NEW YORK—With just about a week left in July, there’s no denying it anymore—the back-to-school season is dawning on us. The back-to-school season is a long one, extending from July through September, according to Pew Research, which found in 2019 that schools in the U.S. kick their academic years off any time between the last week of July and the week after Labor Day. So, whether it feels like summer or not, school is just about back in session.

And the school year starting means one thing of course: back-to-school shopping. This year, the National Retail Federation reports that customer are “expected to spend record amounts for both back-to-school and back-to-college shopping… Back-to-school spending is expected to reach an unparalleled $41.5 billion, up from $36.9 billion last year and the previous high of $37.1 billion in 2021. Back-to-college spending is expected to hit $94 billion, about $20 billion more than last year’s record.”

For elementary school kids, families expect to spend an average of $890.07 on back to school shopping, according to the NRF, while college students and their families expect to spend an average of $1,366.95 per person. The NRF reports that back to college spending has nearly doubled since 2019.


Back-to-school spending is expected to reach record highs this year. Images via NRF

Most of this change is due to a demand for electronics. The NRF said, “69 percent of back-to-school shoppers expect to buy electronics or other computer-related accessories this year, up from 65 percent last year and the highest in the survey’s history. Total spending on electronics is expected to reach a record $15.2 billion. As in past years, the top electronics consumers plan to purchase are laptops (51 percent), tablets (36 percent) and calculators (29 percent).”

As of July, the NRF found, 55 percent of consumers had already started shopping for the school year. However, 85 percent said they still have at least half of their shopping left to do before the academic year kicks off.

And, of course, there’s no better time than now to start reminding patients and their families about the importance of a back-to-school eye exam. Some ECPs are already on it, posting on social media to get ahead of the August rush.

So, with recording spending on the cards and the shopping season just kicking off, it feels safe to say that this back-to-school season will be a big one—but there are still plenty of warm, sunny summer days left to enjoy, of course. Soak up these last two months of summer—and get ready to help this year’s students prepare for a bright and successful year ahead.

With the back to school season upon us, some ECPs are reminding patients and families about the importance of an eye exam before the semester starts, like Envision Family Eye Care in Lexington, South Carolina. Image via envision_family_eyecare on Instagram

Clear Eye Doctors in Toronto, Canada, are also reminding patients about the back to school season. Image via cleareyedoctors on Instagram