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Back to school: Spending expected to hit record highs

Back-to-school supplies await shoppers at a store on Saturday, July 11, 2020, in Marlborough, Mass. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on reopening plans in places and extended to the back-to-school shopping season.

Back-to-school supplies await shoppers at a store on Saturday, July 11, 2020, in Marlborough, Mass. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on reopening plans in places and extended to the back-to-school shopping season. (Bill Sikes, Associated Press)



SALT LAKE CITY — Families are expecting to spend more on supplies and clothes this school year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The National Retail Federation says American families are planning to spend on average about $850 per student, an increase of $60 from last year. That's a new record. Total spending is expected around $37 billion, another new record.

Why the increase?

There are two distinct reasons for the spike in spending, according to National Retail Federation Senior Director of Industry and Consumer Insights, Katherine Cullen.

"About 2/3 of K-12 and college shoppers are expecting that classes will take place, at least mostly, in person in the fall," says Cullen. "That is fueling different purchases and more purchasing than last year."

Cullen gives the example of students not needing uniforms, lunch boxes, or a new wardrobe for distance learning through the pandemic.

The other reason, a big increase of shoppers buying electronics for their students. This includes laptops, tablets, and cellphones. Cullen says that's a bit of a surprise.

"We may have expected initially that this number would come in a little lower given that so many families stocked up on electronics for virtual learning last year," Cullen says.

Read the full article on KSLNewsRadio.com.

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Nick Wyatt

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