For most Michigan kids, today is the first day back to school. And many are taking backpacks full of school supplies. They are not required to take school supplies. By state law the public schools are to supply everything students need for class.
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.
“It’s really become probably the second biggest shopping period of the year, right behind Christmas.”
That’s Tom Scott with Michigan Retailers Association. One national estimate puts back-to-school shopping at about 16 percent of retail business in a year. It’s difficult to separate just how much of that is actual school supplies and not clothes or computers.
The school districts always put out a long list of things kids might need for school and parents start hunting.