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The Frugal Duchess: Is Back-to-School Shopping A Big Scam? The Hype & The Numbers

The Frugal Duchess: Is Back-to-School Shopping A Big Scam? The Hype & The Numbers
When and why did back-to-school shopping become such a spending big holiday? The average family will spend about “$563.49 on back-to-school merchandise, up 6.9 percent from last year’s $527.08 average. Total back-to-school spending this year is expected to reach $18.4 billion,” according to data from the National Retail Federation.

Here’s how we’ll spend the money:

Electronics: $129.24 vs. $114.38 in 2006
Footwear: $108.42 vs. $98.34
School supplies: $94.02 vs. $86.22
Clothing and accessories: $231.80 vs. $228.14 in 2006

With a 13 percent year-over-year increase, electronics represent the back-to-school category with the largest hike. Here the explanation from the National Retail Federation:

“Electronics have evolved from luxuries to necessities, not only for college students but also for their younger siblings,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “While some students may be pleading with mom and dad for an iPod or a cell phone, parents are also investing in desktop or laptop computers, educational software and printers to support their children’s learning.”

Hmmmm? Is this just hype?

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