Summer vacation has just started and already there’s a catalog on my counter trying to convince me to purchase a backpack. I’ve barely finished unloading a forest full of crumpled paperwork, forgotten lunchboxes and a handful of broken crayons from my kid’s backpacks. I haven’t even started to contemplate new school supplies. When did June ever equal “back to soon time” during the year?
I swear that as a kid, the back-to-school shopping season didn’t start until early August. Summer went on forever with long and boring days that seemed like they would never end. Where having one day trip a month was something to look forward to. Nowadays, summer is oftentimes even busier than the school year with camps, classes, lessons, play dates and sleepovers.
Thanks to some online research, I discovered that backpacks are the first item parents search for once the last school bell rings. However, I found it interesting that the shopping season isn’t equal across the nation. It starts in the Deep South, then circles clockwise around the country. Shopping for shoes doesn’t start until August because who wants to buy new school shoes in June just so that your kiddo can ruin them by the first day of school?
Just like the Christmas season, the back-to-school shopping season has started earlier and earlier every year. Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak explained, “It’s all based on retailers and their desire to try to get to the wallet early before the consumer runs out of money.”
So I’m not imagining that this back to school shopping season is getting earlier every year. Most companies probably think they are slyly reaching into our pockets, but I would argue most parents recognize this tactic. The companies’ that I want to support are those that understand that there is a time for back-to-school shopping, and that June is not one of them.
For crying out loud, let us have a summer!
Kristina Phelan is a former Spokane-area resident now living in Illinois. Visit her website at www.mamabearmoxie.com.
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