Alabama families may spend less on back to school supplies

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The back to school shopping season is underway, but this year, Alabama families may not be spending as much to make sure their kids are ready to go.

The National Retail Federation reports spending is expected to slip almost 8%, with the average family spending $548.00 on school supplies.

Birmingham area shoppers like Tonya Rice are watching their spending.

Rice said, "I think we'll be going to a lot of different stores, instead of going to one and getting everything. We'll look around more and compare prices more than in the past."

"I think the deals are there, and there is so much competition for school supplies to office supply stores,"  said shopper Kellee Christian.  "I feel like if I bought everything right now, i would still get a good deal."

Some stores have even reduced their inventory in anticipation of consumers spending less.

UAB Economist Dr. Bob Robicheaux said even if shoppers spend less, the back to school shopping season will still bring a much needed boost to struggling retailers.

Dr. Robicheaux said, "kids grow, and they need clothes, school supplies and computers.  Hopefully this will convince consumers they can afford to spend a little money."

Dr. Robicheaux says Alabama shoppers can also get a break during the state's Sales Tax Holiday Weekend on August 7-9.