Back-to-school shopping only half complete

Families report having only completed half of their back-to-school shopping as they wait for more end-of-summer deals to emerge.

According to the National Retail Federations' latest back-to-school survey, the average family with children in grades K-12 have completed 49.9 percent of their shopping, down slightly from 52.1 percent in mid-August last year.

"As the shopping season draws to a close, budget-conscious parents are likely hoping that end-of-summer sales and promotions will be just what they need to wrap up their school lists," said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. "Much of the delay this summer could also stem from families holding out for a sales tax holiday in their state, as well as from influential teenagers who want to first see what their friends are buying before they ask mom and dad to commit to their fall needs."

The survey reported that one-quarter of families had not even started shopping yet, up from 20.9 percent last year. However, those who had already started expressed eagerness to begin shopping again as they work to spread out their spending. About 15 percent said they had completed their lists, similar to last year's figures.

Families with college students were a little bit ahead on shopping, with 23.4 percent saying they had completed their lists, up from 20 percent last year. Furthermore, 26.2 percent of these families, down from 28.8 percent last year, said they had not started shopping yet.

Coupons remained a top priority. Of those surveyed, 15.2 percent said 100 percent of their purchases were influenced by coupons, sales and promotions, which is the highest percentage since 2011. Among college students, 14.8 percent were influenced in 76 to 99 percent of their purchases based on coupons.

With savings in mind, a's Back-to-School Shopping Report showed up to 57 percent of families will not purchase laptops, desktops, tablets or mobile devices this year in order to save money.

In addition, 16 states were offering tax-free shopping weekends to help jump-start retail sales during back-to-school shopping.

For more:
-See this NRF press release

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