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Paper, pencils and price hikes: Report finds jump in school supplies costs – Boston news, weather, sports

As parents and teachers prepare for students to return to classrooms this fall, they’re grappling with how much More basic school supplies cost.

From glue, markers, pens and tape to backpacks, sneakers, underwear, the prices of these necessities have jumped over the past year as inflation makes all kinds of purchases more expensive.

Households may already be adjusting their household budgets to absorb higher prices, but when everything costs more, it goes up.

“We see millions of consumers at every economic level and income bracket, and no one is immune to rising inflation in their daily lives,” said Brian Mandelbaum, CEO of Clover, a consumer data company in the personal finance and commerce space. “The families most affected are those living paycheck to paycheck on very tight budgets.”

Clover, which collects agreed-upon spending data and sales price data from its more than 3 million consumer users, looked at year-over-year price changes for the most common items on annual back-to-school shopping lists — everything from clothes and sneakers to pencils and pens.

It found that shoppers are spending more on back-to-school purchases this year than in 2021, even as average transactions for categories such as children’s clothing, electronics and school and office supplies decline.

“We learned that people are going to places like big box stores less often, and when they do, they’re buying fewer things per trip,” Mandelbaum said.

He predicted how the back-to-school shopping period will play out this year: “It will be long and may extend past the start of school, which is unusual,” Mandelbaum said. “Shoppers wait for prices to drop and grab what they think are good deals.”

Cost of classroom supplies

Mandelbaum noted that items such as Scotch tape and Sharpies have seen large price jumps from year to year.

For all varieties of 3M’s Scotch-branded tape, the average price is up nearly 70% this year compared to 2021.

The cost of two other popular school supplies — Sharpies and Elmer’s Glue — will increase by about 55% and 30% in 2022, respectively.

Shoppers are paying 12% more for BIC pens, Mandelbaum said.

Elsewhere, prices for popular JanSport backpacks are up nearly 2%, Nike sneakers are up 12%, the average price of Hanes underwear is up 6.4% and TikTok-endorsed, Gen Z favorite Dickies pants are up 13.6%.

One exception: crayons.

Crayola crayon prices tend to be lower year over year. “It’s a rare outlier,” Mandelbaum said.

DataWeave, another retail and price analytics firm, tracked price changes for more than 34,000 school-related items by category and subcategory at Instacart, Kohl’s and Meijer, a Midwest-based supercenter chain.

Aug. As of 10, DataWeave found that the average price for low-cost school supplies such as notebooks, folders, arts and activities materials and writing materials has risen by 25%. Notebooks and folders showed the highest jump at 32%. Among other high-priced items, lunch box prices rose 14% to an average of $25, while backpacks rose 12% to an average of $70.

Newell Brands, maker of Elmer’s Glue and Sharpie pens, said it set its product prices “to cover the inflationary costs we get from raw material suppliers,” adding that it has no control over what retailers charge them. However, the company said it does not see a steep increase in store prices of its products.

Newell audits prices across its retail partners and found that during the first four weeks of the back-to-school shopping period, prices for Sharpie permanent markers dropped an average of 7%, while prices for Sharpie highlighters rose just over 8.5%. average The price of its three largest Elmers White School glue products has been reduced by just over 10%. Its three large Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks cost 8.5% more than last year.

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