supplies en School supplies not required, but encouraged <p>For most Michigan kids, today is the first day back to school.&nbsp; And many are taking backpacks full of school supplies. They are not <strong><em>required</em></strong> to take school supplies. By state law the public schools are to supply everything students need for class.&nbsp;</p><p>When you add it all up, the new school clothes, gym shoes, and all those binders, crayons, paper, pens and pencils, back-to-school shopping is big business.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really become probably the second biggest shopping period of the year, right behind Christmas.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>That&rsquo;s Tom Scott with <a href="">Michigan Retailers Association</a>. One national estimate puts back-to-school shopping at about 16 percent of retail business in a year. It&rsquo;s difficult to separate just how much of that is actual school supplies and not clothes or computers.&nbsp;</p><p>The school districts always put out a long list of things kids might need for school and parents start hunting. Tue, 06 Sep 2011 10:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 4032 at School supplies not required, but encouraged Suppliers like working with Toyota best but Ford becoming more popular <p>Ford, GM and Chrysler are getting along with their suppliers better than they used to.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>But an annual&nbsp;study says the companies have a ways to go to catch up with their Japanese counterparts.&nbsp;</p><p>John Henke is President of Planning Perspectives, which studies the working relationship between parts suppliers and their customers, the car companies.&nbsp;</p><p>He says that relationship has long been adversarial for the Detroit Three, which means suppliers often don&rsquo;t give them the best prices for parts, or the first crack at new technologies.</p> Mon, 23 May 2011 03:18:31 +0000 Tracy Samilton 2605 at