Inflation straining budgets as families start back-to-school shopping

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - If you’re going back to school shopping this year, you might notice what you put in your cart is costing you more.

“I’m wanting a lot of clothes this year, like a whole new wardrobe and a lot of cute school supplies for my friends to borrow my stuff,” said Taylnn Williams, who’s shopping for sixth grade.

“Markers, notebooks, folders, lunchboxes, and backpacks,” said Landon Williams, another back-to-school shopper.

“It’s pretty expensive,” said Taylnn Williams.

Inflation, reaching a forty-year high, hasn’t made things any easier for parents as they check off their back-to-school lists.

“Everything is going up, gas, all that, it’s a little bit more hard this year than it was last year,” said Troy Teel.

“Pencils, she picked out some cute binders,” said Emily Williams sorting through her shopping bags.

Williams said her family is paying double for their back-to-school must-haves this year.

“The prices are not fun,” said Williams. “It was at least a hundred dollars a kid for sure.”

According to the National Retail Federation, spending on school clothes and supplies is set to match last year’s record of $37 billion or $864 per family.

Now, some shoppers are looking for other ways to save.

“We couldn’t get everything all at once because we kind of just have to spread it out,” said Teel.

“Do your backpacks from last year still work?” said Williams. “You know, trying to like reuse things where I can and even supplies that they came home with last year, see what we got, see what we can use from last because just try to save some dollars here or there.”

Below are a few stores and organizations in Texoma working to help cut the costs of the back-to-school season at the register:

JC Penney is offering $12 haircuts for kids from kindergarten up to sixth grade through September 18 and special sales ahead of back to school.

Salon West in Sherman is providing free haircuts on August 6.

The Fannin County Children’s Center will provide free supplies, haircuts, and resources on August 6.

Hillcrest Church of Christ in Gainesville is holding a school supply giveaway on August 4.

Youth Services of Bryan County, Inc is holding a back-to-school bash on August 6 for free haircut vouchers, school supplies, clothing, books, and more.

Chief Merchandising Officer at JC Penney Michelle Wlazlo sent KXII the following statement:

Supply Chain

“We’re confident about our back-to-school execution. We made improvements to our production timelines and supply chain to ensure on-time deliveries of inventory as customers prepare for the new school year.”

Pricing/Value

“Our customers can expect the same JCPenney quality and value they love with the styles and designs they want. We always strive to serve our diverse, working American families across the country with products they can trust and prices that fit any lifestyle. We’re here to show parents that they can get everything they need for Back to School from JCPenney at an amazing value.”

Trends

“We have a number of brands we are excited about for back to school, all at an incredible value. We offer a range of kids apparel with options ranging from play and active clothes through Thereabouts and Xersion, to quality uniform options from Izod. We recently relaunched our inclusive Arizona brand that offers relevant trends for our Young Minded customer. Arizona offers everything you need to look and feel your best from denim and dresses, tees and tanks, shoes, accessories and so much more. We’ve also launched the new Arizona Body collection with matching sets, super comfy and supportive bras, tanks, camis and basics – all designed with feel-good fabrics. Customers can also find great back to school options from our national brand partners like Forever 21 and Airwalk apparel, in addition to leading brands such as Levi’s and Champion.

To serve our diverse, working American families we offer products with a range of sizes, styles, and adaptive features. We’ll continue to build on the success of Thereabouts, our hyper-inclusive Kids brand that launched last year. This brand stands for inclusivity, with an expanded range of fits and sizes across regular, plus and husky, as well as adaptive apparel.  We make sure that our adaptive clothing offerings are the same as our standard styles, just with adaptive features. We’re proud to provide JCPenney customers the products they need and want to live their lives most confidently. Our inclusive kids’ collection Thereabouts has been incredibly popular – with no tags, super soft fabrics, smooth seams and plenty of adaptive features, it’s a great solution to make families’ lives simpler.”

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