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Survey: Back-to-School Shopping Gets a Late Start

Consumers continue to shop with a ‘buy now, wear now’ mentality. As a result, they are getting a late start on their back-to-school shopping this year.

The NPD Group found that more than half of back-to-school shoppers (54 percent) said they intend to start their shopping in August, and 55 percent said that they plan to finish shopping that same month. Traditionally, back-to-school shopping season begins in June and ends in August.

As consumers move to a later shopping schedule, September is gaining traction as a prime back-to-school sales month for retailers. It is the second biggest month cited by consumers for finishing the shopping season.

“Today, more than ever before, consumers are focusing their shopping on what items they need at a particular moment, rather than what they may need a couple months down the road. The back-to-school season is a very relevant example of this spending shift,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

He added, “When so many consumers are planning to do their back-to-school shopping in the months not traditionally considered part of the season by retailers, it’s time to break with tradition and change the way we market and measure this shopping season.”