Back to School spending: A gift for retailers

By Lauren Lowrey - bio | email

Posted by Kate Oatis - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - College students are getting ready to head back to school in the next few weeks, and based on a recent survey from the National Retail Federation, they won't be holding back in terms of their level of spending.

The survey indicates college students and their families will spend an average of $618.12 this year -- up 3 percent from 2008.

Indeed, one retailer says that for them, this unofficial holiday is second only to Christmas.

"This is an intense time of year for us because we've got a lot of students heading back to school," said Matt Clark, regional director for Bed, Bath & Beyond. "A lot of people are coming out now to buy for their dorm rooms, to buy for their students going off to school."

Bed, Bath & Beyond is prepared for the crush of consumers, and electronics stores should be, too. The survey found spending on electronics or computer-related items should rise to $266 this year -- up from $211 last year.

Despite the bright news, 48 percent of people surveyed say this tight economy will cause them to spend less and bargain shop more.

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