Back to School: Time for annual hand-wringing?

It seems like the topic of early seasonal setups becomes an easy target every year on RetailWire. The latest subject is Back-to-school, and stores’ tendency to set up shops right around July 4th. I’m more positive than most on the reasons for the tactic:

Schools that start in early August in the South have a different mindset than schools in the Northeast and elsewhere that begin after Labor Day. And BTS is rightfully treated as a two-month shopping season, not a sudden rush for school supplies at the very end. The “college dorm” business has also changed the nature of BTS timing.

Most importantly, retailers recognize that they can’t sell true fall apparel until the temperature changes, not just the calendar. Most store have figured out the importance of delivering “transitional” assortments of shorts, tees and polos at this time of year.

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