Back-to-school spending unchanged in BC: Ipsos

Consumer spending patterns remain the same from 2009, indicating no improvement over last year's recession-wracked back-to-school season.

Parents and students in British Columbia are planning to spend the same amounts on back-to-school shopping this fall as they did last year, a new report from Ipsos Reid indicates.

The research company’s retail team conducted an online poll of 321 British Columbians from Aug. 13 to 17, finding that there was no change in spending patterns compared to a report conducted the same time last year.

Fifty-one percent of back-to-school shoppers were planning to spend less than $300 for their school supplies this fall, compared to 53% in 2009. The median spend was found to be $350, which is the same as last year. Fifty percent of respondents said they would spend the same amount as they did the year prior, 25% said they would spend more and 14% said they would spend less.

However, marketers can be heartened by the fact that the report also revealed that shoppers are not entirely set in their ways: 46% said they don’t use a budget and just buy what they want.

‘In summary, signs of an improved economy are not evident this back-to-school year, suggesting that retail back-to-school spending in 2010 will be a repeat of 2009,’ the report concluded.