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Back-to-School Shopping Budgets Decrease in 2011 from 2010, According to PriceGrabber® Survey

LOS ANGELES July 18, 2011 $250 $500 $250 $500 between May 12 and 19, 2011

Cautious back-to-school shoppers turn to the Internet

Along with scaling back purchases in general, survey data reveals that many savvy consumers are harnessing the power of the Internet this year to take advantage of the latest and greatest back-to-school shopping deals. According to PriceGrabber survey data, an overwhelming 69 percent of consumers plan to shop online and use comparison shopping sites as a money-saving technique, compared to only 23 percent who said that in 2010. Forty-one percent of shoppers indicated that they will visit retailer Websites to print out coupons, versus 33 percent last year.

Graham Jones

Classic school supplies and clothing top consumers’ shopping lists

Amidst the sea of high-tech gadgets available, consumers are once again putting basic school supplies and clothing at the top of their back-to-school shopping lists — and in even greater numbers than in 2010. PriceGrabber’s survey found that 79 percent of consumers indicated that they will shop for general school supplies such as notebooks, binders and pencils, compared to 76 percent last year. Seventy-five percent of consumers plan to send their kids to school in the latest fashions by purchasing new clothing, versus 70 percent in 2010. The list of popular items for 2011 is rounded out by 47 percent of consumers indicating they will purchase a backpack or a tote bag, followed by 44 percent of shoppers who say they will purchase books.

"Clothing retailers will always benefit from the back-to-school shopping season, and we suspect that the increase in purchases in this category can be attributed to the recent, wide availability of affordable, designer-inspired clothes," commented Jones. "For parents looking to keep their kids on-trend, they may find it easier to stay within their budget by comparing prices online for a discounted pair of designer jeans and extending the life of the expensive electronics they already own."

Laptops and cell phones are down in 2011 tech category, while tablets find a new following

This year, consumers are expected to be budget-conscious when shopping for electronics, but they will not shy away from the latest technological advancements. According to PriceGrabber’s survey data, 18 percent of consumers will purchase a new laptop for their student, compared to 24 percent in 2010. Eleven percent will purchase a new cell phone or smartphone, versus 13 percent last year. This drop in conventional electronics comes alongside the emerging popularity of tablet computers. PriceGrabber’s survey data found that 10 percent of consumers plan to purchase an electronic tablet this year.

"The tablet computer has come a long way since the debut of the iPad just over a year ago," added Jones. "Further analysis of the data supports the idea that tablet computers are providing back-to-school shoppers an alternative to more expensive laptops; their convenient portability is likely also allowing consumers to forgo purchasing a new cell phone or upgrading to a smartphone."


About Experian

Experian® is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

31 March 2011 US$4.2 billion Dublin, Ireland Nottingham, UK California Sao Paulo


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