Normally August and September are filled with pre-teens and teenagers dragging their parents to the mall in order to stock up on the latest fall fashion trends in preparation for going back to school. However, this year the migration isn't happening. Students are even holding off on purchasing supplies like pens, pencils and folders.
The New York Times reports that students are waiting to see what their fellow schoolmates will be wearing and carrying from class to class. No one wants to be sporting outdated jeans or carrying last season's backpack.
The National Retail Federation surveyed consumers with school-age children this month and found that less than 8 percent had completed their back-to-school shopping, the lowest figure in four years.
Liz Sweney, J.C. Penney's chief merchant, told the news source that while back-to-school shopping – during August and September – has been tapering off for the last few years, this year the trend was more pronounced.
"A few weeks into school, a couple things happen," Sweney said. "Weather happens – it gets cooler – and kids obviously see what their friends are wearing, particularly for teens, and then they go back to the stores."
This has caused some retail chains to offer special promotions and price cuts, in an attempt to lure customers back. J.C. Penney, for example, has been offering free haircuts since the beginning of August and plans to stock up later for those hesitant shoppers.
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