will include:

  • Electronics: $41.8 million
  • Dorm/Apartment Furniture: $23.6 million
  • Clothing: $22.5 million
  • Food Items: $18.7 million

In order to capture the largest portion of this record back-to-class cash, Augusta small business owners will need to fight to keep these dollars local. According to the NRF, a painful majority of shoppers plan to buy online and in department stores.  While only 13-15% of consumers plan to buy locally.

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Back To School Shopping: CSRA Businesses Expect Record Sales

Jul 29, 2021 6:00:31 PM / by Larry Julius

There are 91,600 school-aged children in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).  Based on forecasts from the National Retail Federation (NRF), local parents are expected to spend a record $65.4 million to prepare these kids to return to the classroom this fall. 

Overall, the NRF expects back-to-school shoppers to spend almost 10% more in 2021 than they did last year.

“The pandemic forced parents and their school-aged children to quickly adapt to virtual learning, and they did it with an incredible amount of resolve and flexibility,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We enter the new school year with plans to return to the classroom and retailers are prepared to help Americans find and purchase whatever they need to make this transition as seamless as possible.”

According to the NRF, more than 51% of parents have already started buying for their K-12 students.  But, for Augusta area business owners there is still time to benefit.

The NRF reports that nearly 76% of K-12 shoppers are still waiting on lists of school supplies needed. On average, consumers have only completed 18% of the shopping.

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CSRA Retailers Prepare For $59 Million Back-To-School Season

Jul 23, 2020 10:55:15 AM / by Larry Julius

Based on projections from the National Retail Federation, Augusta area parents are expected to spend $59.7 million to equip K-12 kids for the upcoming school year. If so, then this shopping spree will be 29% bigger than last year's and the biggest take since 2012.

“By any measure, this is an unprecedented year with great uncertainty, including how students will get their education this fall whether they are in kindergarten or college,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says.

“Most parents don’t know whether their children will be sitting in a classroom or in front of a computer in the dining room, or a combination of the two. But they do know the value of an education and are navigating uncertainty and unknowns so that students are prepared."

Along with pencils, paper, pens, and knapsacks, the NRF survey says 63 percent of K-12 families expect to buy computers and other electronics this year, up from 54% last year, and they expect to spend more at an average $274.44, up from $203.44 last year. The $71 difference accounts for the largest share of the overall increase in average spending of almost $93.

Also, because many parents are unsure if learning will take place at school or at home, back-to-school spending this year is expected to include home furnishings such as desks, chairs, and lamps.

To claim a meaningful share of this year's booming back-to-school economy, local retailers will need to advertise to let parents know that their stores are open, it is safe to shop, and the needed supplies are in stock.

By any metric, the best way to reach these parents is on Augusta radio.

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Is Your CSRA Small Business Ready For Back-To-School Season?

Jul 18, 2019 8:29:50 AM / by Larry Julius

The National Retail Federation has predicted that this year's back-to-school shopping season will set a new record. Households with school-age children are expected to spend, on average, $696.70 preparing their kids for the first day of classes. This tops the previous record set in 2012.

For Central Savannah River Area small business owners, this means there is $155,483,400 of back-to-school bucks in play between now and the first bell of the school year.

According to the NRF, here's how the $696.70 per household will be spent.

  • Clothing & Accessories: $239.82
  • Computers & Electronics: $203.44
  • Shoes: $135.96
  • School Supplies: $117.49

To grab the largest share of back-to-school spending will require small business owners to advertise.  By any metric, advertising on Augusta radio stations will be the most effective.  Here's why.

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