Back to school specials ramp up early to capture market share

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It may feel like summer has barely started, but it's already time to start thinking about your kids heading back-to-school. At least that's what retailers are hoping for, because many of them are ramping up their back-to-school sales this week.

Improving consumer confidence and economic conditions indicate sales and foot traffic will increase this year. However, most shoppers are looking for bargains.

And like the holiday shopping season, you'll see back-to-school merchandise and sales occurring earlier than ever.

Families are frugal when it comes to how many folders and pencils they'll buy for their kids. In fact, a recent survey shows that many will be looking for what they can re-use at home. When they do go to the store, they are looking for ways to save.

Target will be one of the more popular destinations, as more and more shoppers are looking for deals, and is one of the sstores already stocking school supplies. In fact, some started their sales even before many students were out of school. There are a couple of reasons for this. The main reason is this is an $84-billion industry.

Back-to-school for retailers is the second largest shopping season.  Locally, stores have to accommodate more and more schools switching to a balanced calendar. 

"We do carry uniforms now more than we used to," said Target's Amy Gibson, explaining how the store is adapting to what locals want by maintaining back-to-school specials through September. "I think more schools are doing it this year, so we'll adjust with the demand."

Target plans to promote a different school-related sale each week through September, and will include its own brand of generic supplies. "I think a lot of parents are shopping for that value," said Gibson. "So the Up and Up brand we see a of pencils, erasers, and we have new items and a lot of people looking for great deals and quality."

If one retailer is offering good deals, you can bet others will follow.  So shop around and look for promotions.

On average, parents spend about $690 on school supplies.