Inflation, supply chain issues affecting back-to-school shopping

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:57 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 7:23 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In a matter of days, more students across the Mid-South will return to school. With the rate of inflation, you may be wondering how much you’re going to have to shell out for school supplies this year.

The National Retail Federation is reporting parents could see a $15 or more increase during their school supply shopping this year.

So, Sydney Hawkins with Action News 5 grabbed a back-to-school shopping list and hit the stores with a Bartlett kindergartner, and found that the federation’s findings were almost spot on.

She went to Knowledge Tree, a school supply store here in the Mid-South. The receipt for kindergarten supplies came out to $65 and some change.

Those same supplies would have cost parents just $44 last year.

Crayola products are up at least 6%, according to workers at Knowledge Tree.

However, the rise in cost is not the only problem parents are facing when shopping.

“The biggest trick with Crayola is that it’s been hard to get. They just haven’t shipped consistently. Product that we ordered in March and April, we’re still waiting on some of. It’s been a tough year,” said Andy Gattas, Knowledge Tree President.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue says they won’t get reports of just how many people participated in the tax-free weekend until mid-August.

But if you have yet to shop, there is still time.

Knowledge tree workers say when it comes to getting all the supplies on your children’s list, if the teacher does not specify which brand to buy, consider a brand that has good cost and quality.

The National Retail Federation also reports about 40% of parents have been spending less in other areas to prepare for back-to-school shopping.

Knowledge Tree workers say they have seen fewer people than usual in their stores.

Classes will resume next Monday, Aug. 8 for Memphis-Shelby County Schools.

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