Stores stocking up on back-to-school items - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Stores stocking up on back-to-school items

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July 4th is over and that's the cue for many stores to start putting out back-to-school items.

The kids may not like it, but summer vacation is halfway over for many Michiana students and stores are stocking shelves to get ready for one of the busiest times of year.

Even with the shelves full of pencils and glue, parent Tracey Beckwith says she refuses to start shopping. "It was a bummer. I saw it the other day, they were starting to get stuff out. We're not ready for school."

She says she waits until the last minute to shop for her kids' school supplies and she isn't happy to see them already on the shelves. "It's just too depressing to start shopping now. We're still enjoying summer."

Other parents like Shelly Hill are taking advantage of an early start. "You  have a list every year for each kid and then I just kind of "X" stuff off as I get a few things here and there."

At Target, Team Leader Bryan Schiff agrees it feels early. "Retail is always a step ahead or one season ahead of what we're living in because we're trying to provide for our guests early."

He says while kids may not want to think about the start of school, an early start on shopping is helpful for parents. "It gives them two months to shop, there's so many things they need to get prepared." And he says it also gives parents time to compare prices.

At Meijer, store director Rick Zeeff says early sales take pressure off of the wallet. "You spread it out in your budget because school is expensive. It can be very expensive if you do it in one shot, so if you do a little bit each week and really focus in on those bargains, you can get them ready to go to school for a very good price."

Even though Meijer is stocking their shelves now, Zeeff says the majority of customers won't buy school supplies for a few weeks. "Most people are procrastinating, they're enjoying the nice summer weather, I don't blame them a bit."

But for early birds like Hill, now is the perfect time to get started. "Yeah it's early, but stuff's coming out."

It's such a busy time of year that stores like Target hire seasonal help just for back-to-school season. Schiff says he is looking to hire 40 to 50 people at his store alone in the next couple weeks.

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