Back-to-school shopping Photo © USAG - Humphreys

Next week, routine and structure will descend upon households with members who attend school.

Some parents may agree with a certain office-supply mega-retailer that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Applying the Christmas tune to the back-to-school season is appropriate. The National Retail Federation ranks Back to School next to Christmas for foot traffic and sales. A federation survey indicates U.S. families plan to spend $68 billion ($Cdn 89 billion) on binders, paper, clothing, school-related electronics, and college-dorm furnishings this year, compared to $600 billion ($Cdn 786 billion) spent last November–December.

Crudely recalculated for Canada’s population and declining dollar value, that’s $9.8-billion injected into Canada’s retail economy. More »