My Mid-Summer Bummer

If you're really having a great summer don't go to Staples. I did and what I saw sent me running for the door. Back-to school stuff was everywhere. Notepads, pencils, pens, even protractors, all piled up to the ceiling. It was a big slap in my face that summer doesn't last forever. I like school, but I love summer a whole lot more. Doesn't everybody?

Apparently not. There is a huge group of back-to-school supporters. They're known as the nation's retailers. The back-to-school shopping season is one of their favorite times of year because it's the second biggest selling season right behind the holidays.

But this year, retailers may need to pull a few tricks out of their bag if they want to have a really successful selling season.

Although recent economic reports show that consumer confidence is improving, many Americans are still cautious when it comes to spending their money. National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay says that "stagnantly-high unemployment, higher taxes and lingering policy uncertainty continue to keep shoppers and economic growth at bay."

On average, families are expected to spend $635 on their kids for back-to-school items this year. That's 7.8 percent less than last year. Retailers rake in about $72.5 billion for the entire school shopping season which runs from June through September. And back-to-school sales are also a key indicator of what could be in store for retailers over the holidays.

We won't have to wait too long to see if retailers make the grade this year. Back-to-school shoppers are expected to be out in full force in the next few days, hoping to cash in on the discounts and promotions that retailers have on their racks.

For now, I'm just trying to forget what I saw at Staples. That protractor and paper is going to be waiting for me when I finally get around to doing my shopping. I'm thinking September!

Peace Love Profits,