Connecticut Ranks #4 in Back-to-School Stores

With students now settling into their classrooms and the hectic back-to-school shopping mostly in the rear view mirror, we learn that Connecticut ranks #4 among the nation’s states in the number of back-to-school retail stores per square mile.

The Land of Steady Habits is outpaced only by New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts as retail meccas for pre-school year shoppers, just ahead of Maryland, Delaware, New York and Florida.

Connecticut has 3,477 back-to-school retailers, for an average per square mile of .718, according to a Bloomberg Visual Data using NAICS data.  The data defines an establishment is a single physical location at which business is conducted. Retail totals were only for establishments identified in the following NAICS sectors and subsectors: electronics and appliance stor4es; clothing and clothing accessory stores; sporting goods stores; hobby, toy and game stores; musical instrument and supplies stores; bookstores; general merchandise stores; and office supply and stationery stores.

Alaska and Wyoming had the smallest number of retailers, at 661 and 678 respectively, as well as the smallest number per square mile. (Alaska was .001)

Connecticut’s annual tax-free week for clothing and footwear under $300 was conducted Aug. 18 through Aug. 24 at stores across the state, just prior to the start of the school year in most communities. On average, it is estimated that families spend nearly $700 on back to school purchases. The state expects to lose about $7 million to $8 million in revenue from the week of tax-free shopping.

According to the National Retail Federation projections prior to the back-to-school shopping season, the biggest portion of back-to-school shoppers’ budgets will go toward new apparel and accessories: 95.3 percent of those with school-age children will spend an average of $230.85 on fall sweaters, denim and other chic pieces of attire. Additionally, families will spend on shoes ($114.39) and school supplies ($90.49). Fewer families with children in grades K-12 will purchase electronics (55.7%), and those that are going to invest in a new tablet or smartphone are going to spend slightly less than last year.

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