Back-to-school shopping is back
How will Americans spend this year?


of American families plan to do most of their back-to-school shopping in August


of Americans families plan to spend over $300 on back-to-school purchases


of American families plan to spend the most on wearables and study materials

Back-to-school spending this year is expected to surpass previous years as children seek a fresh start after over a year of online learning. This report delves into the shopping preferences and budgets that will define the second biggest retail shopping season in the US after the holiday season.

Back-to-school shopping is back, as schools across the US expect to fully reopen this fall after a year of shutdown. Unlike last year where the focus was on safety products and items required to make at-home learning comfortable, this year will see parents returning to buying regular back-to-school fare including clothes and other accessories like backpacks and lunch boxes. While sales are expected to top pre-pandemic levels given the return to normalcy, it remains to be seen how things will finally shape up, especially given the huge financial impact borne by many families over the past year. So how will back-to-school shopping trends vary this year? Piplsay polled 14,000 American families to get some insights. Here is a summary of what we found:

Other Insights

    • 44% of Millennial parents and 41% of Gen Xer parents plan to spend over $300 on back-to-school shopping this year
    • 52% of Gen Xer parents plan to shop mostly offline as compared to 48% of Millennial parents
    • 47% of white households plan to spend more on their back-to-school shopping this year as compared to 35% of black households

Survey Methodology: This Piplsay survey was conducted nationwide in the US  from July 12-14, 2021. We received 14,000 online responses respectively from individuals aged 18 years and older.

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