Pittsburg, KS – A recent back-to-school consumer survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) delivered exciting news for local retailers. Remarkably, 95% of back-to-school shoppers surveyed said they plan to complete a portion of their shopping at physical storefronts, proving that local retailers still dominate the market for back-to-school shopping. When asked why they prefer to spend in physical stores rather than shopping online, the top reasons noted were the ability to physically see or try on merchandise, to avoid shipping costs, and the convenience of one-stop shopping.

“Back-to-school shopping is considered the second biggest spending season of the year and according to ICSC’s survey, this season is shaping up to be the strongest of recent years,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “As we’ve seen in our other surveys, the majority of consumers intend to shop primarily in stores.”

Local retailers have another reason to be excited about this year’s back-to-school shopping season. Rubicon Project’s second annual Back-to-School Consumer Pulse Survey found that 61% of all parents plan to spend more than they did last year, approximately $917 per child in K-12, and $1,300 per student for college freshmen.

“For many of our local retailers, the back-to-school shopping season is extremely important,” said Devin Gorman, vice president of operations at the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “The chamber encourages parents and students to remember the importance of shopping locally. In addition to saving both time and money, you are supporting your neighbors and your community when you shop at local businesses.”

The chamber offers the following helpful tips for back to school shopping:

1.       Make a List and Prioritize
Check your child’s recommended or required supplies list and stick to the specific supplies he or she needs.  Also, consider items such as winter clothing that can be purchased later in the year.

2.       Find Back to School Sales or Bargains
Many local retailers have specials on back to school supplies, clothing and sporting goods.  Shop around to find the best deals on specific items.

3.       Give Your Child Input on Clothing
When shopping for clothes, save money by giving your children input on what they will or will not wear.  Buying clothes they refuse to wear is a waste of money.

4.       Consider Buying in Bulk
If you find a great deal on essential supplies that your child will need throughout the year such as pens, pencils and paper, consider stocking up on those items.

5.       Plan Meals
Check local supermarkets ads to plan your children’s breakfasts and lunches for the week.  You can save money and provide your children with healthy eating choices by taking advantage of weekly deals on fruits and vegetables.

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