Back to School Season: Gloomy Predictions

According to “Malled!”, a blog focusing on South Florida retail, there are some depressing numbers out there about this year’s back-to-school shopping season.

Today, a survey came out from America’s Research Group that mirrors that gloomy retail prediction. It found that 34.4 percent of parents plan to spend less this year compared to last because they have “less money” (41.8%), “higher debt” (40.5%) and fear losing their jobs (8.2%).

“Back-to-school spending will be a minor blip on the radar screen for retailers this year,” consumer trend expert C. Britt Beemer, CEO and Founder of ARG, said in a statement. He predicted that back-to-school spending will drop 8.5 to 12 percent compared to a year ago, when back-to-school sales declined more than 5 percent.

The worst part about the economy still being in trouble around this time is that a lot of big-box retailers are going to try to use back-to-school shopping as a way to gouge innocent consumers. Since retailers know your kids need supplies, they’re going to do everything they can to increase their profits on those supplies and make back some of their long-last cash from earlier in the recession.

So what can we do? The same thing I always suggest: get your supplies cheap and fast from a reputable, reliable online dealer. Skip the big-box ballyhoo and order supplies from someone you trust, at low prices that don’t rise to fit the whims of the market. It’s just good sense.

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