(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the International Council of Shopping Centers and
received via e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
U.S. Consumers Expect to Spend About $285 on Back-to-School
39% say they are likely to spend more this year 
NEW YORK, July 18, 2013 - The back-to-school shopping season has
already gotten underway with 29% of households reporting that
they have begun to shop, according to a special ICSC-Goldman
Sachs consumer tracking survey.  While the percentage of
consumers shopping for back-to-school items at this time of the
season is lower than in 2012 (33%), it is still higher than in
all other years since 2004.  Although the season has officially
begun, two-thirds of households reported that August is when
they will do most of their back-to-school shopping. 
The average household expenditure on all types of back-to-school
items is expected to be about $285 this year, which is an
increase over last year for 39% of those surveyed.  Forty-five
percent plan to spend the same amount as last year, while only
17% indicated they would spend less. Of the 42% of consumers
that plan to increase spending, nearly three-fifths indicated
that the bulk of their shopping will be to replace wardrobes and
school supplies. 
“Consumers typically view back-to-school merchandise as
essential expenditure, which is likely a key reason that so many
consumers plan to increase spending this year,” said Michael P.
Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist.
“However, this year consumers plan to do considerably more of
that shopping at discount stores (90% vs. 83% in 2012) than
anywhere else followed by office supply (44%) and traditional
department stores (41%).” 
Not surprisingly, and consistent with previous surveys, the
number one item that consumers need for the coming school year
is school supplies (89%), followed by apparel (79%). 
The ICSC-Goldman Sachs consumer tracking survey was conducted by
Opinion Research Corporation between July 12 and July 15, 2013. 
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of
the shopping center industry. Its more than 60,000 members in
over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers,
managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and
brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As the
global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25
national and regional shopping center councils throughout the
world. For more information, visit www.icsc.org. 
Jesse Tron
+1 646-728-3814
(sgp) NY 
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