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Deloitte: Back-to-school Spending To Increase Slightly

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Deloitte expects to see only a slight increase in spending this back-to-school season.

Back-to-school spend is expected to grow 1.8%, with total back-to-school spending expected to reach $27.8 billion or $519 per student, up slightly from $510 in 2018. The data is based on shopping for children in kindergarten through grade 12. Deloitte polled 1,200 parents who have at least one child in school.

In the electronic gadgets category, sales is expected to grow by 29% or $800 million over last year, but computers and hardware category is expected to decline by $600 million or 16%. Electronic gadgets are only category in which online sales are expected to grow at the expense of in-store shopping.

Households plan to spend 56% of their budget in-store and 29% online with the remaining 15% up for grabs with undecided shoppers.

Clothing and accessories will account for 54% of spending, followed by school supplies at 22%, gadgets at 13%, and computers and hardware at 11%.

About 60% of consumers plan to use their smartphones to visit a retailer's website, with 54% of them planning to obtain price information, and 51% looking for discounts and promotions.

"For the first time, people are telling us they're just as likely to use a smartphone to make purchases as a laptop or desktop, which previously held the lead when it was time to click the 'buy' button," said Rod Sides, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and its U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution leader. "Additionally, we continue to see just over half of purchases occurring in stores, with undecided shoppers gravitating online. Retailers who understand this will position a range of in-store and digital offerings to meet the consumers where they are."

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