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Discount Is The Name Of The Game This Back To School Shopping Season

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 8/3/2009

Small businesses are advised to focus on discounts and promotions this back-to-school shopping season, as a recent survey found that consumers plan to spend significantly less this year.

America's Research Group (ARG) had some discouraging news for small businesses preparing for the upcoming back-to-school shopping season, finding that consumer spending will likely be lackluster.

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The shopping season, which retailers highly anticipate due to its typically high volume of sales, may be a particularly difficult one for businesses, as the survey found that 34.4 percent of parents plan to spend less compared to last year.

Furthermore, the number of parents expecting to spend $400 or more declined from 47 percent last year to 33.4 percent this year.

Instead, 50.9 percent of parents said they will dress their children in last year's school clothes.

"Back-to-school spending will be a minor blip on the radar screen for retailers this year," said C. Britt Beemer, CEO and founder of ARG, who predicted that the season's spending will decline 12 percent - an 8.5 percent greater decline than last year.

To compensate for the increased focus on saving, small business retailers are advised to focus on discounts, as only 1.8 percent of consumers say they will pay full price on any back-to-school purchases.

However, a recent survey by Deloitte reported more encouraging sales prospects, finding that 64 percent of consumers are planning to reduce back-to-school spending, compared to 71 percent in 2008.

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