Breaks The Piggie Bank
Although only 20 percent of Americans purchased consumer electronics for back-to-school in 1998, the category is still important because on a per-purchase basis, expenditures are high. The average purchase in 1998 was $705, according to the The International Mass Retail Association's (IMRA) Back to School Research Study, published in October, 1998.
Parents of older children are more likely to make electronics purchases, according to the study. Only 16 percent of parents with children between the ages of four and nine bought electronics, but 21.5 percent of parents with children age 10 to 13 did, and over one-quarter of the parents of high schoolers (26 percent) spent money in this category.
The average amount spent on electronics also increases in relation to the children's age. The average purchase was $595 for children from ages four to nine, $683 for children from age 10 to 13 and $829 for children age 14 to 18. More parents of younger children (25 percent age 4 to 9, 21 percent age 10 to 13) are likely to spend in the $101 to $300 range than parents of older children (14 percent), but more parents of high schoolers are spending over $1,000 (26 percent) than those with younger students (20 percent ages 10 to 13, 16 percent ages four to nine). Most of these expensive purchases are probably computers.