Data-driven insights that help companies navigate the changing retail and technology landscape. LEARN MORE
Insight Reports 8 minutes premium

US Back-to-School 2018 Retail Outlook: Shoppers Look Ready to Spend

Coresight Research

Key Points

  • We expect US back-to-school sales to increase by 3.0%–4.0% this year. The economic backdrop for US back-to-school spending is strong. Positive economic indicators include a low unemployment rate, higher consumer sentiment, strong wage growth, higher housing prices, lower savings rates, total US retail increases and more tax-free shopping dates. Negative indicators include higher gas prices and slower growth in apparel as a portion of total retail sales.
  • The National Retail Federation (NRF) takes a more pessimistic view than we do. It expects total back-to-school spending to fall short of last year’s spending by 1% to $82.8 billion in 2018, which will mark the third-highest-ever back-to-school spending level.
  • Apparel and electronics are the two strongest categories in both back-to-school and back-to-college spending. E-commerce is set to make strong gains this year, with surveys finding a 10-percentage-point jump in shoppers opting to buy online.
  • Most e-commerce back-to-school sales happen during the week, and brick-and-mortar stores see their most back-to-school shoppers on weekends. The busiest back-to-school shopping period is early August, followed closely by late July.
  • Consumers are focused on finding discounts. Competition amongst retailers is growing, and retailers are seeking to draw customers through convenience.

This report is for Premium subscribers only. Learn more about subscriptions here.

Other research you may be interested in:

Coresight Research