The outlook for back-to-school is tracking slightly better.
According to a survey conducted by Port Washington, N.Y.-based The NPD Group Inc., fewer consumers are reporting plans to spend less this year. Only 38 percent of consumers polled say they will shop less for back-to-school, compared with 44 percent of consumers last year.
While school supplies top consumers’ shopping lists, footwear is also a priority. This year, 45 percent of shoppers plan to buy shoes during back to school, compared with 39 percent last year.
Similar to last year, most consumers said they look for value when deciding on a purchase. And though shoppers said they are feeling better about buying this year, they are in no rush to begin the back-to-school shopping season. Only 3 percent of those surveyed have already started making purchases, compared with 6 percent who had begun by this time last year.
When consumers start their shopping, most will head to national chain stores, followed by mass merchants, office supply stores, department stores and footwear specialty stores.