This is the time that parents would normally be rushing to stores to search for folders in specific colors, tubs of bleach wipes and boxes of pre-sharpened pencils.
But many children won’t be going back to traditional classroom settings for some time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some schools are adopting an online-only start tp the year, while others are doing a half-online, half in-person system, and still, other regions are going back full-time.
Despite the lack of standardization of plans, stores are trying to get people back to their retail locations to buy all the notebooks, pens and crayons they normally would buy.
Experts say this year will be different than years past with shoppers buying technology instead of backpacks, clothes and lunchboxes in the areas where schools are going with full-online instruction, The Washington Post reported.
For areas where schools are opting for either partial or full in-person instruction, experts said clothes, backpacks and lunchboxes will be still filling shopping carts, the newspaper reported.
But even for clothes shopping, the styles are different this year. American Eagle is stocking more comfortable clothing like leggings and sweats, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Other items may come as a surprise. Home office furniture sales have been increasing as families prepare for virtual learning for the long haul.
Still, researchers believe back-to-school shopping will be down more than 6% compared to last year, coming in at the lowest level since 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported. The outlook will be worse for back-to-college shopping that is expected to come in at almost 38% lower than last year.
So what will the hot items be this year? Real Simple predicts quirky school supplies that not only have the student’s personality but also are easily discernable from other children’s items in a classroom setting. Masks will be needed of course as well as accessories that make them more comfortable to wear, and to keep track of. Hand sanitizer, headphones and lunchboxes will be hot items.
You may also add a lap desk if your student needs a comfortable, portable work area, Real Simple suggested.
CNN suggested a rolling, three-tier cart to hold all of the paper and supplies kids go through while learning, a whiteboard to lend itself to organizing the day and a no-touch thermometer to check your child’s temperature before sending them to school.