As parents rush to cross off every item on their child’s school supplies list before the bell rings, back-to-school spending is expected to reach $237 million, an increase of 7.4 percent from last year, according to the Retail Association of Nevada.
Consumers plan on spending an average of $669.28 on back-to-school items and $916.48 on back-to-college items, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.
Back-to-college spending is also anticipated to rise 9.1 percent this year to $96 million.
Las Vegas resident Christie Le Ann Schultz said she spends $60 to $80 on school supplies and $200 on clothes for her son, Dash, a second-grader at Cartwright Elementary School.
Schultz said she primarily shops for clothing and supplies at stores such as Old Navy, Ross, Kohl’s, Big Lots, Target and Wal-Mart.
“Dash needed a whole new wardrobe because he outgrew all of his clothes this summer, and he needed a new backpack and lunchbox. These stores are very affordable, have a good selection and some great sales throughout the summer.”
Schultz said she began shopping earlier than usual for school supplies.
“I started school shopping at the end of June,” she said. “I shop for things little by little at many different stores, which is the best way to look out for sales and get the best bargains.”
According to the National Retail Federation, parents will spend the most money on clothing this year, an average of $231.30, followed by electronics at $212.35, $124.46 on shoes and $101.18 on school supplies.
The amount spent on notebooks, pencils and backpacks has increased 12 percent from last year.
The National Retail Federation said high school students are the most expensive as far as back-to-school shopping, at an average of $682.99, followed by middle school students at $682.13 and elementary school students at $580.94.
When it comes to deciding on where to buy school supplies and clothes, the Retail Association of Nevada said online purchases are expected to total 38.2 percent, an increase of 0.9 percent.
Bryan Wachter, a spokesman for the Retail Association of Nevada said, “Although Amazon now collects sales tax for purchases made by consumers in Nevada, there are still plenty of online retailers who are able to avoid collecting sales tax. As the state continues to lose potential revenue from the collection of sales tax, it becomes increasingly difficult to fund services like education.”
Like Schultz, Zeledia Vargas is also shopping for a second-grader.
“We typically begin shopping a week before school,” Vargas said. “We try to do all the shopping at once because, even though my daughter hates going shopping, she still wants to pick out her own things.”
Vargas said she is planning on shopping at Wal-Mart for school supplies, and Old Navy, Gap and H&M for clothes for her daughter.
“Wal-Mart is less expensive. Old Navy always has great deals on clothes. Gap has good quality clothes that last all year and H&M has stylish clothes,” she said.
Vargas said she spends around $200 for clothes and $75 at the beginning of the school year for supplies and another $75 during the year on items such as pencils, paper and crayons.
“From the list we received from the teacher, it looks like there’s a lot more to buy than last year.”
Contact reporter Ann Friedman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @AnnFriedmanRJ on Twitter.