Reporting Jim Donovan
PHILAELPHIA (CBS) – The countdown has begun. It’s just a few weeks until the majority of children in our area head back to school. So shopping for supplies and clothes is high on many parent’s to-do list. Think the prices are higher than last year? 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has been checking them out and finds that you’re absolutely right.
Last year consumers spent $7 billion dollars on back-to-school clothes alone. The push is on to get consumers spending in what has become the biggest shopping season of the year after Christmas. Bill Melnick of SAI Marketing says, “Retailers started in July, began offering back to school discounts but consumers have not responded.”
Prices across the board are rising by at least 10 percent making everything from pencils to pants more expensive. The cost of raw materials is up a total of 27% since last year, while the price for cotton soared to it’s highest level in 140 years in March, at $2.29 a pound.
Stores everywhere are trying to come up with ways to make sure customers don’t feel like they’re breaking the bank and that they’re getting what they’re paying for. Melnick says, “In the clothing business and fashion the markups are pretty extensive so it’ll offer some opportunity to discount.”
The 2012 jeans from Abercrombie and Fitch are up about $10, though their website is advertising all jeans now half off. So look be sure to look for sales.
Most retail experts say the longer you can wait to buy, the better, as they think some retailers will have to sweeten the deals they are currently offering. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye opened on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, you’ll find an uptick in the number of companies that are offering discounts that way as well.
Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3