Inflation is not stopping LA parents from splurging on back-to-school items – NBC Los Angeles

on Aug15
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As students return to the classroom for the new school year, LA-area parents may not be pinching pennies on back-to-school shopping compared to those in other parts of the U.S., according to a new report.

According to the data gathered and analyzed by Deloitte, LA parents were looking to save money but still planned to spend an average of $756 per child for the new school year. The figure is 27% higher than the national average of $597.

“Price sensitivity is very real,” Rebecca Lohrey, an audit & assurance partner at Deloitte, said. “Inflation and rising prices are causing people to rethink how they’re spending and what they’re spending on. That said, LA is definitely planning to spend on back-to-school.”

Lohrey observed that parents in the LA area were willing to keep up with “self-expression trends” when families in other parts of the country were scaling back on non-essential items. While 88% of parents in LA planned to shop for apparel ahead of the new school year, 56% of them said they would shop for new tech items for their children.

 “We’ve usually seen more tech trends in LA, certainly in clothing and accessory area,” Lohrey explained. “But it’s more pronounced this year for some reason. After the pandemic years, people are getting back out there in the real world, and we are finding that parents are willing to splurge on their kids.”

Although families were planning to buy new tech items, such as smartphones, the survey revealed nearly half of LA parents preferred to delay their child’s use of smartphones.

“They are willing to spend on tech. They want to spend on tech, but parents are very concerned about their children’s mental health, and the role that technology plays.”

Another trend that LA parents are leading in back-to-school shopping: purchasing sustainable products even though they tend to be more costly. The survey found that 51% of LA parents prefer environmentally friendly products compared to the national average of 35%.

“LA parents are prioritizing sustainable products and focusing on the impacts the products have on the environment and companies’ reputations in the area.” Lohrey explained. “[It’s a] definitely on-trend, LA response there where sustainability products are important to parents, and we expect the trend to continue.”

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