Perhaps it's partly because we just don't want summer to end.
Twin Cities shoppers are expected to get started on back-to-school shopping later than their counterparts nationwide, according to a survey commissioned by Deloitte.
"Maybe we're not ready for school season," said Barb Renner, Minneapolis-based vice chairman and consumer products leader for Deloitte.
The delayed shopping trend is also a likely reflection that school doesn't generally start around the Twin Cities until after Labor Day, when some parts of the country are starting school as early as next week.
Regardless of when they start shopping, forecasters are expecting this to be a big back-to-school shopping season as families feel better about their finances and the economy. That's good news for retailers, some of whom have had a rough start to the year. After the holidays, back-to-school shopping is the biggest shopping period of the year for many companies such as Minneapolis-based Target Corp.
In the Deloitte survey, 29 percent of Twin Cities respondents said they planned to spend more on back-to-school shopping this year.
Combined back-to-school and college spending this year is forecast to reach $83.6 billion, a more than 10 percent increase from last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Back-to-college spending is expected to reach an all-time high while back-to-school spending is expected to reach its second highest level on record.
"Families are now in a state of mind where they feel a lot more confident about the economy," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. "With stronger employment levels and a continued increase in wages, consumers are spending more and we are optimistic that they will continue to do so throughout the rest of the year."
While 37 percent of families nationwide planned to do most of their shopping for notebooks, pencils and backpacks in July, only about 23 percent of the respondents in the Twin Cities said they planned to do so then in the Deloitte survey. Seventy-five percent of those in the Twin Cities, compared to 58 percent nationwide, said they will wait until August to do their back-to-school shopping.
For Twin Cities shoppers, being procrastinators seems to pay off by being a bit easier on the pocketbook.
"The study overall showed that people who start earlier spend more," said Renner, adding that they spread their shopping over a longer period of time.
Twin Cities shoppers are expected to be a bit more frugal with their spending, planning to spend $492, or slightly less than the nationwide average of $501, according to Deloitte's survey. Shoppers in the South were expected to spend the most with an average spend of $554. Those in the West were the lowest with $455.
The lower average spent is also a reflection that Twin Cities shoppers said they would spend less on technology this year than survey respondents elsewhere in the country. The survey didn't delve into reasons why, but Renner noted that it could be because some families have already made such purchases in the past.
While online shopping is becoming more popular, the Deloitte survey showed that shoppers still prefer to go to stores to do most of their back-to-school shopping. Almost twice as many shoppers said they planned to shop at a physical store vs. an online-only site.
The Deloitte survey of 1,200 consumers nationwide included about 400 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.