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BY THE NUMBERS:

By the Numbers: Slowdown in Back-to-School Spending

By Glenn Demby

The general slowdown in retail is expected to affect back-to-school spending on both licensed and unlicensed goods, according to a new NRF survey:

  • $24.9 billion: Expected amount of total back-to school spending
  • $630.36: Average amount family with kids in grades K-12 is expected to spend for apparel, electronics and other school needs (down from $669.28 in 2014)
  • $217.82: Amount the average family is expected to spend for clothes
  • $117.56: Amount the average family is expected to spend for shoes

The report also suggests that families will wait longer to start their back-to-school shopping:

  • 19.6%: Families planning to shop 2 months before school begins (as opposed to 22.5% in 2014)
  • 42.8%: Families planning to shop 3 weeks to 1 month before school begins (as opposed to 44.5% in 2014)
  • 30.3%: Families planning to shop 1 to 2 weeks before school begins (as opposed to 25.4% in 2014)

Source: National Retail Federation annual Back-to-School Survey


Licensed Lunchboxes: Part School Supply, Part Investment Asset?

By Glenn Demby

The array of licensed school supplies chasing after the back-to-school dollar includes caped Batman and Superman lunchbox from Thermos. Although the fabric insulation technology is new, the marriage of Thermos and DC Comics superheroes is a classic concept. If you buy one of these or another licensed lunchbox, you might want to hang onto it for a while. I wish I had. That old steel Batman and Robin lunchbox and thermos I had as a kid is now an antique with a mint version commanding somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 on eBay. Prices of some of the other vintage lunchboxes I grew up with (based on my highly unscientific perusal of eBay):

  • Jetsons: $100
  • Beatles: $1,900
  • Munsters: $495
  • Bonanza: $400
  • Cracker Jack: $50
  • Flying Nun: $50
  • Flipper: $175
  • Get Smart: $175
  • Superman: $180
  • Hogan’s Heroes: $900
  • Gomer Pyle: $75
  • Gentle Ben: $70
  • Brady Bunch: $185
  • Smokey Bear: $750
  • Beverly Hillbillies: $350
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