‘Tough all over’: Canadian parents rein in back-to-school spending

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Parents rein in back-to-school spending
This school year, the rising cost of food and supplies has parents re-evaluating how and where they’re spending. Shallima Maharaj reports. – Sep 4, 2023

Canadian consumers have grown increasingly vigilant about getting the biggest bang for their buck, and that extends to back-to-school shopping.

A recent survey by Deloitte suggests that the cost of school supplies has risen by 24 per cent. The firm anticipates parents will be spending less on this school year at $597.

“It’s been tough all over. Not just food, but in other areas as well to keep under budget,” said Jyoti Deonaraine, whose four-year-old daughter is about to start kindergarten.

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“There’s a little bit of price gouging going on, and it really makes you think twice about what you’re going to get.”

According to Deloitte’s survey, released in July, shoppers gravitate toward retailers with competitive prices, online retailers, and dollar stores.

“One of the things that online shopping allows is it allows customers to do searches very quickly and compare things based on price,” said David Soberman, a marketing professor with the Rotman School of Management.

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Another strategy he points to is consumers delaying purchases until later in the school year.

“This may be one of those years where people bide their time a little bit and hope for better deals in October or November for things the kids might not need right away.”


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