Survey Shows Back-to-School Shopping is Year-Round Event

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Recent results from's fun "Are You a Slacker Mom" personality quiz indicate that one-third of moms shop for back-to-school stuff all year long to get the best deals. These findings suggest that recent back-to-school shopping statistics may not have taken year-round spending into account. Predictions on average back-to-school sales may seem to be slightly high, but moms responding to the survey confirm speculation that they spend less on back-to-school stuff than dads.'s fun "Are You a Slacker Mom" quiz recently polled respondents about their back-to-school shopping expectations, and a surprising 33.8 percent of moms shop throughout the year to find the best deals ( Young moms and older moms do the most year-round back-to-school shopping. Though back-to-school sales make up the second biggest retail season, actual spending on back-to-school stuff should be higher considering the numbers of moms who shop all year long.

Almost half of surveyed moms ages 21-24 shop throughout the year (49.8%). The second highest percentage could be seen in the18-20 year-old mom group (46.7%), followed by the 55 and older moms (43.7%). Moms least likely to shop year round are ages 35 to 44 (28.1%).

According to, the most popular time to do back-to-school shopping is 1-2 weeks before school (35.0 percent of respondents). Although the National Retail Federation (NRF) survey suggests that the majority of families (41.9 percent) start their shopping 3 to 4 weeks from the start of school, this survey does not seem to take year-round spending into account.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, families spent over $6.6 billion on back-to-school clothes alone in August 2005, not accounting for back-to-school supplies or electronics. Only the holiday shopping season yields equal or higher sales. Further, the NRF survey predicts total spending on back-to-school stuff to be over $17 billion dollars in 2006. With one-third of moms indicating they shop year-round, back-to-school spending could be higher than is currently estimated.

Of moms answering the personality quiz, 56.3 percent predicted that they'd spend less than $250 per child. The next biggest segment of quiz respondents (35.6 percent) believe that their outlay will be between $250 to $500. With such a large percentage of moms appearing to be controlling costs, the NRF $500 plus per household prediction seems to be too high.

However, moms responding to the quiz had on average 2.0 kids, and with predictions of less than $250 of spending per child, that appears to more closely match the NRF findings. Additionally, the NRF's survey shows that men have much higher spending expectations than women. Men stated that they expected to spend an average of $565.70 for back-to-school supplies. Conversely, women only predicted to spend $491.26, which appears to fall in line with the majority of "Are You a Slacker Mom" quiz respondents. attracts thousands of users every day to response-driven Web sites that cover trends in parenting style, personal growth, fashion, food, music, home ownership, education, and more. Chatterbean and its associated Web sites can be found at


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Aurelie Guerrieri
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