School supply sales still down as summer break ends

FRESNO, Calif.

Monday Fresno and Clovis, two of the Valley's largest school districts head back to class and many families are still out shopping for school supplies.

The stores at River Park are usually packed on Sundays but Sunday the crowds were larger. Despite the crowds, the National Retail Federation says spending on back to school supplies will not beat last year.

The check out registers were busy and shopping carts were full of school supplies at the Target in River Park.

"I can't believe it, it's hectic," Torrie Robles said. She, like many parents this year is looking for the best deal possible. "We have to get school supplies for three kids, so I went to and printed coupons for school supplies."

The school supplies may be flying off the shelves this time of year but these sales are not projected to make a big impression.

The National Retail Federation says last year the average family spent $606 on back to school shopping. That's down slightly this year keeping sales essentially flat.

Overall, shoppers are expected to spend nearly $23 billion to get their kindergarten through 12th grade students ready for school.

"As opposed to collecting information, a lot of people are here to buy today. It's a need," Andrew St. John said. And aside from getting all the usual materials, shoppers are going hi-tech.

Art teacher Heather Skeels is shopping for a tablet or an iPad. "It's supposed to have a good drawing app, so that's why I was here to check it out and see if it, in fact, did, to see if it would work in my classroom."

The NRF also predicts that back to college sales will add up to more than $40 billion, that's about double what K-12 students will spend.

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