76°F
weather icon Clear

Electronics keys this year’s back-to-school spending

With ongoing uncertainty about the school year, families are prioritizing more technology in this year’s back-to-school budgets to accommodate online and distance learning.

Despite a degree of uncertainty surrounding the coming school year, parents and students throughout Nevada are stocking up on school supplies, electronics and clothes during the back-to-school shopping season. The Retail Association of Nevada estimates that back-to-school shoppers will spend $434.9 million to prepare for the new school year.

This year’s back-to-school planning has a much different look than years past because of social distancing measures in place. In turn, back-to-school spending is expected to reach historic levels because of increased purchases of electronics for distance learning.

Given the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot is still unknown about how and when K-12 schools across the state will start the fall semester, but there will be significant changes to accommodate social distancing, enhanced cleaning and reduced sharing of classroom school supplies. Colleges, including the University of Nevada campuses in Reno and Las Vegas and the College of Southern Nevada, are expecting to start the school year Aug. 24 with similar social distancing measures in place.

RAN projects $310.3 million will be spent shopping for Nevada’s K-12 students, up 14.7% from last year. With increased in-home lessons and distance learning likely, electronics are expected to be the largest spending category at $107.9 million. Spending on clothing and accessories is projected to be second at $92.2 million, followed by shoes ($58.6 million) and school supplies ($51.6 million).

“Nevada’s retailers are preparing for the multiple scenarios Nevada families are facing as they prepare for the start of the school year,” said Bryan Wachter, senior vice president of RAN. “We’re seeing a much greater need than ever before for technology to help students be successful in remote or hybrid learning environments, and we fully expect a lot of shopping to take place online; our brick-and-mortar retailers, too, can expect a busy back-to-school season, especially when families need supplies fast to accommodate final school reopening plans.”

Nationally, families with students in grades K-12 will spend an estimated $33.9 billion, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, with average spending per household expected to be $789, up from $697 last year.

With more than 117,000 students enrolled in public and private colleges throughout Nevada, RAN estimates spending for students heading back to college will reach $124.7 million. Electronics are expected to be the largest spending category at $30.8 million, followed by clothing and accessories ($17.5 million), dorm and apartment furnishings ($15.3 million) and food ($13.1 million).

Nationwide, the NRF reports spending for college students is projected to reach $67.7 billion, with the average household spending $1,059. College spending estimates rose from last year’s estimate of $977.

Back-to-school shoppers reported shifting more spending to online outlets because of the coronavirus. K-12 shoppers reported online retailers as their most popular destination at 55.0%, while 43.0% of college shoppers planned to shop online.

Discount stores have become the second most popular destination for college students going back to school, with 30.0% of shoppers planning to shop there.

K-12 shoppers reported department stores as their second favorite destination (37.0%). Back-to-school shoppers can expect elevated activity in the coming weeks as 68% of K-12 shoppers and 60 percent of college shoppers plan to get their shopping done at least three weeks before school begins.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Annual plan for Pahrump’s Lakeview Golf Course presented

In December of 2017, the Nye County Commission narrowly approved the purchase of Lakeview Executive Golf Course, and while the financials involved with running the course have seen some improvement since that acquisition was made, the operation is not quite on par with some commissioners’ expectations.

Sisolak recall petition signing locations

The Battle Born Patriots, a recently launched political action committee seeking to recall Gov. Steve Sisolak, released a list of multiple signing locations around Pahrump and the greater Nye County area.

No new citations issued for COVID noncompliance

Improved business compliance with required health and safety measures implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 led to no new citations being issued by the state Division of Industrial Relations during the week of Sept. 7.

Extension wants to match small businesses with help

This week’s University of Nevada, Reno Extension town hall and webinar will help small business owners learn about organizations that exist to help them grow.

Event aims at boosting rural entrepreneurship in state

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development is partnering with StartUpNV, Entrepreneur’s Assembly, Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority, business leaders and other government entities, in a new statewide initiative to foster entrepreneurship in Nevada’s smaller cities and towns.

Nevada gets $47 million in federal highway funds

The Nevada Department of Transportation has secured $46.8 million in additional federal highway spending authority for statewide road projects through the redistribution of Federal Highway Administration fiscal year-end funds. It marks the largest amount of such funds obtained by Nevada in a single year.

Sisolak orders flags to fly at half-staff to honor Ginsburg

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered the U.S. flag and state flag t0 be flown at half-staff at the State Capitol and state public buildings and grounds to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.

USDA extends waivers for WIC benefits during COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday announced the extension of more than a dozen waivers ensuring participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children continue receiving the food and health support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eric Trump to stop in Pahrump on Thursday

Eric Trump is set to lead a “Make America Great Again” event in the Pahrump Valley on Thursday as the days before the 2020 election wind down.