Families prepare for new school year with back to school shopping

On average, families plan to spend $848.90 on items such as clothing and supplies. That's $59 more than last year.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The start of the school year is approaching for many Central Valley families like the LeMays of Fresno. They were out looking for supplies.

"Really all of it. We've been doing it slowly over the summer. So today we're just finalizing crayons and erasers, a couple of pencils," said Molly LeMay of Fresno.

LeMay and her kids hit Target to shop.

Experts said they expect demand will be high on products like backpacks, shoes, stationery and some gadgets.

While we won't see major shortages, they believe consumers may have less choice because of supply chain issues.

At Target in Fresno, managers said they are stocked and have seen high demand for some time.

Items are varying, but experts say prices could be on the rise.

"It's probably pretty comparable. Last year she was in kindergarten and we started the year on Zoom, but we still did the regular back to school shopping and had all the supplies at home," LeMay said.

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After nearly 15 months living in a global pandemic, local school districts are gearing up for students to return to their campuses this month.

Teacher Katie Hardy was out searching for bargains and noticed some items are not as low as years past.

"I was looking for them. Do they have any cheaper ones because when you're buying for 32 students because you want to get it as cheap as possible," said Katie Hardy, teacher

The National Retail Federation says consumers plan to spend this year as students return to class.

On average, families plan to spend $848.90 on items such as clothing and supplies. That's $59 more than last year.

Spending is expected to reach $37.1 billion, up from $33.8 billion last year, an all-time high.

As for the LeMay family, they're hoping for some normalcy.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to school and seeing my best friends, and I'm just super excited to go back to school," said Emery LeMay of Fresno.

A new school year filled with new supplies and a new beginning.

Many teachers and families Action News spoke with say they're looking forward to in-person learning. They've been shopping earlier so they can be prepared for whatever happens this school year.

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