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Despite continuing tough economic times, consumers won’t be skimping on school supplies this fall, according to data released last week by The Nielsen Company.
The back-to-school shopping season is poised to peak in mid-August, and Nielsen is forecasting U.S. consumers will spend $1.57 billion on school and office supplies this year – representing 2.6 percent growth.
This year, however, the selling season may be shorter and more intense, Nielsen predicts, as consumers wait for more aggressive sales and promotions by retailers.
Grocery stores may also play a bigger role this fall, as consumers seek to conserve gas by combining shopping trips, Nielsen’s analysis notes.
“Consumers may be cutting back in terms of discretionary spending, but they are not about to send their kids to school without the necessities,” noted James Russo, VP of marketing, food and beverage sector. “While we don’t expect to see a drop in back-to-school sales in this economic downturn, we do foresee changes in where consumers shop for back-to-bchool items, along with the prices they are willing to pay.”