Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Back to last year’s fashion for back-to-school season

July 21, 2009

shop11Check out the expected weak back-to-school shopping season predicted by America’s Research Group and UBS.

U.S. consumers will spend 8.5 percent to 12 percent less this year on back-to-school items than they did last year as cash-strapped parents try to get their kids to don last year’s fashions again, according to a survey by America’s Research and UBS. Back-to-school sales fell 5 percent last year.

A total of 34.4 percent of parents surveyed this month plan to spend even less this year as they worry about job security, higher debt and dwindling income.

The back-to-school season is typically one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year and is seen as a precursor for spending during the key Christmas holiday season.

Retailers hope consumer confidence improves as the recession appears to be easing. However, the moribund U.S. jobs market is likely to lag any recovery.

Also in the basket:

Coca-Cola second-quarter profit tops expectations

World’s first camel-milk chocolates going global

Danone seen posting slight profit rise

Borders Aims to Capitalize on Teens With New Shops (Wall Street Journal) 

Stores Go Dark Where Buyers Once Roamed (New York Times)

J.C. Penney’s Manhattan Debut To Reshape Landscape (WWD, subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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