Parents Predict Rise in Back-to-School Spending

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Parents will dig deeper into their pockets in 2005 as the new school year approaches, according to a poll by Prospectiv's Consumer Preference Index released last week.


The poll found that 43 percent of parents expect to spend more money on back-to-school purchases than in 2004. Eighty percent will spend most on clothing. The next-highest expenditure is books and supplies, parents said.


The poll also found that 50 percent of parents will shop at discount stores and 62 percent will use coupons. Forty percent will spend at department stores.


Though newspapers and circulars remain parents' main source for back-to-school coupons, preference is growing for e-mail and online offers, the poll found. Only 8 percent of parents polled get their back-to-school coupons online, but 28 percent expressed interest in receiving special coupon offers via e-mail and Web sites in the future.


"These results show consumers have an increasing interest in receiving back-to-school coupons through online channels," said Jere Doyle, Prospectiv president/CEO. "In fact, 19 percent of consumers wish to be e-mailed coupons in the future compared to the 5 percent that get offers via e-mail now."


More than 60 percent of parents are starting their back-to-school shopping now, in the month before the new school year, the poll found.


Prospectiv, Woburn, MA, provides customer acquisition, e-mail marketing and data analytics solutions to leading consumer brand marketers.


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