There will probably be a shortage of back-to-school supplies
New York (CNN)Back-to-school shopping is always a nightmare. This year, expect it to be even worse.
While parents may be used to encountering shortages of items like sneakers, backpacks and gadgets later in the season -— which typically lasts from mid-July through the end of August — products are expected to be in tight supply even earlier. That means shoppers could find themselves picking over the handful of ugly backpacks and bento lunch boxes with missing pieces left at the store as early as this month.
With more classrooms fully reopening in the fall, industry experts expect demand on school merchandise to be robust with shoppers spending an average of $850 per family, according to the National Retail Federation, the retail industry's largest trade group.
But that demand is also coming face-to-face with tight inventory levels and delayed shipments which will impact retailers' ability to replenish products on shelves later in the season.
"What we will likely see is more limited choice and lower stock levels towards the end of the back to school period," said Neil Saunders, retail analyst …
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