Retailers used discounts as arrows when aiming at sale goals for the month August. Typically the U.S’s second-biggest selling period of the year for retailers, this season shoppers saw an increase in discounts to encourage them to shop back to school. This proved to be a smart payoff as sales increased .2 percent from July and 4.8% above August 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In a time where most consumers are thinking about long term goals, buying their child the newest pair of designer jeans has become less important. Housing prices have continued to rise around the country and in this sellers’ market consumers are investing in assets with greater longevity like homes and cars.
Over the past year there has been a noticeable decrease in unemployment but still remains a fluctuating area in the economy. If only subconsciously, shoppers have started to question the practicality of their purchases. While I have the income today how can I prepare for tomorrow? If I lose my job two months from now would I rather have a pair of $200 jeans or $200 extra in my savings? Retailers’ strongest weapon against this is a sale. Typically it’s better to sell a product at discount then not to sell it at all, considering the markups that most retailers implement. While shopping is good for the economy, is this putting people in more debt? Is buying a product only because it is on sale really a bargain? Tell us what you think below or about your back to school shopping this year.