Even as bathing suits are displayed on one end of the store, signs pointing to back to school supplies are getting the attention of shoppers at the Target in River Park. "I was shocked to see the back to school stuff already because we have a month left of summer. I want to enjoy that summer not thinking of school," said college student Krystal Brock.
The store has had its back to school section for a week and a half now. Tuesday, even those who didn't go with intentions of school shopping had a hard time passing up the deals. "If its on sale, I know I'm going to use it. I figure, Why not stock up on everything and get ready for school?" said college student Aimee Caneva.
That attitude from consumers is exactly what retailers are banking on as they start rolling out school supplies and back to school sales. Their efforts appear to be working. "When i saw Sunday's paper, I saw there were several stores already doing the back to school sales so I figured I'd better start now," said parent Jennifer Arnbrister.
Economist Henry Nishimoto says what we're seeing is a direct result of the beating retailers have taken during the recession... And now, a slight increase in consumer spending. "They're showing they're willing to spend those dollars and the retailers are trying to be more creative and aggressive about getting those dollars from the consumers before their competitors do."
Target Manager Bryan Oliver says the back to school offerings are about customer convenience making sure items are available, whenever you're ready.
"We're already at the end of summer. It gives them time to come in before they go on their vacation or right when they get back."
As for the sales, Nishimoto says these offers are just the beginning. He expects consumers will continue to see more bargains as we head into the fall and later, the holiday season.
At Target, the back to school section did replace most of it's summer and patio items. But Tuesday, we didn't really hear a whole lot of complaints. In fact, Action News talked to one woman happy about the head start. She finished back to school shopping for all of her three kids.