School supplies hit store shelves early

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(WLNS) – It’s only halfway through July, but stores are already filling up with back to school specials.

As it turns out, there’s a reason they’re filling up their shelves a little early with pencils, folders and backpacks.

6 News Christa Lamendola tells us why.

More than a month away from the first day of school, stores are already stocking up with supplies.

“We wanna be ready to go so when the students come in or mom or dad stop in in advance, they’re gonna pick it up now,” said Ron Colson, store director, Meijer.

The National Retail Association says more than 50 percent of households plan to spend more on back to school supplies this year.

Michigan State University professor Bonnie Knutson says the uptick in the economy could be one reason why.

“You’ve got this general feeling of okay things are going to be a little bit better perhaps I can go that extra $10, that extra $15,” said Bonnie Knutson, MSU, expert consumer lifestyle trends.

She also says while consumers will be spending more, they usually spend the majority of it in one place. Stores are putting out their back to school products early so that consumers spend their money there first and not at another store.

There hasn’t been a dramatic increase in inflation over this past year so experts say your school items should stay at a low cost. Similar to what they were last year but as far as pricing goes, it all depends on when you buy your items.

“Where temperatures run high 80s, 90 degrees, you’re not thinking about fall, you’re still perhaps going to those after Fourth of July sales. When it gets pushed off stores look around and say oh I’ve got all of this inventory we better increase our back to school sales.”

Costs may also go up on popular back to school items. But Knutson says if the weather cooperates those deals mixed with coupons and online shopping could mean more savings for those planning to spend more too.

Last year the average cost for college back to school shopping was over $900. For elementary and high school back to school shopping the average was about $670.

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