spending

Back-to-school spending will tilt heavily toward tech

2021 back-to-school spending overall will hit $32.5 billion for K-12 students, or $612 per student, according to Deloitte.
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School’s out for summer, but retailers and consumers are already preparing for when class is back in sesh.

2021 back-to-school spending will hit its highest level in recent years: $32.5 billion for K-12 students, or $612 per student, according to Deloitte. Back-to-college consumers will shell out $26.7 billion, or $1,459 per student.

But on what, exactly?

Logging on: A year of virtual classrooms has led to a 37% increase in tech spending for K-12 students, and a 16% jump for college students. Back-to-school spending on computers, smartphones, tablets, and the like is expected to reach a whopping $11.8 billion, with wearable tech seeing the most money.

  • 44% of surveyed households plan to purchase fewer “traditional” back-to-school supplies due to a renewed emphasis on tech.
  • Even as schools open for in-person learning, 58% of respondents said they plan to spend on online resources.

The shift also extends to how that shopping will get done: 34% of consumers plan to use “buy online, pickup in store” and curbside pickup. And parents of K-12 students are twice as likely as those of college students to use emerging tech to buy supplies.—JG

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