It’s almost back-to-school time but no one is exactly sure of the details on how it will be handled with the coronavirus pandemic and the current rise in positive cases.  Usually, at this time of the year, families are doing their back-to-school shopping for uniforms, supplies, and other necessities. Did you ever think about how the pandemic will affect school shopping? First of all, many stores are closed, most have strict capacity guidelines which affects how many customers are allowed in their store, and many families don’t even know if their children will have to report to school at all. And if your child's school will decide to open, you have the fear and worry about sending kids to school during the health crisis.

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Deloitte, a consulting and advisory firm, released its annual back-to-school survey this week and they forecasted that back-to-school spending will likely remain flat, reaching a collective $28.1 billion for K-12 students, or roughly $529 per student.  Although spending will likely remain the same, Deloitte believes a shift in purchase preference and intentions will be the difference. Two-fifths of parents said they planned to buy less of the traditional school supplies this year and instead, will invest in digital resources to supplement their children’s education. Deloitte noted that other coronavirus-related categories like hygiene products and furniture for homeschooling have also emerged.

With the fear of uncertainty, the firm found that consumers are going to be shopping smarter and safer. This means online shopping will go up and off-brand purchases will go up for convenience, safety, and the unknown. With that said, Acadiana, let’s try the best we can to help support local businesses where and when you can. While shopping, mask up, and stay safe.