Skip to comments.Back-to-school shoppers in no mood to splurge
Posted on 08/12/2012 7:56:23 AM PDT by Hojczyk
Teenager Fanta Bagayoko personifies U.S. retailers' worst nightmare this back-to-school season.
"I feel like the economy is messed up," the 18-year-old said while shopping at a Walmart in New Jersey, for herself and her niece. "Money wise, I still feel like we are in a recession."
It has been more than three years since the official end of the brutal U.S. recession, but Bagayoko and several other U.S. shoppers said they are not feeling better about the economy or their own finances, and are spending only on essential items. That does not bode well for U.S. retailers that are hoping for a much-needed sales boost after posting lackluster results in the first half of the year. Back-to-school is the second-biggest selling time of the year for U.S. retailers, behind the winter holiday season.
Weak income and employment growth are weighing heavily on Americans, especially younger shoppers.
Teen employment is at its lowest level since 1964, making more teenagers reliant on their parents to fund their back-to-school shopping, said Jharonne Martis-Olivo, director of consumer research at Thomson Reuters.
Many parents are not feeling good about the economy and the uncertainty in an election year, and are taking precautionary steps in case the economy deteriorates further, she said.
"I am not buying the swankiest of anything," said Ann Miller, 47, while shopping for her son Zachary, 8, at the same Walmart store. "I am feeling worse about the economy."
As school districts with strained budgets ask parents to buy more items that in the past would have been supplied by the schools, many parents push kids to make do with old items, shop at discounters or buy only what they really need.
"The school list is longer, but I am trying to get (just) the basics," said Yamila Pichardo, 35,
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Not a good for OBAMA
Because it’s too freakin’ EARLY!
No. My kids’ school starts in 8 days. Public school starts the Monday after that, the Monday before Labor Day.
God forbid a kid figures out a more logical way to organize their studies......like one 3" notebook instead of 3-1" notebooks.
I posted here last week that the local school supplies ads were showing much higher prices than last year.
Say it ain’t so!
Although I have noticed the tell-tale signs - the locusts are in full throat, the nights are getting cooler.
Many schools are starting next week.
I say if you cannot afford it then just wing it, what are the schools going to do arrest me for not supplying my children with socialistic colored coordinated pogrom booklets, or tunics?
America is busted, my income is being drained away every week by the state for child support, my hours are reduced so I have less than half my normal seasonal paycheck, they take 40% of my unemployment check in the winter. I get threatening letters from the state that if I get any more behind on my payments they will cancel my passport application, I guess they want me to cower and surrender like some third world citizen under communist controls.
All I am saying is that it doesn’t make me surrender, it doesn’t make me compliant, all it does is fuel a deep deep seated fire burning like in an underground coal mine.
Should they push a bit too far I may snap.
But then, maybe they wanted that all along.
In my area, you have to go shopping a bit early or everything will be in small quantities. If you can’t get a 3 subject notebook, for example, at store X (sold for .99 cents) then you have to go to another store where the price is higher.
Small spiral notebooks were 10 cents each last year, and they’re 17 cents each this year.
I find it perplexing that the anecdotal remarks made by teenagers are considered valuable economic insight. We should make economic decisions based on “feelings “? What happened to regression analysis? Less important than some random teenager’s feelings i guess.
“”Unless the teacher says it is necessary, I am not going to get it,” said Bagayoko, the 18-year-old, who headed to Secaucus, New Jersey from Harlem, New York, to save money on sales tax. Her shopping cart held only pens, pencils, folders and other basics.”
Wonder how much she saved in tax? $.25?
“I say if you cannot afford it then just wing it... what are the schools going to do?”
I have a friend and her daughter was suppose to have a RED three ringed binder for a class last year. She couldn’t find a red one so she figured, “I’ll get the white three ring binder.. how controlling could this teacher be?” Well, first week of class she noticed a O on her daughter’s edline (a homework assignment given a O grade. She e-mailed the teacher and ... you guessed it. It was because the binder was white and not red. So, she took the binder and a red sharpie pen. The teacher changed the grade to an “A”. Ugliest binder you ever saw in your life. Fortunately, I haven’t dealt with one of these color coordinating teachers!
All you need to know about back-to-school shopping: Dollar Store, 99cent Store, Walmart.
” What happened to regression analysis “
Y’know, I’ve never seen a regression analysis pick out an item, take it to the checkout register, and pay for it...
It’s exactly those ‘feelings’ that drive the buy/don’t buy decisions which, in the *final* analysis, are the basic building blocks of any economy....
As controlling as she wants to be. Parents will comply with anything, because because they have given her and all those others like her the authority to make their children's lives hell.
This is going to be an interesting school year, what with all the staff cutbacks and budget constraints.
The freebies usually fly in the poorest neighborhood (kids are given backpacks, and grocery bag full of supplies, weekly food baskets, etc.)
IMHO, it will be a bellwhether of how much the taxpayer can withstand, now that the double bite of inflation and recession are becoming more and more apparent.
That’s not about your child organizing their studies. It’s about the teachers being able to keep the work organized for grading.
I am not defending the practice entirely, however, if kids are in a middle school of 500-1000 and some one drops the blue notebook in the hall, it might be easier to match the student to the notebook by checking with the 6-7 math teachers.
12 pens? 12 pencils? I’d send them with one maybe two and when those get used/break, give them more. Don’t give them anymore than the stash in your own desk.
You make a good point.
I have hope for the American people.
I agree. Personally, I would have told the teacher that a white one was what we could find and I would appreciate any sort of data showing red binders influence a child’s grade in a positive manner. If that wouldn’t suffice, I would have taken it to the next level. However, she was “fearful” of doing so because she didn’t want her daughter “marked” as a troublesome student (thus fearing the grade). I think if a few parents got a backbone now and again and really questioned stupid stuff like this... things would change. Plus, I have found that many teachers get the idea that if a parent challenges them (when the parent is in the right), the teacher won’t lower the kid’s grade because they realize the parent is watching. I’ve heard horror stories about my kid’s friends and acquaintances concerning academic situations that were tolerated by the parents even though they were in the right. Insane.
“The freebies usually fly in the poorest neighborhood...”
In my county, there is a “back to school fair”. Sounds nice, huh? It is when all the wonderful illegal and welfare students go to a large county building and get FREE backpacks with ALL the darn school supplies. We’re not talking about the off brand pencils, crayons, markers, etc... No, that would be unfair. The name brand supplies, thank you very much. I’m going to end my rant now... that large vein on the side of my neck is bulging. LOL!!!
Call me old-fashioned, but I never remember anyone in my family ever doing any “back-to-school shopping” when I was a kid. I’m not that old, either.
Back to school was my older brothers pants. :^)
LOL. That’s right!
We were a family of 7 children and I was the baby. I never worried about much and knew that our resources were limited. The childhood I remember is a very happy one. I am fortunate to have my brothers clothing. God Bless
Careful there Mom!If it gets any worse, cover it with duct tape> That'll keep it from popping.
But then she added, "Go Obama!"
We buy the school packs online before summer even begins, makes it real convenient.
As a kid growing up in the 80’s, sometimes I didn’t go “back to school” shopping, but would make due with what I had laying around the house, and no new clothes or new shoes.