Back to School only halfway done

Photo by Halfpoint / Getty Images

Back-to-school shopping started earlier than ever and will likely last even longer as shoppers still try to complete shopping even as kids head back to class.

The average family with children in grades K-12 had completed almost half (48 percent) of their shopping as of early August, down slightly from last year, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

"It is evident that many families are still considering price and value when shopping for their back-to-school and college needs," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Shopping early and often is a trend we have seen from many budget-conscious consumers over the last few years. In the weeks ahead, parents will take advantage of the aggressive deals that retailers will offer as they get ready to welcome the fall season merchandise."

Just 13 percent of families with kids in grades K-12 have completed their lists, according to the survey. Close to 77 percent still need to buy school supplies, 70 percent need clothing and 57 percent need shoes.

Back-to-college shoppers are in roughly the same place, with less than half saying that shopping is complete.

Discount stores will get the bulk of these remaining purchases for both groups, but K-12 shoppers also said they would shop apparel stores and office supply retailers.

College shoppers plan to spend at department stores (42 percent), the most in the survey's history.

Online shopping will also be big for both groups as this activity continues to reach new heights each year.

For more:
- see this NRF press release