RTTNews - Survey results released on Tuesday show that consumers have not yet finished the majority of their back-to-school shopping, while nearly one-third of families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade have not even started.

According to the results of a survey conducted by BIGresearch for the National Retail Federation, the average American family has only completed 41.6 percent of its back to school shopping. Families of college students have only completed 41 percent.

The survey also showed that sales and coupons have influenced 47.8 percent of back-to-school purchases so far. Shoppers said that advertising inserts, newspapers and in-store promotions were among the factors that influenced their decisions about where to shop.

The days of mom or dad letting children put whatever they want in the shopping cart are over, said Pam Goodfellow, a senior analyst at BIGresearch. Parents don't want to send their kids to school in clothes that don't fit, or with a calculator that doesn't work, but they are making careful spending decisions based on price instead of giving kids free rein to pick out whatever they want.

Discount stores should also see an upturn in business as the back-to-school shopping season winds down, as the survey reported that 62.2 percent of families that have to finish their school shopping would do so at a discount store.

The NRF reported in July that the average family with children in kindergarten through grade 12 would spend 7.7 percent less on new school supplies and clothes this year than the previous year, indicating a difficult back-to-school shopping season. Still, according to the most recent survey, there is much more shopping to be done.

One reason that back-to-school shopping is happening so late in the summer-it typically begins in July-is that many states have shifted July tax-free shopping days to August.

Another reason is that the timing of the Labor Day holiday this year is leading schools to hold their first day of classes later in September than usual.

This year's NRF poll surveyed 8,543 consumers from August 4-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point.

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