Back to School Spending - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Back to School Spending

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While last year's back to school spending was one of the highest in recent years, this year, some retail organizations expect a decrease in spending.

"The second and third weeks of August is absolutely are busiest time for back to school," said Dan Masin, Store Manager at the Billings Target. But Masin says many shoppers are getting an early start. "I think schools are very organized and they get the list out, sometimes at the end of the school year and we get them in. So, they come in and grab that list and want to get the best assortment and make sure they get everything on the list."

The National Retail Federation reports 23.9% of families with children K-12 shop two months before school begins.

"I came last year and everything was pretty much picked over so, and it was a zoo. The later you wait, the more people you're running in to," says Heather Jefferson of Billings.

According to NRF, families with school age children will spend on average, $634.78, and that's down from $688.62 last year. NRF's survey reveals that 80% say the economy affects the way they shop.

But according to Masin, Target in Billings isn't seeing the decrease.

"Our trend is up right now. Initially, like I said, we're very early into the season but we like where our sales trend is right now," says Masin. "I just think Billings' economy is strong, it has been and continues to be."

And though many retail organizations are expecting a decrease, National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay says spending levels are still well above where they were a few years ago.

That survey also says 36.6.% of families will be doing more comparative shopping online this year, compared to 32% last year.