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Capital One Reveals Back-to-School Trends

July 10, 2001 at 9:10 AM EDT

FALLS CHURCH, Va., July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- As this year's back-to-school countdown begins, parents plan to spend $118 on school supplies, according to a recent survey by Capital One, one of the nation's leading credit card providers.

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Fifty-four percent of teenagers say they will do some of their own school supply shopping this year and 84% of teenagers indicate their mother or female guardian will help them.

"As teen buying power continues to rise, the annual rite of back-to-school shopping is an excellent opportunity for parents to teach their kids how to budget and spend wisely," said Dana Cilluffo, Capital One's Manager of Consumer Media.

However, teen's spending preferences do not rest with them alone. Many teens admit outside sources will influence their purchasing decisions this fall.

Who influences teens' spending?

Overall, 75% of teens consider their own personal style when purchasing school supplies. Among outside influences, teachers rank number one at 39%, with 30% of teens actually waiting to hear what teachers require before making their purchases. Other influences included:

  • Parents (33%)

  • Friends (32%)

  • Sports figures, musical artists and celebrities (24%)

  • Siblings (17%)

  • Magazines/newspapers (14%)

  • Television shows (12%)

What are teens and parents buying?

According to teens, Capital One found the "coolest" supplies to own this year include metallic gel roller pens (47%), black notebooks for writing in metallic gel ink (26%), daily planners or organizers (12%), click erasers (9%) and Velcro vinyl binders (7%).

For the basics, top school supplies to purchase this year include pens and pencils (97%), notebooks (96%), paper (96%), folders (94%), binders (92%), daily planners (67%), sporting goods (64%) and calculators (58%).

What are schools banning?

Parents and teens should keep in mind that many school districts across the nation forbid the use of certain electronic devices. According to the survey, banned items include beepers (67%), cell phones (66%), electronic pets (45%) and personal digital assistants (23%). For those teens who already own beepers (10%) and cell phones (24%), the majority will need to leave them at home this year.

How are teens and parents buying?

Nearly half of parents (46%) say they pay for school supplies with a credit card, with a quarter spending $100 or more. Among all respondents, the majority plan to pay for purchases with cash (85%), followed by check (52%), credit card (40%) and debit card (25%).

When are teens buying their supplies?

According to survey results, 64% of teens start back-to-school shopping in August with 30% planning to wait until after the first day of school to make most supply purchases this year.

Retailers are guaranteed to see school supplies move off the shelves throughout the entire school year according to this survey. Sixty-eight percent of teens say they'll continue to purchase supplies throughout the year as needed, 13% will replenish their supplies twice a year and 11% plan to invest in new materials one time during the year.

Where are teens and parents shopping?

Ninety-two percent of parents choose discount department stores for school supplies purchases, while 77% percent of teens prefer department stores. Office supply stores ranked second overall, with 71% of parents and 72% of teens citing it as the destination of choice for back-to-school shopping. Thirty-five percent of parents and teens stated they feel secure making purchases online, but only 7% indicated they would purchase school supplies via the Web.

Who's the Ultimate Teen Shopping Buddy?

However, when it comes to sharing their shopping experience, teens aspire to hang out with the stars. If given the opportunity, 56% of teens polled would like to go back-to-school shopping with a pop music celebrity, whereas 37% would choose a sports star as the ultimate shopping buddy. Specifically, teens prefer to shop with:

    - Britney Spears (16%)          - Shaquille O'Neal (12%)
    - Christina Aguilera (15%)      - Pro skateboarder Tony Hawk (10%)
    - 'NSYNC (15%)                  - WWF Star The Rock (7%)
    - Backstreet Boys (4%)          - New York Yankee Derek Jeter (6%)

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) is a financial services company that offers customized financial products and services to meet individual consumers' needs. In just five years, Capital One has become one of the world's largest credit card issuers with more than 36.5 million customers -- adding 20,000 new customers every day. Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One has operations throughout the United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom. The company's entrepreneurial culture and dynamic work environment have generated widespread recognition as one of the nation's best places to work (including Fortune's prestigious list of the best places to work for three consecutive years). For more information on Capital One visit .

  • The survey of 602 parents and teens aged 13-19 was conducted by International Communications Research for Capital One.

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SOURCE Capital One Financial Corporation

CONTACT: Dana Cilluffo of Capital One, 703-205-1069, or; or Jennifer Butler of MS&L for Capital One, 212-213-7061, or