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Back to School Shoppers Expect to Spend More and Sooner in 2012

School’s out! And that means it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping for the 2012-2013 school year. That may sound crazy, but a new survey by PriceGrabber shows that people are planning to shop more and shop sooner than last year.

The survey shows that 17% will begin shopping in June and 35% in July, 43% in August and only 3% in September. This represents a shift toward shopping earlier which means back-to-school retailers need to be ready right now.

Part of the reason for the shift is that consumers expect to spend more and they want to spread out the cost. 46% said they’d be spending more than last year. In 2011, only 13% said they’d be spending more. That’s a huge jump that should be good news for retailers.

By shopping earlier, consumers give themselves time to find great deals and you can bet they’ll be looking. Shopping early also means they have time to shop online. Parents will be looking for great deals on back-to-school clothes, backpacks, electronics, and dorm room basics for students headed off to college. In addition to a good price, shoppers will also be looking at shipping costs. If they can get something delivered for the same price as driving to the store, they’ll gladly stay home and give online merchants their money.

Are you ready for back-to-school?