“Back-to-class shopping is one of the most important consumer shopping occasions of the year," says Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF). "Our research for 2023 shows American consumers are eager to jumpstart their back-to-school and college purchases early."
Based on per capita spending estimates from the NRF, Fort Myers area parents are expected to spend a record $163,298,350 to prepare more than 142,800 children returning to grades K-12. These expenditures will exceed 2022 back-to-school sales by 12.5%
Expenditures to equip K-12 students in the Fort Myers area will be on:
- Clothing: $59.8 million
- Shoes: $47.2 million
- Supplies: $30.6 million
- Electronics: $25.7 million
In addition to expenditures for K-12, $369 million is expected to be spent in the Fort Myers area to prepare college students for their return to campus. This is 27% more than was spent last year. Another record.
The biggest spending categories to equip Fort Myers area college students in 2023 will include:
- Electronics: $91.2 million
- Dorm/Apartment Furniture: $51.5 million
- Clothing: $49.1 million
- Food Items: $40.9 million
In order to capture the largest portion of this record back-to-class cash, Fort Myers small business owners will need to fight to keep these dollars local. According to the NRF, a painful majority of shoppers plan to buy online and in department stores. While only 13-15% of consumers plan to buy locally.