UNDATED (WTVB) - It's that time of year again as retailers are running back to school ads reminding parents it's time to pick up school supplies. Bill Thorne, with the National Retail Federation, says it may still only be the end of July, but starting the sales now is pretty normal. He tells us stores want to get a jump on the big back to school dollars by advertising for them as early as possible. Thorne says that, last year, technology sales were up dramatically as part of the back to school rush, but this year, that's not so much the case. He says that many parents are following a "replenish and reuse" model of shopping, buying the big ticket items one year, and making them last for another.
Overall, back to school spending is slightly down this year, while costs are up. The average amount spent for an elementary school student is $161...for middle school, it's $198...for high school, it's $330 ...and college kids are spending over $500 to get ready for the new academic year.