Back-to-school shopping season is in full effect, and retailers across the nation have visions of sales ringing all through their heads.It’s not quite the most wonderful time of the year just yet, but retailers are looking ahead to another critical shopping period to offer up a bit of a sneak peek at what the holiday shopping season may bring. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, back-to-school shopping season is in full effect, and retailers across the nation have visions of sales ringing all through their heads.
Back-to-school shopping provides a glimpse into the current mindset of shoppers. Will they splurge on the latest and greatest things to send their loved ones off to school on the right foot? Or will they stick to the bear essentials with an eye towards price tag as the final decision maker?
"It's definitely one of our top seasons for sales. Our approach has been how do we both provide the stuff you've got to have but also the cool stuff, and make it affordable for people," shared Walmart spokesman Phillip Keene.
For its part, the National Retail Federation is expecting big things from back-to-school shoppers. They’re estimating $75.8 billion in total sales, which would be a healthy 10% gain from last year. That sounds fantastic on paper, but other analysts are not as optimistic. Pointing to retail sales that were down overall for the month of July, Chris G. Christopher Jr., director of consumer economics for IHS Global Insight, has dropped his forecast from a 4.2% increase to 4.1%.
This year seems to be even more crucial to the health of the retail sector as a whole. A rash of store closings and bankruptcies have swept across the landscape, and the final tally on back-to-school sales will provide a pretty good picture on where things stand. Next to the holiday season, this season is next in line for most retailers, and it could also portend how the rest of the year plays out for them.
"Back-to-school for a lot of retailers is where cash comes in, and they have the cash to pay for part or all of holiday goods. If cash doesn't come in ... they're going to have less opportunities to fill shelves with holiday inventory," shared Charles M. Tatelbaum, a bankruptcy attorney with Tripp Scott.