Back-to-school sales focus on value

July 25, 2011 1:43:15 PM PDT
The second-biggest retail season of the year is about to kick into high gear.

Retailers expect to ring up over $68 billion in sales this year in the back-to-school sales.

With the economy still shaky, the National Retail Federation expects families to spend their money carefully. Their annual survey expects back-to-school spending to be flat compared to last year, with the average family of grade school children spending about $603 on clothes and shoes, school supplies and electronics. That's slightly less than last year. With that in mind, retailers plan to showcase items where cautious consumers can get greater bang for the buck.

"This year's theme for back-to-school is not necessarily finding the best price, it's about finding the best value, and so you're going to see a lot of retailers talking about quality merchandise, or being able to have an extended warranty on something, in addition to good prices," said Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation.

Sales will start early to get shoppers in-store and consumers should keep an eye on social media for discounts too.

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