The back to school shopping season is a big one for retailers, but this year, it could look very different because of the coronavirus. While experts say that all is not lost, retailers will have to get creative in order to tap into the demand which, in spite of everything, is still there. Stimulus checks from the government mean that shoppers do have money to spend, but job losses and general uncertainty mean they will likely be very careful how they spend it. Kids are going back to school (though not necessarily in the traditional sense), but the pandemic has ensured that there will be a whole host of new challenges and considerations as they do so.
Last year, retailers were expecting consumer spending on K-12 back-to-school items to reach nearly $26.2 billion, or $696.70 per household. It's a passage from carefree summer activities or summer jobs to scholarly pursuits that sends many families to stores together. But it's unlikely to look the same this year, experts say.