Listen To The Story


TESS VIGELAND: Got kids? Then you've got back-to-school expenses. Sure, it's only July, but retail analysts are already predicting A+ sales for this season's academic accoutrements. Jane Lindholm has more.

JANE LINDHOLM: The first thing I saw when I logged on to Wal-Mart's Web site this morning was a big promo for back-to-college essentials. Target's site looked much the same.

Retailers are getting a jump start on the traditional school shopping period and probably crossing their fingers that a new report from the National Retail Federation is an accurate prediction.

The study says parents will spend more this year than last year on junior's laptop, notebooks and cool new duds. Retail analyst Richard Hastings says he's not surprised.

RICHARD HASTINGS: "Younger people are going to have to have the fashions that are socially required, and they're going to have the technology that's educationally required. And parents are going to figure out how to make most of it happen."

Hastings says that despite lagging sales growth for many of the big box retailers, back-to-school time is always a big shot in the arm, and this year should be no exception.

I'm Jane Lindholm, for Marketplace.