Rising prices represents the main concern of parents regarding back-to-school spending (57%), with more than a half (54%) predicting a slowdown in the economy over the next six months, and 33% saying their household financial situation has worsened since last year, according to Deloitte 2022 back-to-school survey.
More than a third (37%) expect to spend more this year than a year ago on school products, mainly due to higher prices.
At the same time, 64% of participants to the survey suspect retailers are artificially raising prices in order to profit off of inflation, but 77% say they will shift to another brand if their preferred products are too expensive or are not in stock (63% are expecting stock-outs during the back-to-school shopping season, due to supply chain disruptions).
The budget allocated for each child for this purpose will rise, this year, by 8%, up to an average of USD 661.
On the other hand, technology-based products are losing ground as pandemic restriction are lifted – spending on such products is down 8% year-on-year, after 37% growth in 2021, while expenses on traditional school supplies will increase by 14%, versus 2% growth last year.
“The increase in prices and, implicitly, in the cost of living is the main concern for the inhabitants of most states worldwide, including European ones. According to the latest standard Eurobarometer published by the European Commission, inflation is the biggest concern of the population in 16 out of the 25 participating countries, with the highest shares in Estonia (71%), the Czech Republic (70%) and Lithuania (69%). Romanians also put the difficulties related to price rises first, given that, for them, consumption represents over 60% of the total expenditures, and the annual inflation, which reached 15% this summer, will certainly leave a mark on the back-to-school expenses,” said Raluca Baldea, Tax Partner, Deloitte Romania, and Leader of the Retail and Consumer Goods Industry.
Regarding the preferred source for purchasing school supplies, the study highlights the gradual return of consumers to physical stores, which account for 49% of the options, up from 43% in 2021, while online retailers attract 35% of shoppers, versus 39% last year.
A major trend seen this year is related to environmentally friendly or sustainable products. Half of parents choose such products, for which they are likely to spend 22% more than the average shopper, and 29% prefer to buy a used or refurbished product for their children. Among those who do not choose sustainable products, 50% say they are not affordable, and 20% say it’s difficult to identify those which are genuinely sustainable.
Deloitte 2022 back-to-school survey, now in its 15th edition, was conducted among 1,200 US parents of school-aged children.