Parents spent close to £1 billion on back to school costs last year, making it the UK's third biggest seasonal shopping event behind Black Friday and Christmas, analysis has found.
Collectively parents spend £915 million on back to school, with £436 million spent on school uniforms and shoes alone, according to calculations from market researchers Mintel.
The next top two spending areas were sportswear, which accounted for £164 million, and a category including computing equipment and lunch boxes, equating to £143 million of the total in 2017.
The findings suggest the average parent can expect to fork out £273 on uniform, shoes, sportswear, bags and stationery.
Supermarkets are the most likely places for parents to search for back to school items, the research suggests, favoured by a third (33%).
One in seven (14%) parents buy from online-only retailers and 13% make purchases from specialist school retailers, while 9% use department stores.
Chana Baram, research analyst at Mintel, said: "Back to school is a major shopping event for the nation's retailers, beaten only by Black Friday and Christmas.
"Spending on back to school is being driven by rising inflation, the increased cost of children's wear and stationery, and a boost to the back to school population caused by a previous boom in birth rates and the decision to raise the school leaving age to 18 in 2015.
"There has also been a trend among school students to want more fashionable stationery and school accessories, which adds to costs.
"And parents are willingly buying more branded school items, including bags and coats, perhaps influenced by the various back to school advertising campaigns focused on branded goods."
Nearly 500 parents of children aged four to 17 were included in the research