Julie Wilkins helps her grandson, Griffin Brady, 3, put a box of crayons in a shopping cart while shopping for school supplies at a Target store in Memphis, Tenn., in July.
NEW YORK – The back-to-school shopping season is off to a promising start, but retailers may be sacrificing profit for sales.
The National Retail Federation expects the average family with school-aged children to spend $669.28 for back to school items, up 5 percent from last year. That would be the second-highest amount since the industry trade group started tracking spending in 2004.
But major retailers like Wal-Mart and Macy’s are discounting merchandise and increasing spending to upgrade their stores and websites just to grab the attention of U.S. shoppers during the second biggest shopping period of the year. All that discounting and investing has worked to start the season off strong, they say, but it also hurts their bottom lines.
Question for parents: When do you usually buy your kids' school supplies?