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It's Already Back-To-School Time For Many Arizona Kids And Retailers Are Cashing In

school classroom
(Photo by Sky Schaudt - KJZZ)

For families across the Valley, it’s time to buy pencils, backpacks and laptops. According to market research firm, the NPD Group, the Phoenix area has some of the earliest school start dates in the country and retailers are ready to cash in.

According to the National Retail Federation, total back-to-school spending for K-12 is expected to increase nearly ten percent from last year. The group’s annual survey finds the average family with kids in grades K-12 will spend $673.57, compared to $630.36 last year.

The survey predicts total K-12 spending will hit $27.3 billion. Here’s the  breakdown:


  • Clothing — $9.54 billion
  • Electronics — $8.27 billion
  • Shoes — $5.12 billion
  • Traditional supplies — $4.37 billion

While discount stores still attract the largest share of shoppers, the survey finds more parents plan to shop online compared to last year, with most taking advantage of free shipping.

And with bigger kids, come bigger bills. The survey finds the average college student will spend $888.71. While that’s down from $899.18 last year, the survey says total spending is expected to be higher in 2016  due to an increase in the number of people shopping for back-to-college stuff.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.