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Back-to-school deals return to stores early

Most schools in New Jersey only ended a few weeks ago, but that hasn’t stopped stores from rolling out back-to-school deals.

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Back-to-school shopping
Tim Boyle, Getty Images

As is the case during the holidays, stores are simply responding to what customers want, according to Kathy Grannis, spokesperson for the National Retail Federation.

“In recent years, we’ve seen survey numbers climb to as much as 24 percent in terms of Americans who say they will shop two months before school begins. In 2007, that number was just 14 percent, so there is definitely reason for retailers to be out with their promotional materials,” Grannis said.

Retailers, according to Grannis, know that Americans are very “budget conscious” and “bargain hungry,” and in some cases families looking to stay on a budget will seize the opportunity to look for deals early and spread out their spending.

It’s not always affordable to send a child to school prepared.  “Add in a college student and some families will be spending upwards of $1,000 just on school supplies and other school needs,” Grannis said.

There are also plenty of people who cannot stand being in the back-to-school crowds. “Come August, the families who wished for nothing less than to not be in the crowds will be wishing that they had started shopping in July. Those are also the people who are contributing to back-to-school season creeping up earlier,” Grannis said.

The large, back-to-school campaigns from department, discount, office supply and drug stores will still take place, but they will not start until mid-July.

“What we’re seeing now is basically a reminder from retailers that they have the goods, they have the hot products, they have the sales and they are encouraging people to come in now,” Grannis said.

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