Back-to-school shoppers expected to spend less

Shopping for a K-12 student is still an expensive proposition, but parents this year are planning to trim their spending and focus on necessities, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation.

The average expenditure for apparel, shoes, electronics and supplies will fall to $634.78 from last year’s record $688.62, which was partly driven up by pent-up post-recession demand, according to the trade group.

In all, parents will shell out $26.7 billion nationwide throughout the season. Separately, preparations for college will cost Americans $45.8 billion, or $836.83 on average.

The per-student college figure is down from $907.22 last year and includes spending on clothing, technology, dorm furnishings and more.

Roughly 8 in 10 shoppers – whether buying for primary, secondary or higher levels of education – say they’ll adjust their spending plans to deal with the economy.

“As they continue to grapple with the impact of increased payroll taxes, Americans will look to cut corners where they can, but will buy what their kids need,” said Matthew Shay, the retail group’s chief executive, in a statement.

Parents shopping for school-age children are getting an early start, with 23.9 percent of families saying they are already scouring the racks and nosing through shelves. That’s the highest percentage ever of consumers launching their back-to-school preparations two months before classes begin.

The ratio of early birds on the college shopping circuit also hit a record, with 29.8 percent looking for deals now, according to the report.

More than a third of parents say they plan to do more comparative shopping online. Nearly 4 in 10 college shoppers say they’ll hit the Internet for their retail needs.

More in Herald Business Journal

Exec director of Future of Flight in Mukilteo stepping down

A former board president will temporarily lead Snohomish County’s most popular tourism attraction.

Seafood producer Keyport moves corporate HQ to Edmonds

The family business sees the city as business friendly — and able to accommodate expansion.

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.