Even before Hurricane Irene interrupted back-to-school shopping, the nation was cautious about spending for the new semester. A teetering economy is affecting the purchasing choices of 75% of families with school-age children, and 70% say they plan to spend the same or less as last year.
Back-to-school season is the second most lucrative period of the year for the nation's retailers, behind only the winter holidays. But this year, shoppers are armed to save as never before, with smartphones outfitted with price-comparison apps. Here are some ways retailers are responding.
The backpack is the key piece of gear as your kids return to school this fall. What they want is something cool that holds everything; what you want is durable and within your budget. The good news: Both of you can get what you want.