Back to School Shopping is More Than Pencils and Notebooks

Aug 24, 2015

The end of summer is here, and parents want to send their children back with everything they need.

The school supply lists are out and items are flying off the shelves at local stores.

“When people think about back to school shopping they think often just school supplies, but it’s way more than that.”

Carbondale Chamber of Commerce executive director Les O’dell says the older students get, the more they need.

“Not only buying school supplies but clothing, shoes, at the college level refrigerators apartment goods so it is a huge boost to our local economy.”

But that boost only happens if people shop in the local stores.

Dollars spent here will circulate 7,8, 9 times.- Les O'Dell, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce

“Online shopping always a concern and we’re always encouraging folks to buy local because dollars spent here will circulate 7,8, 9 times, when you go to St. Louis or online to spend that money those dollars never return to southern Illinois.”

One thing you have to buy locally is a new haircut.

This keeps stylist like Elizabeth Strusz at E Claire Salon busy.

“We’ve had quite a few that actually came in yesterday and called yesterday morning Hey I start my first day freshman high school tomorrow, being today so we had quite a few people come in for that.”

She welcomes the last minute rush of people preparing for back to school.

“It’s fun to kind of see the different ages and how they react to going back to school.”

According to O’dell Carbondale gets an extra boost once all of the university students arrive and receive their financial aide.

“Again we see another big boost the university releases checks in the tunes of millions of dollars and so a lot of that going to be spent on school supplies, maybe new cloths, helping pay for rent utilities, that sort of thing so we get the big boost for back to school and then a couple of weeks after SIU starts we another little boost so it’s all very helpful."

According to the national retail federation, families can expect to pay about one hundred dollars per student for school supplies this year.