Retailers Can Still Count on Back-to-School Spending: Scotiabank Study

    -   Parents to spend more than $300 on getting their children back-to-
        school and an additional $400 on incidentals throughout the year

    TORONTO, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - Canadians with children in pre-school through
grade 12 are planning to spend an average of $310, around the same as last
year, to get their children ready for going back-to-school, according to a
recent Scotiabank study. Throughout the year, parents expect to spend an
additional $406 on school-related incidentals. From field trips to pizza
lunches, incidentals affect all parents with school age children, yet 71 per
cent say that they have not budgeted for these costs.
    "Spending by Canadian households on school-related goods and services
typically is more stable than other discretionary purchases in both good and
not so good times," said Aron Gampel, Scotiabank's Deputy Chief Economist.
"Although cost-conscious Canadian families will look to stretch their
purchasing power, allocating hard-earned spending dollars on education takes
on added importance during these challenging times."
    Regionally, parents in Quebec plan to spend more on getting their
children ready for back-to-school ($399) than those in the rest of Canada.
Parents in Ontario anticipate spending the least ($266).

    Amount Spent Getting Children Ready for Back to School

                 Total   Atlantic   Quebec   Ontario   Sask.  Alberta   B.C.
    Average       $310       $322     $399      $266   $293      $338   $273

    On incidentals throughout the year, parents in Alberta expect to spend
$471, more than any other province.

    Amount Expected for School Related Incidentals

                 Total   Atlantic   Quebec   Ontario   Sask.  Alberta   B.C.
    Average       $406       $379     $400      $421   $337      $471   $390

    With back to school shopping and preparations well under way, parents
should consider planning now for the incidental costs that pop up throughout
the year.
    "Incidental costs during the school year are not always top of mind for
parents, but can add up and therefore are important to plan for," said Gillian
Riley, Scotiabank Managing Director and Head, Retail Deposits and Services.
"One way for parents to prepare for incidentals is to set aside money on a
regular basis. For example, through an automatic savings program, such as
Scotiabank's Bank the Rest, parents can turn back-to-school shopping and
everyday debit purchases into a way to save over the course of the year for
any unanticipated costs. Small change can add up to make a big difference."
    According to the study, 64 per cent of parents plan to use debit and/or
cash as their method of payment for most of their back-to-school purchases.
    "For the 36 per cent of parents who plan to use credit cards for
back-to-school purchases, there are a wide range of options available to
them," said Rubina Havlin, Managing Director, Credit Cards, Scotiabank. "For
example, Scotia Momentum Visa offers cash back on all eligible purchases,
providing savings for future incidentals."
    Harris/Decima completed 1,000 online surveys among a random sample of
Harris/Decima panel members with school aged children (17 and under) living in
the household. They also had to be the primary/shared purchaser of back to
school items. The study was conducted between August 7th, 2009 to August 11th,
    This was a standard panel survey among a random sample of Harris/Decima's
Canadian panel members. In a fashion similar to a telephone study, email
addresses from their panel were pulled at random, according to population and
gender specifications, in order to make the study representative of the
Canadian population by region and gender. When contacted to solicit
participation, participants had no prior knowledge of the subject matter of
the study. Harris/Decima controls access to the study through passwords to
ensure that respondents can participate only one time. Subsequent to
completion of the study, the data was weighted for number of children in the
household within region.

    Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With close to 69,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12.8 million customers in some 50
countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and
services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking.
With more than $485 billion in assets (as at July 31, 2009), Scotiabank trades
on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please

For further information:

For further information: Robyn Harper, Scotiabank Public Affairs -
Toronto, (416) 933-1093 or; Deborah Spence,
Scotiabank Public Affairs - Calgary, (403) 601-4855 or; Michelle Cobb, Scotiabank Public Affairs -
Vancouver, (778) 327-5451 or

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