TEXT OF STORY
LISA NAPOLI: Last year, parents spent about $13 billion to get their kids ready to go back to school. That’s a lotta lunchboxes. Ashley Milne-Tyte looks at whether this year spending will keep pace.
ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Back-to-school spending is traditionally seen as a harbinger of holiday sales.
Britt Beemer of America’s Research Group says if current sales are anything to go by, retailers shouldn’t bet on a blockbuster Christmas. He recently polled parents, and 46 percent said they were keeping their kids in last year’s clothes because they still fit.
BRITT BEEMER: “I would be surprised at this point if retail sales could be up one percent for back-to-school when I look at some of the numbers out there, but of course it’ll all depend on how big the discounts are between now and Labor Day weekend.”
Beemer says high gas prices are cramping shoppers’ style.
He says electronics retailers are especially aware of this: They’re not seeing as many computers and gadgets fly off the shelves as they’d expected.
In New York I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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