Retailers gear up for big back-to-school shopping

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The National Retail Federation thinks parents are really going to open up their wallets this year when it comes to back-to-school shopping. They're predicting people will spend about $690 per student. That's a big jump compared to last year. And a bit of a head-scratcher, considering consumer spending has been down.

Little Silar Purtill's teachers have asked her to get a lot of stuff. "Colored pencils, markers, paper, notebooks, a lot of junk," she says.

But her mother thinks this year's estimates are overblown. "Oh, we aren't going to spend that much," Jenny Purtill says.

Purtill thinks she can get what her two kids need by spending about a hundred on each of them. But if the Retail Federation is right, retailers could rake in over $30 billion.

For retailers like Target, back-to-school shopping is their second biggest annual event, trailing only Christmas, and at the Harris Boulevard store today, store team leader Mary Julia Moore said they're assembling an army of employees to work this weekend's state-wide tax free sales event.

"We do have a lot that's featured in our ad this week that's also on sale," she says.

This year, retailers plan to be aggressive, and at Target, they'll match any offer you find.

"If you bring in the full page flyer that comes in the newspaper for any of our competitors, we'll gladly match what it is that they have as well," Moore says.