Stores stocking up for back-to-school shopping |

Stores stocking up for back-to-school shopping

William Ferchland

Although South Shore schools don’t begin for at least a month, Kmart’s Merchandising Manager Diane Silver said the interest from parents in getting back-to-school items is mounting.

“We’re already starting to set up for it because customers are calling for it,” Silver said.

More than 77 percent of parents will head to discount stores to spend an estimated $13.4 billion in back-to-school products, according to a survey by the National Retail Foundation.

It amounts to an average of $443.77 per family, down from an average of $483.28 last year when Americans spent $14.8 billion on items such as clothes, shoes and school supplies, the survey stated.

The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association representing more than 1.4 million U.S. retail businesses, cited the 18 percent decrease in sales to technology items.

“Though many consumers will be buying electronics this year, they may be taking a break from spending on high-end computers and other expensive gadgets,” said Tracy Mullin, the federation’s president and chief executive officer, in a release. “It is understandable that, after several years of strong gains and record-breaking sales, demand may cool slightly for electronics merchandise this year. The real windfall for electronics retailers will likely be from college students, who are continuing to spend money on computers, MP3 players and cell phones.”

The survey also broke down average spending by families in particular regions. Those in the West are expected to spend an average of $409.19. Spending in the Northeast is the highest at $513.07.

Kimberly Lynch, whose son, Dakota, is entering third grade at Zephyr Cove Elementary, said it’s too early to think of back-to-school shopping.

“I usually wait until they have the back-to-school sales,” she said, citing she hits Wal-Mart.

Lynch said she typically spends $400 in back-to-school shopping.

– E-mail William Ferchland at

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