Raw Materials

2020-07-16

Cotton Incorporated survey says shoppers plan to spend 12% more on clothing

As schools and parents across the country consider the best re-opening plans for students in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers are planning too and there is hope for brands and retailers. Back-to-school clothing shoppers plan to spend about $340 (up 12 percent from 2019) on clothes per person, according to Cotton Incorporated’s Lifestyle Monitor™ survey.

Two-out-of-five respondents noted they would shop differently this year depending on if their children go back to a classroom. Those back-to-school shoppers say they will purchase more clothing made for:

  • comfort (37 percent),
  • more loungewear (22 percent),
  • less dresswear (17 percent),
  • more activewear (17 percent)

When choosing apparel, the majority of buyers say they prefer their child/children’s clothing be made from cotton because its comfortable (78 percent).

“We anticipated back-to-school shopping to look different for consumers across the country,” states Kim Kitchings, senior vice president of consumer marketing for Cotton Incorporated. “It’s reassuring to brands, retailers and growers, that parents plan to buy clothing for the new academic year and they want their students to be comfortable in cotton whether in school, on campus or distance learning.”



More than half (58 percent) of shoppers plan to buy back-to-school clothing in stores, according to Lifestyle Monitor™ survey, while 42 percent say they’ll shop online. Not surprising, this is up nearly 30 percent from last year’s survey.

Shoppers plan on spending more but are buying less. Here’s what they say they’ll buy on average:

  • 8 shirts (down significantly from 11 in 2019)
  • 6 undergarments (down significantly from 10 in 2019)
  • 7 socks (down significantly from 9 in 2019)
  • 4 pants (down significantly from 6 in 2019)
  • 4 jeans (down from 5 pairs in 2019)
  • 3 activewear items (down significantly from 5 in 2019)


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