Ka-ching! Back-To-School Retailers Prepare For Tax Free Weekend!

With the new school year just weeks away, back-to-school shoppers have something to get excited about. Throughout August, fourteen states are helping families (and retailers) with an annual Tax Free Weekend. Shoppers pay no tax on school supplies, computers and clothing in the states listed below.

Global Response is prepared to handle the increased volume in phone, chat, email and social media interactions for our back-to-school retailers. By forecasting contact volumes for seasonal events, we’re prepared to deliver consistent service levels and a quality customer experience.

Participating States

Arkansas (Aug. 5-6) – Clothing and school supplies

Connecticut (Aug. 20-26) – Clothing and footwear

Florida (Aug. 4-6) – School supplies, clothing and computers

Iowa (Aug. 4-5) – Clothing

Maryland (Aug. 13-19) – Clothing and footwear

Louisiana (Aug. 4-5) – Personal property <2500

Maryland (Aug. 13-19) – Clothing and footwear

Missouri (Aug. 4-6) – Clothing, computer and school supplies

New Mex. (Aug. 4-6) – Clothing, computers and school supplies

Ohio (Aug. 4-6) – clothing and school supplies

Oklahoma (Aug. 4-6) – clothing

South Carolina (Aug. 4-6) – clothing, school supplies and computers

Texas (Aug. 11-13) – clothing, backpacks and school supplies

Virginia (Aug. 4-6) – clothing and school supplies

NRF: Back-to-School Spending to Top $83.6 Billion

The back-to-school and college spending season is here, and the National Retail Federation’s annual survey projects that families will spend 10 percent more overall this year for a total $83.6 billion.

K-12 Back-to-School Shoppers

Families with children in kindergarten through high school said in the recent NRF survey that they expect to spend an average $687.72 this season, for a total $29.5 billion. That’s up 8 percent from last year. While an increase, it’s not a record for this category. Peak spending totaled $30.3 billion in 2012.

Some other highlights from the NRF’s K-12 survey:

  • Parents said they’ll spend an average $238.89 on clothing, $204.33 on electronics, $130.38 on shoes and $114.12 on school supplies.
  • 27 percent said they’ll shop early – two months before the start of school; 21 percent will wait until the last week or two prior to school’s opening.
  • 46 percent said they’d shop online. That’s the same as in 2016, but up from 36 percent in 2015.
  • Of the online shoppers, 91 percent expect to use free shipping and in-store pickup.
  • 57 percent plan to shop at department stores, 54 percent at discount stores, 46 percent at clothing stores and 36 percent at office supply stores.

College Shoppers

Families of college students expected to spend an average of $969.88, an increase from $888.71 in 2016. Total spending is projected at a record $54.1 billion, a jump from $48.5 billion in 2016.

Other highlights from the college survey:

  • 51 percent of college families surveyed plan to spend on electronics; 78 percent on clothing; 75 percent on food items; 51 percent on furnishings for college housing; 72 percent on shoes; 78 percent on personal care items; 88 percent on school supplies; 40 percent on gift cards; and 56 percent on branded college gear.
  • 32 percent said they’d start early this year; 21 percent said they’d wait until one or two weeks before school starts.
  • 44 percent said they’d shop online, compared with 38 percent in 2016 and 39 percent in 2015.
  • 40 percent said they’d shop at discount stores; 39 percent, department stores; 34 percent, college bookstores; and 29 percent, office supply stores.

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