As the new school year is still shrouded in controversy over the feasibility and safety of in-person learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, families and students are gearing up for all possible scenarios. According to survey data published by the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending could climb past $100 billion for the first time this year, with e-learning supplies on top of many families’ shopping list.
More than half of the roughly 7,500 U.S. consumers surveyed expect at least some classes to be taught remotely this fall, while only 26 percent expect most or all classes to be held in person. At 72 percent, the vast majority of those expecting students to be at home for some classes believe they’ll need to buy items specifically to accommodate e-learning. Laptops, headphones and electronic accessories such as keyboards, mice or flash drives are the most sought-after items specifically for e-learning purposes, pushing average expected back-to-school spending to $789 per family for parents of elementary/high school students and to $1,059 for families of college students – both all-time records.