Retailers Expect Flat Back-to-school Sales

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (UPI) — A national trade group said U.S. retailers could expect back-to-school sales on par with 2010 or just slightly under that.

The National Retail Federation predicted back-to-school shopping to average $604 per family, just $2 shy of what was predicted a year ago, The Detroit News reported Monday.

Many stores this year are attempting to lure customers in with items priced under $1, hoping the shoppers will extend their purchases to more expensive items.

“If it’s under a buck, it works,” said Micheal Bernacchi, professor of marketing at University of Detroit Mercy.

NRF spokeswoman Kathy Grannis said the fall shopping season would be dominated by the attitude of “spend where you need to, save where you can.”

“Parents may be swayed to purchase a laptop if it comes with a free one-year warranty or buy the lunchbox that comes with a matching thermos,” Grannis wrote in an online posting.

Still, “There is a constant need for retailers to keep prices down,” said Meijer Inc. spokesman Frank Guglielmi, where shipping for computers was priced at 99 cents, the newspaper said.

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