College students will spend more than twice what parents of K-12 students will spend on back-to-school shopping this year, and retailers on-line and off have tapped into the market in record numbers.
According to the National Retail Federation, college students will spend $36.6 billion on furniture, supplies and books, with freshmen spending $1,152 on average, the New York Times writes (via MediaBuyerPlanner). And 29 percent of college students will do their shopping online this year.
That's why retailers have begun to target this market, one that has gone mostly untapped during back-to-school seasons of the past. Lorna Sargent, director of e-commerce content for Sears Holdings - which has created a website called SimplySearsCollege.com to focus on the demographic - is quoted as saying, "Everyone just kind of realized there was this untapped market out there."
Categories that are successful marketing to college students are those that work well online, such as consumer electronics, computers - and furniture, a category which is finally beginning to gain momentum among online consumers.