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Experts say to begin back-to-school shopping immediately to avoid chance of supply shortage

Posted at 8:36 AM, Aug 03, 2021

(WXYZ) — Back-to-school shopping is on the to-do list for families across metro Detroit. Experts say spending could break a record this year, but are there enough supplies to meet demand.

Industry insiders are warning families to move fast on items like backpacks, lunch bags, stationary, laptops, tablets, and even sneakers.

It's a tough year to predict what will sell quickly, and one mom says she still has unused items from last year

From the chip shortage to the worker shortage experts say it's best to get your shopping done early, especially if there is something specific your kids wants or needs.

The National Retail Federation expects back-to-school spending to set a record topping $37 million this year.

It estimates that families will spend an average of $849 on back-to-school items, almost $60 more than last year.

Business expert and author Wes Berry say predicting what people will buy could be tricky.

"If you had to stock laptops to sell, how would you be able to estimate how much the demand would be?" Berry asked. "Maybe the demand has already been filled by people studying from home and needing laptops or maybe it's going to be a big rush like it used to be."

Shop early because experts say 59% of the estimated back-to-school shopping has already been spent.

“We are experiencing higher sales, earlier than normal,” says Frank Guglielmi, the Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Meijer.

“New backpacks, that’s a hot item this year, in lots of different kinds of colors. Those identity items that kids will bring to school are popular this year and last year they weren’t able to do that,” says Guglielmi.

Experts fear chip shortages could impact the inventory of electronics, and demand for sneakers could outpace production.

Meijer says they don't anticipate any shortages, and its supply chain is strong but - parents shouldn't wait to shop.

College students and their families are expected to spend an average of $1,200.

This year, backpacks have technology compartments built-in along with cord access, perfect for hybrid learning.

Meijer says they have plenty of back-to-school items, they don’t expect to experience a shortage, their supply chain is strong.

“So there might be less variety in certain colors of certain items, but that’s simply because people are buying a lot as opposed to having issues with supply chain,” says Guglielmi.

This year at Meijer teachers get a 15% off back-to-school discount that includes furniture and clothing as well as standard school supplies.

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