Back to School - 2nd Busiest Shopping Season

August 21, 2014 Updated Aug 21, 2014 at 7:55 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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August 21, 2014 Updated Aug 21, 2014 at 7:55 AM EDT

Back to school shopping is in full swing. 59 percent of shoppers plan to do their back to school shopping in August, while 19 percent wait until September and the rest are early birds. That's according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) which ranks back to school is the second busiest retail season after the winter holidays.

Tthe number of households shopping at discount stores is down, from 90 percent last year to 80 percent this year.

Researchers say apparel specialty stores should see a jump this year, along with office supply stores and electronic stores. The number of people shopping online is actually down slightly, but online still has a role in back to school.

ICSC researchers say 90 percent of back to school shoppers prefer brick and mortar stores, but 73 percent will "webroom" - that means researching items online, but buying them in the store.

Researchers say online back to school sales will dip from 8.6 percent last year to about 8 percent this year.

Overall, the ICSC says the average household will spend $672 on back to school this year.

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